Mom With Down Syndrome Baby Writes Letter to Doctor Who Suggested Abortion
The moving story of Florida mom Courtney Baker and her 15-month-old daughter Emersyn Faith is touching hearts across the internet.
About two years ago, Baker was pregnant with her third child. When the unborn baby was prenatally diagnosed with Down syndrome, Baker’s prenatal specialist suggested they abort the baby, citing the strain that comes with caring for a child with Down syndrome.
Baker and her husband declined. But, she said she continued to feel pressure from medical staff to abort the baby, rather than being supported for her decision, according to ABC News.
And now Baker couldn’t be more happy with Emersyn, who is the light of her life.
Even before Emersyn was born, Baker started thinking about bringing closure to that day—about writing to that doctor to tell him that there was nothing wrong with her baby, and that her daughter couldn’t be anymore perfect.
Two weeks ago, that wish was made a reality when Baker and Emersyn mailed the mom’s heartfelt feelings to the doctor together (above photo).
Below is the letter in text as originally posted on Baker’s Facebook page on May 28.
Baker’s story has now been shared over 6,000 times on Parker Myles, a Down syndrome awareness site, which also published Baker’s story on Tuesday.
Baker told The Daily News that she did not expect this level of popularity; she merely wrote the letter from her heart and posted it.
“What I would love is for a mother who is in the process of making that decision whether to keep the baby … to realize that life doesn’t end with a [Down syndrome] diagnosis—it’s just getting started,” she said.
The full text of the letter is below:
A friend recently told me of when her prenatal specialist would see her child during her sonograms, he would comment, “He’s perfect.” Once her son was born with Down syndrome, she visited that same doctor. He looked at her little boy and said, “I told you. He’s perfect.”
Her story tore me apart. While I was so grateful for my friend’s experience, it filled me with such sorrow because of what I should have had. I wish you would have been that doctor.
I came to you during the most difficult time in my life. I was terrified, anxious and in complete despair. I didn’t know the truth yet about my baby, and that’s what I desperately needed from you. But instead of support and encouragement, you suggested we terminate our child. I told you her name, and you asked us again if we understood how low our quality of life would be with a child with Down syndrome. You suggested we reconsider our decision to continue the pregnancy.
From that first visit, we dreaded our appointments. The most difficult time in my life was made nearly unbearable because you never told me the truth. My child was perfect.
I’m not angry. I’m not bitter. I’m really just sad. I’m sad the tiny beating hearts you see every day don’t fill you with a perpetual awe. I’m sad the intricate details and the miracle of those sweet little fingers and toes, lungs and eyes and ears don’t always give you pause. I’m sad you were so very wrong to say a baby with Down syndrome would decrease our quality of life. And I’m heartbroken you might have said that to a mommy even today. But I’m mostly sad you’ll never have the privilege of knowing my daughter, Emersyn.
Because, you see, Emersyn has not only added to our quality of life, she’s touched the hearts of thousands. She’s given us a purpose and a joy that is impossible to express. She’s given us bigger smiles, more laughter and sweeter kisses than we’ve ever known. She’s opened our eyes to true beauty and pure love.
So my prayer is that no other mommy will have to go through what I did. My prayer is that you, too, will now see true beauty and pure love with every sonogram.
And my prayer is when you see that next baby with Down syndrome lovingly tucked in her mother’s womb, you will look at that mommy and see me then tell her the truth: “Your child is perfect.”
“I hope he sees Emmy. I hope he sees my words on paper,” Baker told ABC News. “Emmy is proof that children with special needs are worthy and can change the world. She’s doing it right now.”