The great story of Baby Faith
My name is Myah. I’m 23 years old and a single mom to a very special little girl.
When I was 19 weeks pregnant, I was told that my baby had no brain. This condition is known as “anencephaly.” I was told that my baby was only alive because she was attached to me, but that she couldn’t survive on her own. The doctor said that I could continue the pregnancy safely, but that my baby would die shortly after being born. Or I could choose to terminate the pregnancy then, which would mean being induced at 20 weeks and letting my baby die without ever seeing or holding her (I don’t even want to know what they do with babies in this case). Well, to some people this would be a difficult decision, but it wasn’t for me. I knew there was nothing to gain by terminating the pregnancy and I already loved my daughter more than anyone else in the world. Even if she was unconscious like the doctors said and lived for only a few seconds or minutes –even if she was stillborn –it was worth it to me. And so we began our journey…
Today, as I type this, Faith is 20 days old. Apart from a sterile dressing on her head that needs to be changed once a day, Faith lives a completely normal life. She isn’t suffering or sickly, like you would expect. With no tubes and no machines supporting her life, she continues to thrive. She seems to function at the same level as any “normal” baby. In fact, she may be a little more advanced for her age. How many babies smile before they are born, start cooeing at one day old, and can sit up by 5 days old?
(Editor’s note: The Baby actually has a brain but is missing a rather large part of the forebrain–regardless this is amazing.)
Read more of this woman’s amazing journey here
An additional personal note: While I’m in favor of President Obama speaking at Notre Dame — mostly because I think having him come there might actually influence his position on abortion and might actually help Catholics begin to put their money where their mouth is on approaching a holistic solution to the problem — there’s something about my own experience that comes to the fore when I discuss abortion.
My mother was 41 when she had me in February 1970. Throughout the summer of Love 1969 when she first learned that she was pregnant with me, she was advised to abort. Her age being a major factor in the doctor’s decision. She flatly refused saying much like the mother of baby Faith that there was nothing to gain by aborting and that if I were to die that I would simply die naturally. This came after my mother had struggled to get pregnant for the first four years of her marriage until my sister was born and then tried again for the next 16 years unsuccessfully conceiving and living through 2 miscarriages. A nurse even said to her “How old are you? Well, you’ll be back for an abortion.” Needless to say, my mother was both insulted and angered by her comment and by the doctor’s recommendation.
They told my mother that my brain would be deformed, that at best, I’d be mentally handicapped and that even if she carried me to term, I’d probably not live. I’m not sure what science textbooks they were looking at but we know now that women in their 40s have babies all the time.
My gutsy mom, now 81, told me that for years she used to see that doctor all the time and she’d always tell him about me. She’d exclaim in her Irish passive aggressive way that “You see that kid over there? That’s the baby that you said would be brain damaged. That’s the baby that you wanted me to abort. By the way, he’s an honor student!” She would send him copies of my picture and my report cards for years. If the guy was still alive I’m sure he’d have a copy of Googling God by now. He’d probably get an entire box.
Now that’s faith and that’s witness. She lived her life in an authentic way and then did what she could to influence the doctor later on. She always did it with some kindness and was never angry when she spoke to him, but she still got her point across very effectively.
I don’t know if her words had much influence on her doctor, but I do know that one of his patients said he was kind to her during a difficult pregnancy and never once suggested an abortion. So I’d like to think that she had some effect. Even if she didn’t she certainly has had an effect on my family.
Thanks Mom, simply for having me–for ignoring the fact that you would be living uncomfortably and in a lot of uncertainty that could have brought you a lot of emotional pain. Thanks too for showing me how to live authentically and moreover, how to influence others in a very effective way.