First time mother told abortion was ‘best option’ gives birth to healthy baby girl

A mother who was told abortion would be the “best option” for her unborn child has given birth to a healthy baby girl, after rejecting abortion on four occasions.

Kimberley James was warned by doctors that her unborn baby would not survive after a 12-week scan revealed hydrops fetalis, an abnormal build-up of fluid levels in the womb.   

Kimberley’s baby was also diagnosed with cystic hygroma, a collection of treatable fluid-filled cysts which affects one in 8,000 babies.

The first time mother told the Sun she was then advised “at least three or four times to have an abortion” by doctors.

But she decided to trust her instinct and go ahead with the pregnancy.

“It must have been three or four people I was told, quite forcibly, that a termination was the best option.

“In the end we paid to have private scans and blood tests but we were determined to go ahead with the pregnancy.”

She added: “After the first time we had a scan at 12 weeks at Worcestershire Royal Hospital we were referred to a consultant, which we saw two days later.

“It was then we were offered a termination pretty much the second time we had seen her.

“We said no because it was absolutely not what we wanted to do.

“We asked them why and unfortunately they couldn’t give an answer.”

Just one month later, at 16 weeks, Kimberley and her husband Nick returned to Worcestershire Royal Hospital for a scan, which to the shock of doctors, revealed that both Kimberly’s hydrops fetalis and her baby’s cystic hygroma had gone.

Recalling events, Kimberley said: “At 16 weeks we went back to Worcestershire Royal Hospital for a scan and they were gobsmacked the hydrops had gone, which was the reason they had offered the termination.

“They didn’t know how it had disappeared and said it was unheard of.

“It had been there because you could actually see it on the scans and they had seen it in the private clinic as well.

“The cystic hygroma was part of it too and that had completely disappeared after 20 weeks.

“They checked her for it when she was born and she was all fine.

“The doctors were really, really shocked because they weren’t expecting it to disappear and the consultant couldn’t believe it.”

Kimberly’s pregnancy then proceeded without any further scares and on 9 May, she and her husband welcomed their 7lb 6oz (3.34kg) daughter, Penelope, into the world.

Kimberley said: “Penelope defied all odds and the hydrops disappeared at 16 weeks and the cystic hygroma also disappeared after 20 weeks.

“We are so in love with her and so thankful that we continued with the pregnancy despite the extremely poor prognosis at the start.”

Kimberley added that giving birth during lockdown made the experience “surreal” with women unable to have visitors while on the antenatal ward.

“All the women stuck together and interacted more due to this.

“Everyone had their curtains open and were chatting to one another.

“The staff said that this wouldn’t normally be the case if visitors were allowed as everyone usually keeps themselves to themselves, so it was refreshing that we were all supporting each other through this bizarre time.”

Girl, 3, with spina bifida defies odds by learning to walk after parents reject doctor’s advice to have an abortion

A three-year-old girl with spina bifida has defied the odds by learning how to walk unaided, after her parents rejected doctors advice to have an abortion.

Erica Ardolino-Comparin was told by her doctor that her unborn baby would be with myeloschisis – a severe form of spina bifida – and paralysed from the waist down during her 18-week-scan.

The doctor then went on to tell Erica she should have an abortion, which she declined. However, the doctor applied more pressure saying that, if Erica was his wife, he would urge her to have an abortion.

Erica told the Mail: “We were devastated when we were advised to terminate the pregnancy. It felt like we had just lost our child even though we hadn’t.

“Even when we told the doctor we were choosing not to go ahead with the option to terminate, he proceeded to give us this option multiple times afterwards and even let me know that if I were his wife he would tell her the same thing.”

Despite the doctor’s advice, Harper-Mae was born on 19 September, 2016 paralysed from the torso down with just partial mobility in her legs.

In February 2017, the little fighter began physical therapy sessions with activities designed to help her build mobility and strength.

Soon after, Harper-Mae learned to walk with the support of a walker inspiring her physical therapists to believe she may one day be able to take steps without it.  

Now, following corrective surgeries and the continued support of her parents and physical therapists, Harper-Mae has beaten the odds and can walk unaided.

Just this year, she made a significant breakthrough when she rode her bike without straps to hold her feet down for the first time.

Sharing the breakthrough on Facebook, proud mother Erica said: “This girl is absolute magic!!! After working so hard in therapy on learning to ride a bike with no straps, Harper is finally doing it. One of Harper’s goals for her last 3 week intensive therapy program was biking, and she did it!!!”

“Spina Bifida doesn’t have anything on this little cutie.”

Commenting further in the Mail, she said: “Watching Harper’s progress and her showing that she is more than a medical diagnosis makes us extremely proud.

“Whilst growing up with spina bifida isn’t always the easiest and certainly has its ups and downs, Harper has been able to live life just like a normal three-year-old little girl.”

She added: “We believe Harper is destined for great things and that she can help to change the world. At only three years old, Harper has been able to impact many people and we know that she will continue to do so for the rest of her life.

“We truly feel that she will be a bright light in our world and that she will help to not only redefine spina bifida but change the perspective that people have about disabilities in general.”

Sadly, babies diagnosed with spina bifida in the UK can be aborted right up to the point of birth.

Estimates have predicted that 80 percent of unborn babies diagnosed with spina bifida each year are aborted.

However, pro-life campaigners are hopeful that now that corrective surgery has been made routinely available on the NHS, the number of unborn babies terminated each year will fall.

In April, a baby girl who had pioneering spina bifida surgery whilst still being in her mother’s womb celebrated her first birthday at home.

After diagnosing Elouise with the condition last year, doctors offered her parents a termination saying the outcome was “bleak”.

Her parents, Kieron and Bethan Simpson, refused to have an abortion and now Elouise, who is described as “happy and smiley” by her mother, is thriving.

Likewise, Noah Wall, who was also born with the condition, is also flourishing at the age of eight after his parents turned down five separate offers to have an abortion. Noah has been joining in with the weekly #ClapForOurCarers event as he continues his remarkable progress.

Hospital’s youngest surviving premature baby now home

A hospital’s youngest premature baby who was born more than four months early has been allowed to go home.

Lilly Rae was born on 9 December at just 22 weeks and two days gestation at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.

But despite weighing in at just over 1lb (511g) when she was born, about the same as a bag of sugar, Lily Rae proved to be a fighter.

Lilly was born with a beating heart, but struggled to breathe and move.

She was immediately put onto a ventilator, which she stayed on for seven weeks.

During her stay in hospital, Lilly suffered a bleed on the brain, underwent major surgery on a distended intestine and had to be put on a course of antibiotics to treat a series of life-threatening infections.

Then the coronavirus lockdown meant her mother Tayla Menear could only visit her daughter for two hours each day, while father Shane had to stay at home.

Thankfully though, following care from staff in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital, Lilly has grown stronger every day.

And last week, on Tuesday morning, Tayla and Shane had a call from Lilly’s neonatal nurse to say she could be discharged home that day.

Lilly can now begin her next chapter of life at home with her mother and father.

Having been born at just 22 weeks and 2 days, she’s the youngest surviving premature baby that the hospital has ever looked after.

Leaving the ward last week, Tayla said: “I cannot believe this day has come. We never dared hope that this could happen.

“I still don’t think I will believe it until Lilly is tucked up in her Moses basket at home with me and Shane.”

Specialist neonatal outreach nurses will continue to monitor her progress with regular visits to see her at home.

Consultant neonatologist Dr Priya Muthukumar said she is “reasonably optimistic” for Lilly because “her brain scans while in the neonatal unit have been reassuring and she has made very encouraging progress so far.”

Taylar said staff at the unit had been “incredible”.

Speaking about her experience she added: “For the first few months of Lilly’s life no-one knew if we would ever reach the point of going home as a family.

“I have since come across other cases and now want people to know if they go into labour at 22 weeks not to feel hopeless. There is always a chance.”

Last year, it was revealed that the survival rate for extremely premature babies has doubled over the past decade, prompting new guidance allowing doctors to try to save babies born as early as 22 weeks into a pregnancy.

Additionally, a recent study has revealed the majority of premature babies grow up to be healthy adults without any major health problems.

Sadly, it is currently legal in Great Britain to abort unborn babies up to 24 weeks, or up to birth if doctors believe the baby will be born with a disability.

In 2018, the latest year with published data, 845 live births were recorded in England of babies with a gestational age of less than 24 weeks, according to the Office for National Statistics

A spokesperson for Right To Life UK, Catherine Robinson said:

“It has been over a decade since abortion time limits were last debated fully in Parliament, in 2008. Since then the survival rate for premature babies has doubled.

“Our current abortion time limit, at 24 weeks, is way out of line with medical breakthroughs and the rest of Europe where the most common abortion time limit is 12 weeks, making time limits an issue Parliament should urgently revisit.”

“Additionally, independent polling from ComRes shows that 70% of women in the UK want to see the time limit for abortion reduced to 20 weeks or below.”

‘Miracle baby’ survives after mother refused abortion

A 19-week-old boy has been hailed a “miracle baby” after he was born with his intestines outside of his body and overcame multiple surgeries to defy the odds and survive. 

Doctors didn’t expect Jesse to survive and advised his mother, Sami Jo Quinn, to consider an abortion.

The hairdresser from North Wales was also warned they wouldn’t be able to spot any potential heart defects until 28 weeks and by then it would be “too late to terminate.”

But, despite the warnings, Sami and her partner Luke Robinson wanted to give their baby a chance and went ahead with the pregnancy.

Following corrective surgery at just 10 hours old, and other operations since then, Jesse is now thriving at 19 weeks of age and has no heart conditions.

Sami told the Daily Star: “When we found out about the condition, we were worried he wouldn’t survive.

“But we wanted to give our baby a chance.”

“I’m so glad I continued with the pregnancy. He’s doing really well and he’s truly a fighter.”

Sami was referred to a specialist for further tests after her 12-week scan revealed a gap where the baby’s umbilical cord should have been.

Two weeks later, Sami saw an ultrasound scan showing her baby’s intestines were growing outside its body. The specialist diagnosed Jesse with the rare condition gastroschisis.

Recalling the experience Sami said: “Me and Luke were called into a room by a doctor and midwife, who told me the baby had gastroschisis.

“They told us the baby was at a high risk of complications in labour.

“They handed us a booklet and told us that the condition is linked to heart syndromes such as Edwards Syndrome, a genetic disorder where the baby is born with a heart defect.

“But they wouldn’t be able to diagnose this condition until the baby was 28 weeks, and by then it would be too late to terminate.

“They told us to consider aborting the baby because it might not survive.

“I felt crushed.

“I considered the advice, but I couldn’t bear the thought of what if.”

At 16 weeks pregnant, Sami suffered a heavy bleed and her partner, Luke Robinson, rushed her to the emergency department at Wrexham Maelor Hospital.

The couple were later told by a sonographer that Sami’s body had “tried to miscarry but failed”.

Sami said: “I was determined to keep the baby, but I was terrified.”

Thankfully, good news followed. In October 2019, at 24 weeks pregnant Sami found out her baby didn’t have any heart defects.

However, at 35 weeks pregnant and one week before she was due to be induced Jesse stopped moving.

Sami was taken for an emergency, but successful, caesarean-section. Jesse was born weighing just 4lbs 9oz (2.07kg).

His mother said: “The baby was delivered crying, which was the biggest relief.

“But he was whisked away before we could hold him.”

The same morning, an ambulance blue-lighted Jesse to Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool where he underwent an emergency operation to place his intestines back inside his body.

Sami says: “I was heartbroken I couldn’t be with him. I didn’t see him for 36 hours. I hadn’t even been able to hold him.”

The next day, Sami was able to hold her baby for the first time.

But soon after, they had to take him into intensive care as he couldn’t breathe for himself.

After four weeks in a neonatal intensive care unit and another operation, Sami and Luke were allowed to take Jesse home.

Further complications followed, including an additional seven days in an intensive care unit and a nine-day hospital stay.

But the little fighter pulled through.

Now, Jesse is 19 weeks old and healthy.

Sami says: “He has no belly button and a large scar, but it gets fainter every day.

“He’s my miracle baby and I’m so glad he survived.”