At 30 weeks of pregnancy, Australian mom Jodie was told to abort what likely would be her only child.
Speaking with Kidspot, an Australian parenting blog, the 39-year-old from Brisbane said she had suffered several miscarriages and her daughter was the first to survive that long. Because of her age and a recent break-up with her child’s father, she knew her baby girl likely would be her only child.
But when doctors discovered that her unborn daughter might have Down syndrome, they urged Jodie to throw away her dreams – and end her daughter’s life.
“I looked up the reality of terminating a child at that gestation, and it destroyed me. I would be induced and give birth to a dead child. I just couldn’t do it,” Jodie told Kidspot. “Everything in me said, ‘No, this doesn’t make sense.’”
Jodie chose life and today is the mother of a happy, healthy little girl.
“She’s everything that I’ve ever wanted in life in a tiny little package of perfection,” she told Kidspot.
In late 2021, Jodie said she and her partner broke up after a “tumultuous” relationship. Three days later, she discovered she was pregnant.
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“It was a very intense, confusing time,” she said, remembering how she contemplated suicide and was going to counseling.
Despite being single and struggling, Jodie rejected the notion of aborting her child. She had suffered several miscarriages and, in her late 30s, thought this might be her only chance at raising a child.
But her doctors were not encouraging. From the start, she said she faced pressure to abort her unborn daughter.
“They said because of my age, my past history as a smoker and other statistics that there was a high risk of Down syndrome,” Jodie told the blog. “They wanted me to look at abortion then. It infuriated me.”
The abortion pressure increased during her 30-week ultrasound when testing indicated her daughter was missing part of her brain, pituitary gland and optic nerves, according to the blog.
“That’s when they said, ‘We think you need to terminate,’” Jodie said. “It was horrendous. I was spiraling. I lost it. I burst into tears. I couldn’t hear anything after that.”
Jodie said she looked up what a late-term abortion would be like and immediately decided against it. A late-term abortion typically is a three-day procedure that begins with injecting poison into the baby’s heart to kill her. Then, about two days later, labor is induced and the mother gives birth to a dead child.
Rejecting the horrific practice, Jodie said she was resolved to fight for her daughter.
“From that moment on, I stopped doing the ‘what ifs’ and just kept going,” she said.
Her daughter, Jasmine, was born in June 2022, and, other than having jaundice, she was healthy, according to the blog. Her mother expects the almost 1-year-old soon will be walking and talking; she already sings parts of the “ABCs” song.
“Before I became pregnant, I was seeing a suicide counselor but now I can’t imagine not being here,” Jodie said. “I’m a million percent grateful that I didn’t listen to the doctors. … She’s completely changed my world. I’m a different person and a better version of myself because of her.”