Mother’s Unborn Baby Had No Hands, and Doctors Suggested Terminating–She Refused

September 24, 2019 Updated: September 30, 2019

Doctors said her baby would be born without hands and urged her to terminate. However, a young mother found the strength to continue with her pregnancy and gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. She shares this story of love and bravery, and it’s indeed heartwarming.

According to a compelling account on LoveWhatMatters, Vanessa McLeod, a young woman from Vancouver, British Colombia, was thrilled to be expecting her second child—a baby girl she would name Ivy. But when her midwife called her in after a routine scan, the mother felt that something was “terribly, horribly wrong.”

Photo courtesy of Vanessa McLeod

She claims that her biggest fear while going into that appointment was being told that she would lose the child. And while doctors mentioned a few potential issues with the unborn, as soon as they told her the baby would be missing “both forearms and hands,” Vanessa took the news as “a punch to the gut.”

It was then that she had to make “the hardest” phone call and inform her husband, whose immediate reaction was to exclaim, “What, no hands?” And then the couple had to see medical professionals at the Vancouver Children’s Hospital, but she claims those appointments created more questions than answers.

And it was then that one of the doctors told Vanessa their best option would be terminating the pregnancy. “THAT had never crossed my mind, but here they were, offering it,” she recalls.

Photo courtesy of Vanessa McLeod

Having an abortion was an option Vanessa didn’t want to consider. And when her husband made a passionate plea to “do whatever it takes” and “take care of her for the rest of her life,” the young woman knew she couldn’t terminate. She said, “[The baby] was ours to love and protect, and we did already love her.”

And so they decided to continue with the pregnancy in spite of the doctors’ advice.

The young mother recalls that during the following months, she felt an array of emotions, including doubt, but knew she was doing the right thing.

“[T]he Universe chose me, out of millions of mothers, to be Ivy’s mom,” she shared.

Photo courtesy of Melissa Hopfner Photography

Closer to giving birth, her thought process shifted again, and she realized something. “It’s not Ivy who needs me,” she wrote. “I need her because she completes me, completes my family, in ways I never realized.”

Vanessa’s daughter was born in February 2019, four weeks early but in perfect health. The woman recalls that upon setting eyes on her baby for the first time, “she felt so much peace.”

Months after birth, Ivy “has grown leaps and bounds and met all of her milestones on time.” And when thinking about the doctors who suggested she had an abortion, Vanessa claims she wished they “could hear the magical sound of [Ivy’s] giggles.”

Photo courtesy of Melissa Hopfner Photography

Within months of giving birth to Ivy, Vanessa even organized a touching photoshoot with photographer Melissa Hopfner to show the world how beautiful her baby is in spite of her disability, though Vanessa doesn’t see it as such.

While the young woman does have concerns for her baby’s future—mainly being judged by others as “weird,”—she states:

We’re all different in so many ways, and that’s okay. And I hope I can teach my daughter that. Some people have blue eyes, some have green. Some have blonde hair, some have brown. Some are born with hands, some without.” She also wrote that as time goes on, her daughter will “grow and adapt and always have her own way of doing things.”

Vanessa concludes her powerful post by stating that Ivy is “absolutely, unequivocally, undeniably perfect.”

Photo courtesy of Vanessa McLeod
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