A California mom recently shared how seven different doctors urged her to abort her unborn baby after she was diagnosed with stage-three breast cancer.
Though devastated by their warnings, Tifanie Morataya still clung to hope that both she and her unborn baby would make it through chemotherapy.
The Daily Mail reports the California family is thriving almost two years after Morataya was diagnosed with breast cancer. Baby Zoe now is a healthy 14-month-old whose life proves that “miracles can happen,” her mother said.
If Morataya had listened to all those doctors, her daughter would not be alive today.
Back in August 2016, Morataya was diagnosed with stage-three breast cancer, according to the report. A small lump on her left breast quickly grew to the size of a tangerine, and she said she began to worry that she might die.
Four days later, the 37-year-old received still more shocking news: She was pregnant.
Here’s more from the report:
The brave mother claims that following that revelation, seven doctors at various medical centers – which she does not wish to name – advised her to terminate.
She researched undergoing chemo while pregnant and read that the risks were ‘high’ – but says she could find no conclusive evidence that it would impact her unborn child.
Hopeful, she and college professor Anthony, 52, decided to keep the baby and Tifanie continued with her treatment.
“I did some research and couldn’t find any information about pregnancy during chemo being unsafe,” she said. “We found, ‘Oh, it is not recommended’, or, ‘The risks are high’, or, ‘There is concern for the baby,’” but these only were vague generalities.
A growing body of research suggests pregnant women can safely undergo cancer treatments without harming their unborn babies. In 2012, a collection of stories from The Lancet found pregnant women don’t need to have an abortion to get treatment for cancer. Similarly, a 2015 study in the New England Journal of Medicine found chemotherapy does not impair unborn babies’ general development.
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Looking back, Morataya said that time was like a nightmare.
“So many people were telling me what to do,” she said. “I wanted them to tell me something solid, like that the child was going to be brain damaged or have one arm or have heart disease. But there was nothing. There were no tangible risks.
“There was a lot of guilt. I was really holding my breath the whole time fearing I would get bad news, but I was holding onto hope,” she continued.
Morataya said her unborn daughter and her 10-year-old son kept her strong.
“I was afraid secretly but I was more strong, and my strength and determination kept me going for Zoe and Alexander,” she said.
She had a mastectomy in September 2016 and began chemotherapy in October. Then on March 11, 2017, Zoe was born five weeks prematurely weighing 4.5 pounds, according to the report.
“She was perfectly healthy and breathing on her own,” she said. “I was stoked. I could breathe for the first time in months.”
Morataya said Zoe’s life is a miracle, and she wants women in similar situations to know there is hope.
“I have since gone back to visit some of the doctors who told me to terminate. I said, ‘I don’t know if you remember me but this is my daughter. She is healthy,” she said. “Most of them gave me a hug and said, ‘We’re so happy we were wrong.’ I just wanted them to know it can happen.
“She is a miracle baby, and she is strong and sassy. It is probably the decision I’m most proud of in my life.”