A new mother of a baby with Down syndrome says her daughter is living proof that children with special needs deserve life, penning an open letter to the doctor who suggested she have an abortion.
Courtney Baker of Sanford, Florida, took more than a year to write and mail the letter she had been thinking about since she was pregnant with her 15-month-old daughter, Emersyn Faith.
“Every action, from opening and closing the mailbox to raising the red flag, was closure for me,” she 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.”
She finally dropped the letter in the mail at the end of May to the doctor who she said gave her a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome before suggesting she terminate the pregnancy. She then shared the letter on the Parker Myles Facebook page, where it has been shared more than 5,000 times.
“A friend recently told me of when her prenatal specialist would see her child during her sonograms, he would comment, ‘He’s perfect,’” Ms. Baker’s letter read. “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,” she wrote. “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,” she continued. “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,” Ms. Baker wrote. “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,’” she wrote.
Ms. Baker said she hopes the doctor will consider her letter.
“I hope he sees Emmy. I hope he sees my words on paper,” she told ABC News. “Emmy is proof that children with special needs are worthy and can change the world. She’s doing it right now.”
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