A Missouri baby girl is defying all odds after doctors predicted that she would never walk, talk or eat on her own.
Mother Katie White, 24, refused to abort Kensley twice after learning that her unborn daughter had hydrocephalus, The Metro reports. Now, she is extremely thankful that she made that choice.
“My daughter would not be here today if I had taken that advice,” she said.
White said her pregnancy was progressing normally when she went to Mercy Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri for her 20-week ultrasound scan. At that appointment, however, a doctor told her that Kensley had fluid on the brain, a condition known as hydrocephalus, and she probably never would learn to walk, talk or eat on her own, according to The Mirror.
That’s when abortion came up.
“I was distraught and bawling my eyes out,” White remembered. “They immediately tried to get me in contact with family planning to terminate the pregnancy. I needed to go home and think. I couldn’t make such a huge decision off the back of one doctor’s advice and I thank my lucky stars that I did.”
With the help of her family, she said she found a new doctor who supported both her and her unborn daughter and reassured her that Kensley’s condition may not be as bad as the initial doctor said.
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However, at 30 weeks of pregnancy, White said a third doctor advised her again to have an abortion, which she also refused, according to the Metro.
Kensley was born on May 23, 2021, weighing 6 pounds, 7 ounces. After White held her daughter for a few minutes, doctors took the baby girl away for her first of multiple treatments, according to the report.
“I was overjoyed seeing my baby for the first time, but it was bittersweet knowing she would have to be taken away,” she remembered.
Kensley spent a week in the hospital, and she has had two surgeries since then to drain the fluid and place a shunt in her brain, her mother said.
Despite the first doctor’s predictions, she said her now 14-month-old daughter has been reaching all the normal baby milestones. She described her daughter as a “perfect, happy little girl” who is “sassy and smart.”
“She hasn’t ever had a seizure, she eats by mouth and can see,” White said. “She absolutely loves food and eats like a horse.”
Tragically, abortion has become a common recommendation to mothers like White after ultrasounds or prenatal testing indicate potential medical problems with their unborn babies.
One recent study by Down Syndrome Australia found that “half of new parents faced discrimination and neglect from medical professionals during and after prenatal screenings” for Down syndrome, according to ABC News Australia. One family told the news outlet that their doctor scheduled an abortion before even telling them that their unborn baby had Down syndrome.
Concerns about the reliability of prenatal screening tests and abortion also are growing. In January, a New York Times investigation exposed the high false positive rate on prenatal screening tests and noted how healthy unborn babies are being aborted as a result.
These problems have many families speaking up about the value of children with disabilities and the need to provide better, life-affirming support after a prenatal diagnosis.