Mandy and Steven had four girls and were excited at the possibility of their fifth child being a boy.  That excitement, however, went away at Mandy’s 20-week appointment.  “After the ultrasound was done, my doctor came in and said there was something seriously wrong with my baby,” Mandy said.  The next day Mandy and Steven went to an appointment with a maternal-fetal specialist.  They were told that the baby had a condition called Hydrops Fetalis. The doctors also had trouble finding some vital organs and noticed his heart was enlarged.  They were given the option to terminate the pregnancy at this same appointment.  “It’s amazing that they would even ask us this after receiving such terrible news,” Steven said.  Further testing revealed the baby also had Bilateral Renal Agenesis.

Parents Offered to Terminate Twice after Two Fatal Diagnoses

This baby boy now had two fatal diagnoses.  Mandy and Steven were devastated.  If he didn’t pass away from Hydrops Fetalis then he would from the bilateral renal agenesis.  When each diagnosis was made, they were offered to terminate the pregnancy because he would be stillborn and have deformities.  An abortion would be less painful for everyone, including his sisters.  Mandy had a different opinion.  “I was going to try and do everything in my power to meet that baby whether it be for a minute or an hour.  It was really important to me,” Mandy said.

Baby Surrounded by Love and Family

Mandy and Steven decided to be honest with the girls about their brother’s condition.  They told them their baby brother would not be coming home after he was born. It was a difficult conversation to have.  But the family relied on their faith to explain where their brother would be after passing away.

He came on his own at 33 weeks and he was absolutely perfect.  Mandy thought her daughters would be scared but every one of them was so happy to hold their baby brother.  He lived for an hour and a half surrounded by family and full of love.  “As sad as it was, that’s one of the happiest days of my life,” Mandy said.

Mandy and Steven recognize the miracles surrounding their son’s birth.  Even though he didn’t live long, they all got a chance to hold and love him while he was alive.  That is the greatest blessing this family could have received given the situation.  “Choosing to not terminate the pregnancy was the best decision for us and for our family,” Mandy said.

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