When reality show star Jennifer Snowden learned that her unborn son had a rare brain disorder, almost everyone around her encouraged her to abort him: her partner, her family, her doctors.
But just before going through with the abortion, the Bravo TV “Southern Charm” star said two people changed her mind by offering a glimmer of hope for her son.
Snowden chose life for her son, thanks to encouragement from a neurosurgeon and her hairstylist, The Daily Mail reports. Her baby boy, Ascher, was born in September and is doing well.
The Charleston, South Carolina mom said she learned the bad news about Ascher’s condition when she was 15 weeks pregnant. A doctor told her and her partner, Lee, that Ascher had encephalocele, a rare brain condition where the neural tube does not form correctly, and could be brain dead.
The doctor referred them to a specialist who told them that 85 percent of women whose unborn babies are diagnosed with the same disorder choose abortion, according to the report.
Here’s more from her interview with the news outlet:
‘She handed me the abortion papers and said you have eight weeks to decide if you’re going to terminate but we can book you in in two days time.’
Clearly emotional at the memory Jennifer said: ‘I remember asking her, “Have you ever seen a case where a baby gets better or is born and defies the odds?”
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‘But she said I could hold off until 18 weeks when he would be just on the cusp of being able to see more in a scan. She gave me zero hope and I didn’t want to be waiting in limbo but that’s what I had to do.’
Snowden said Lee and her family also thought she should have an abortion. Despite the pressure from so many around her, she remained hesitant.
She remembered: “I was told your experience of motherhood will never be like your friends. Your child may not know you, he may not be able to show emotions or feed himself or control his bowels. He will need 24-hour care and there are few people who can incur that daily expense. There was absolutely nothing good in what I was being told.”
Finally, one person gave her hope, pediatric neurosurgeon Ramin Eskandari, according to the report.
“I was looking for a shred of hope and I saw it in his eyes. He said he couldn’t make any promises but that he would do what he could,” Snowden remembered.
Eskandari gave her hope, but Snowden said she still was not fully resolved to give Ascher a chance at life. A conversation with her hairstylist finally convinced her that she should.
“She said, ‘You don’t know what God can heal in the womb and you don’t have to be so sad. You’re sad because of this weighty decision but you just have to pray,’” Snowden said.
Snowden went home, began praying and tore up the abortion papers, she said.
“… every single night I said a novena to St Joseph and St Gerard. I made God a promise. I promised him that if he healed my baby I would use the platform of the show to tell everyone what He’d done,” she continued. “I wanted my child to be a beacon of hope for other women, the one that I had looked for but couldn’t find.”
Snowden said God began to answer her prayers two months before Ascher was born. A MRI scan showed that her baby boy’s brain was beginning to heal itself, according to the report.
She gave birth to Ascher in September. Because part of his brain was exposed, he was rushed into surgery immediately after birth, and Snowden had to wait two days to hold him, the report states.
Today, Ascher is doing well. Snowden said he is hitting the milestones that he should. She told the Daily Mail that she wants her son’s story to give other moms the same hope that she received from her hairstylist and neurosurgeon.
“I feel like in all my years I’ve lived life to the fullest but I didn’t feel like I had a purpose and that’s lonely,” she said. “Now Ascher is my purpose and sharing his story so that maybe even just one woman who’s in the position I was in, sees there is hope.”