The story of a Florida mother who says she ignored her doctor's recommendation to have an abortion and gave birth to a "perfect child" is trending on Facebook after being featured on a blog about Down syndrome.
Courtney Baker says her doctor suggested she terminate her pregnancy after a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome. She decided to go forward with her pregnancy, but said she continued to feel pressured, according to ABC News.
Baker told numerous media outlets she wrote and sent her doctor a letter last month that her daughter Emersyn Faith, now 15 months old, helped her put in the mailbox.
"I knew how important it was going to be to write that letter, before Emmy was even born," Baker told ABC News.
"Every action, from opening and closing the mailbox to raising the red flag, was closure for me,” Baker told ABC News. “I have no idea how the doctor might have reacted to my letter, but I do have faith that God can work any miracle and he can change any heart.”
The mother did not mention the doctor's name in her letter.
Baker shared the letter with Parker Myles, a blog where parents share the joys and struggles of raising a child with Down syndrome.
The letter reads,
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 absolutely perfect.”"
Parker Myles posted Emersyn's photo and her mother's letter on its Facebook page, where it has been shared more than 3,000 times and received more than 6,000 reactions.
"My doctor did the same to us about our son, Draco," commented Elizabeth Velez on Facebook. "The negativity he spewed made us stop going to him for 2 months until termination wasn't possible anymore. We love him to the moon and back. Yes, there have been medical issues, but the love more than makes up for it."
"I was told after my 12 week ultrasound to 'don't bother doing anymore testing. Just abort. And try again. You are young. You won't be able to handle a disabled child,'" shared Paige Moore on Facebook. "Fast forward 3 years later! And she is my little superhero!"
Emersyn has two older sisters, Rhyan, 15, who has been deaf since birth according to Courtney Baker's Facebook page, and Evynn, 11.
"The girls both said that as soon as they met her, they fell in love. And it was obvious. A lot of healing happened at that moment. We never looked back to the fear and sadness, it’s been onward in the smiles and joy," Baker told Parker Myles. "They are the perfect trio."
Baker says she hopes her letter changes the doctor's mentality toward special needs children.
"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.”