Nicole Adame’s 24-week ultrasound was supposed to be a joyous appointment where she and her husband would learn their baby’s sex.
Instead, the Adames received crushing news about their unborn son’s health, followed by a doctor’s callous recommendation to “just get rid of IT and try again.”
Nicole Adame recently shared her story in a column for Live Action News. Her experience with her son, Samuel, prompted her to become active in the pro-life movement to help society understand that every child’s life, no matter what their abilities, is valuable.
Adame said she and her husband struggled with fertility problems and lost their first baby to miscarriage.
“Like many women desperate to carry a child, I began to pray daily. We chose the name Samuel for the child we longed to have,” she said.
In 2012, she began to hope when they became pregnant again and carried the baby to the 24-week mark. Scheduled for an ultrasound that week, Adame said she and her husband, Gabriel, were excited to see their baby’s tiny hands and feet and learn if their child was a boy or girl.
She remembered, “Upon our request, the ultrasound technician wrote the gender of our baby on a piece of paper and sealed it in an envelope for a surprise gender reveal with family and friends.”
A few minutes later, however, their excitement turned to dismay when a doctor came in and quietly performed a second ultrasound.
“When she was finished, she turned to my husband and said with a cold smile, ‘Well, your child has a severe brain malformation called holoprosencephaly.’ Without missing a beat, she began to discuss our abortion options, not once giving even a glimmer of hope or any idea of what our options would be should we choose life,” Adame remembered.
Coldly, the doctor told the couple that they could “just get rid of IT and try again,” she recalled.
Still, Adame said they left feeling heartbroken, and she began to wonder if she would ever see her child alive. Holoprosencephaly is a brain abnormality in which the brain does not divide correctly into the right and left hemispheres.
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She said they were told that their baby was “incompatible with life” and probably would die before birth.
“… my husband stood firm. Gabriel looked in my eyes and said, ‘We are stronger than this. God will take care of our baby.’ His faith and words gave me comfort and peace that everything would be alright,” she said. “… Gabriel and I decided to open the envelope in the car before heading home. The unfolded piece of paper said ‘boy.’ Peace overcame us as we thought about our son, Samuel.”
The Adame’s situation is increasingly common. Parents frequently report feeling pressured to abort their unborn babies after a poor prenatal diagnosis. LifeNews has reported on numerous stories of parents being pressured to abort their unborn babies because of a Down syndrome diagnosis — or even a cleft lip.
In 2016, an Australian survey of parents of children with Down syndrome found that more than 60 percent were asked if they wanted an abortion a second time after they initially refused and about 20 percent said they frequently were asked if they wanted an abortion, according to the Daily Mail.
But as more families choose life and share their stories, there is hope that others will reject abortion and recognize the value of every baby’s life.
Samuel was born on May 30, 2013. Today, he is 6 years old, and he brings joy and encouragement to his family.
Adame said Samuel does not have many of the problems connected with holoprosencelphaly, such as chromosomal abnormalities and major organ defects. Still, he has struggled through multiple health problems, and he never will be able to take care of himself, she said.
Though Samuel never will walk or talk, his mother said he is happy, and his life has a purpose.
“… the value of Samuel’s life is not defined by his diagnosis. His imperfections, vulnerability and weaknesses do not determine his value. In fact, they make him more precious and worthy of protection from a society that deems his life as disposable,” she said. “Samuel’s diagnosis isn’t perfect, but he is.”