A baby girl given just a 5-10% chance of survival is flourishing at home with her parents and celebrated her first birthday yesterday.
Arabella’s parents, Tiffany and Paul Kim, were warned by doctors that it was unlikely their unborn baby would survive birth after a prenatal scan revealed hydrops fetalis – a condition which causes an abnormal build-up of fluid levels in the womb.
Around the same time, Arabella was given a 98% chance of being born with Down’s syndrome.
Undeterred that the “odds were greatly stacked against [them]”, Tiffany and Paul wanted to give their daughter a chance at life.
The couple immediately began seeing an obstetrician specializing in high-risk pregnancies and monitored baby Arabella by ultrasound every one-two weeks.
With each passing scan, Arabella showed signs of improvement, with fluid build ups around her stomach, lungs and heart shrinking.
Then, a 20 week scan revealed the build-up of fluid was completely gone.
Born at a very healthy 7.1lbs (3.22kg), Arabella had no need for a neonatal intensive care unit and was able to go straight home with her mother and father when she was born on 17 July 2019.
‘Overcome by beauty and overwhelmed with thankfulness’
Kim told Love What Matters: “The moment I first held her in my arms, I was overcome by her beauty and overwhelmed with thankfulness. And my fears concerning Down’s syndrome melted right away. I was just grateful she had come safely and healthily into this world.”
She added: “[Doctors] were able to immediately lay her on my chest instead of rushing her over to get vitals on her like they did with my two other typical kiddos. There was no need for the NICU, no need for supplemental oxygen, and she was able to even latch and breastfeed almost right away.”
Reflecting back on her pregnancy the mother-of-three said: “If only myself back then could have fast-forwarded ahead to the day Arabella was born and to the present. Because then, I would have been able to see there was nothing to be afraid of and that my life would actually be infinitely better because of Arabella being in it,” she said.
Pressured to abort
Last year, it was revealed that the number of babies born with Down’s syndrome has dropped by 30% in NHS hospitals that have introduced new non-invasive prenatal tests.
The release of the figures arrived shortly after a report detailed how pregnant mothers were being pressured by some medical professionals to reconsider an abortion, having previously refused one – sometimes on multiple occasions.
One mother, whose child is now three-years-old, said medical professionals told her they could leave her baby with Down’s syndrome to die if it was struggling after birth.
Another mum told how even at 38 weeks pregnant she was being offered an abortion.Currently, abortion for disabilities including Down’s syndrome, cleft lip and club foot is legal right through to birth in England, Wales and Scotland, and 90% of babies with Down’s syndrome identified in the womb are aborted.
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💐My dearest Arabella, How has one year gone by already?! Every day with you is a gift. You were not even supposed to survive. The doctors said you most likely would not even make it to birth, and yet here you are, the very definition of a miracle! I don’t like to imagine the reality that they had predicted, a world without you in it; it hurts way too much. Instead, you are here, and I don’t take that for granted. I have been blessed by a love unlike any other. I have gotten to experience joy personified. And every day I have been graced by the presence of an angel. All because of you. Arabella, my love for you is deeper than any words could ever describe. I love you more than life itself. I thank God constantly that He allowed you to make it into this world and that He chose me to be your mama. Happy first birthday, my beautiful, amazing, and precious baby girl! Know that I will always love you exactly for who you are. Love, Your Mama . 🇰🇷Arabella is wearing a traditional Korean dress, called a hanbok, to honor her Korean heritage. It is customary to wear this on the first birthday and take part in traditional celebration and customs. . As you can see as you scroll through the pics, Arabella was not a huge fan of wearing her dress😂 . . . #downsyndrome#oneyearold#firstbirthday#wouldntchangeathing#loveofmylife#miraclebaby#dohl