Mom Hears Baby’s Heartbeat During Ultrasound. The Minute She Walks Out Doctors Tell Her To Abort
FaithTap Staff 6/5/2017
Brandi and Michael Rogers of Effingham, South Carolina, were joyfully expecting their third child, but they never expected doctors to instead deliver heartbreaking news after they had an ultrasound. Now, the family is ensuring something wonderful and positive comes out of their baby's short life.
At 20 weeks' gestation, Brandi was told that the couple's unborn baby girl, who they've named Emersyn, was suffering from anencephaly. This is a birth defect where a baby is born without all of its brain and skull. Three in every 10,000 pregnancies in the United States will result in a baby born with anencephaly.
Michael, 29, said he and his wife were shocked when doctors told them the news. They hadn't heard of the condition until them.
"When we first found out ... I think [the doctor] said it was a 75 percent chance survival rate. We kind of held onto hope for that. I really thought she was going to make it. We went back and they pretty much told us there's no chance."
Dr. Conrad Williams with Medical University of South Carolina said there is no known cause of anencephaly. He is the director of the palliative care program at the university and will be working closely with the family after Emersyn is born.
"Many of these babies are stillborn and many of the babies born alive typically only live for hours or days. Our focus is on providing patients and families with support or relief for any of the challenges that come forth. If they can remember the brief moments that they had with their child ... it will help them tremendously in the grieving process, that's really our goal."
When the Rogers were given the grim outlook clouding their sweet Emersyn's now bleak future, they were given the option of inducing the pregnancy, which essentially would abort the baby, said Brandi, 25. But that was never an option for them.
"We decided on the spot that it wasn't something we were going to do ... You're in a room and you're listening to your baby's heartbeat and then you go into another room and they say, 'Well, you can stop it.' That's extremely hard."
The news was also even more difficult to absorb, considering Emersyn is the couple's third child and their oldest two children were born without medical issues, she said.
"I think I kind of sat there when they told me. It's just one of those things you don't think could ever happen to you, especially when I have two healthy children."
The couple returned home to grasp the devastating news and the impending loss of their baby. Brandi went online to try and find other families who had carried a baby to term, despite knowing that their little loved one ultimately would not make it.
"I was looking for a voice of someone who went full term and didn't regret it. I want to be that voice. It's OK to celebrate Emersyn even though she's not going to survive. She's still our third child and she's still very much loved."
That's when Brandi learned about Royce and Keri Young of Oklahoma. They had been interviewed by a national television show about their baby who also had been diagnosed with anencephaly. They had chosen to carry their baby to full term so they could celebrate the baby's life before death and to donate her organs.
Brandi instantly knew what she wanted to do. Like any mom, she wanted to hold her baby girl, even if for a moment. She also has siblings who will want to meet their baby sister. But it also dawned on the family that they are able to make the most of Emersyn's short life, whether it's one minute, one hour or one day. They plan to donate her organs with a focus on anencephaly research, Michael said.
"I don't want her to ever be forgotten ... she wasn't just a baby that never made it. I'd love to start an organization in her name for this specific type of disease. That could be her legacy."
Here's more about this brave family and baby Emersyn.
Brandi's due date is Sept. 11. While Emersyn will enter the world this fall and her footsteps on this earth may be limited, her impact on others will forever be felt. Prayers go out the family and to Baby Emersyn.