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The doctor advised the parents to “terminate,” but they chose prayer instead


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Patty Knap - published on 05/18/20

The couple wouldn't consider abortion. "We said, 'No, God gave us this baby and God will take the baby if He wants to.'"
Courtney and Andrew were excited about their first pregnancy, but were told at the first ultrasound there were already signs of a problem. There seemed to be little to no amniotic fluid, a situation sometimes found when the baby’s kidneys aren’t working properly.
A second ultrasound at a high-risk pregnancy hospital confirmed almost no amniotic fluid, and the doctor said that likely meant the baby wouldn’t survive until birth, or would die soon after birth. She advised the parents to terminate the pregnancy.
The couple wouldn’t consider abortion. “We said, ‘No, God gave us this baby and God will take the baby if He wants to,'” remembers Courtney.
The doctor didn’t drop the subject. “She pointed out that if we changed our mind, we only had a few weeks, because I was at 22 weeks and abortion is legal through 24 weeks in Pennsylvania.”  Courtney found the casual way in which abortion was recommended to be disturbing.
“The doctor didn’t use the word abortion. She said ‘terminate.’ It was worded like it would be less of a hassle to just ‘terminate’ than to have her.”
Family and friends surrounding the couple began praying for God to change the situation.  Courtney’s grandmother had friends around the country praying for a healthy pregnancy. By this time another ultrasound showed the baby’s kidneys were functioning fine, leaving doctors baffled as to the cause of the precariously low amniotic fluid.
Fr. Gus (Augustine) Fernando of St. Killian’s parish, Farmingdale, Long Island, heard about the crisis pregnancy. As he prayed for a healthy baby he heard the words, “The baby will be OK and will be a blessing to them.” This beautiful message along with all the prayers brought hope to Courtney and Andrew.
Baby Josie was born on March 17, 2018, but her parents were told to prepare for the worst, because the infant couldn’t breath on her own.  A grief counselor came to tell the new parents that Josie probably wouldn’t survive. Meanwhile Josie was put on an oscillator ventilator that resulted in torn lungs, had elevated blood pressure and an enlarged heart. Facing a grim outcome, the word went out that more prayer was desperately needed. Fr. Gus again sensed the baby would be fine, and relayed to the couple, “Jesus will take care of Josie.”
By 8 p.m. that night, the baby’s condition had improved dramatically. “The doctor said, ‘I don’t know what you people are doing but keep doing it. She’s a lot better.” In less than 24 hours, her lungs had expanded, the tears had started healing, her blood pressure was regulating, and hear heart was better! By the next day Josie was on a regular ventilator, and the next day she was breathing on her own.
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Josie is now an adorable, healthy two-year-old girl, surrounded by love. Her mother is grateful she wasn’t swayed by a negative doctor’s recommendation. “What I think about is pregnant women that aren’t in as good a situation as I was in (married, with jobs and supportive families, etc.) and could be talked into aborting their child by a doctor saying it’s a good idea.” Courtney hopes to encourage pregnant moms, especially if they’ve been given a negative prognosis, not to give in to any pressure to abort.
“You’ll always be glad you had your child!”
Photos provided by author

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