A would-be mom in England endured the last four months of her pregnancy, even subjecting herself to five weeks of painful amniotic draining procedures, to deliver a baby she knew could never survive on its own. Why? Because she saw a 3D ultrasound rendering that looked like the unborn baby was smiling at her.
When doctors at Birmingham Children’s Hospital told Katiya Rowe and her boyfriend Shane Johnson that their child’s brain was not developing correctly, they encouraged them to terminate the pregnancy. The child would never be able to walk or talk or even take care of himself.
The couple had originally planned to get married as soon as their son was able to walk down the aisle with them, but now they knew that would never happen. They would be forced to care for Lucian, as they named him, 24 hours per day — for life.
As it turned out, Lucian’s life lasted for only nine hours after he was born. But Rowe, 26, remains glad that she carried the baby to term,
“I was told he would never walk or talk yet the scans showed him constantly wriggling and moving,” Rowe told England’s Daily Mail newspaper. “As I watched I knew that while I was carrying him he still had a quality of life and it was my duty as a mother to protect that no matter how long he had left, he deserved to live.”
Despite its movement in utero, the unborn baby was unable to swallow amniotic fluid, a pre-natal disability which forced Rowe to undergo nine weeks of draining procedures.
“It was agony and I knew some people questioned if it was worth putting myself through all this for a severely disabled baby that may not live for long,” she said. “But I never ever thought like that. As a mother you will do anything for your child and for me I became a mother as soon as I fell pregnant, that job had started already.”
Lucian was born Oct. 23 of last year, according to the Daily Mail story, but was in danger the moment he came into the world and lasted only nine more hours.
“The love and joy I felt the moment they put Lucian in my arms told me it had all been worth it,” said Rowe. “I thought I didn’t want to be a mother but Lucian taught me it is the most wonderful job in the world and I will always be grateful for that.”
Here’s a 3D ultrasound of Lucian that helped the couple to decide that he should be given a chance to survive: