In 1993, 19-year-old Kimberly Smith faced one of the most heartbreaking dilemmas of her life.
She was 20-weeks pregnant with her second child, a boy, when she began experiencing symptoms of a miscarriage, according to Live Action News. Then her doctor delivered some doubly-tragic news: Her unborn son probably would die, and she could die too if she didn’t have an abortion.
The young woman wrestled with the weighty decision and sought advice from her family. But when she began praying, Smith said she received an answer and a miracle.
Smith wrote about her experience on her blog:
When I was around 20 weeks pregnant, I woke up one morning with the unmistakable signs and symptoms of miscarriage. I was rushed to the hospital. After many tests, ultrasounds, etc, the doctor told me that I was going to lose my baby. He explained that “mother nature” has a way of taking care of nonviable pregnancies of less than healthy babies, and that unfortunately I was carrying a very defective baby. He told me so many things that the ultrasound had revealed was wrong with Phillip that to this very day I cannot remember them all. Some of them were that he had an open neural tube defect which would cause him to have virtually no quality of life. One of his organs, I was told, was on the outside of his body, and he only had one kidney. It was predicted that he would never walk, talk or even know he was in this world. I was absolutely devastated.
The doctor also diagnosed her with placenta previa, which put her own life at risk. Faced with the possibility of both mother and child dying, her doctor recommended that she “terminate her pregnancy.” He justified it as “medically necessary,” and said her son probably would be stillborn anyway.
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The doctor seemed sure, but the decision to abort her son was not as clear for Smith. She said her little brother had died tragically just six months ago, and she didn’t want her family to suffer another tragedy. Nor did she want her older son to grow up without a mother.
“But there was still that abortion word to deal with. It just kept sounding in my head, flashing like a neon sign… and still the ‘medically necessary’ part did nothing to dress it up for me,” she wrote.
When she told her doctor that she wanted to go home and take a day to think about it, he got angry. She said she believes he sincerely was concerned for her life and thought an abortion would be best for her. She wasn’t so sure.
Smith went home from the hospital, and spent the evening praying and crying out to God for an answer. She wrote:
I kept begging the Lord to help us. I told Him that I didn’t want to lose Phillip, but that I didn’t want him to suffer if he were to survive. I begged Him to allow me to raise Justin and to remain here for my family too, to make the doctor be wrong, to make my Phillip whole. I told Him that it just was not a decision that I could make. That it was His choice whether I lived or died and whether my child did.
… Oddly enough, a verse came to me… it was not a verse that I had ever paid much attention to before. Oh, but I turned it over and over in my mind that night. “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.” Jeremiah 1:5
After reading the verse, Smith knew that she could not abort her son. She said she suddenly felt at peace with her decision. The next day, she told her doctor that she would not abort her baby, and he referred her to a perinatologist. Amazingly, when the perinatologist checked her unborn son, they did not find anything wrong with him.
When baby Phillip was born a few months later, he was missing one kidney, but otherwise he was perfectly healthy. Smith believes his life is a miracle.
So… many people declared that the doctor must have been a quack. They all exclaimed how fortunate I was that I didn’t blindly follow his advice. I guess that could be the explanation for it… however, I believe the Lord healed Phillip in utero. I don’t know why He did it. I just know that both the radiologist had performed the ultrasound and my doctor did one himself and they were both in agreement. I eventually delivered Phillip and he was okay. I really don’t know how or why, but I remember how it felt that night to finally trust Him in that no matter what happened – we were going to be okay, because we belong to Him and He loves us. I understood love. I understood mercy. I understood grace. I understood that I had more to do, and Phillip had more to do.
Her story is a beautiful reminder that every child deserves the chance to live because every human life has a purpose.