A British mother whose doctors suggested she should abort her baby chose life instead after watching her pre-born son smile during an ultrasound. Katyia Rowe and her boyfriend Shane Johnson, both 26, were planning on marrying after the birth of their baby, whom they had named Lucian. But several weeks into the pregnancy, doctors told them an ultrasound revealed that Lucian's brain was not developing properly and that if he even survived to birth he would be severely handicapped, would not walk or talk, and would require 24-hour care. The common-sense option, the doctors advised, was abortion.
“We were devastated to be told our son’s brain abnormalities were so severe they were life limiting and we should consider a termination,” Katyia told the U.K.'s Daily Mail. A further ultrasound, performed at 20 weeks of pregnancy, confirmed the extent of the physical limitations Lucian would face. But it also revealed something that convinced Katyia that, regardless of the hardships, she would give birth to her baby and would love and protect him as long as he lived. What the young mother saw was a tiny, lively baby, smiling, blowing bubbles, and kicking inside her womb.
“When I saw him smiling and playing inside me I knew I couldn’t end his life,” she recalled. “Despite all the awful things I was being told, while he was inside me his quality of life looked to be wonderful and no different to any other baby’s. He was a joy to watch.” She added that as she watched the tiny miracle inside her, “I knew that while I was carrying him he still had a quality of life, and it was my duty as a mother to protect that no matter how long he had left. He deserved to live.”
Katyia explained that seeing her baby forming inside her awakened a mother's instinct she didn't know she had, causing her to disregard the bad news of the doctors.
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Photo of baby in womb: by Wolfgang Moroder