A young mother was reportedly unable to abort her severely disabled son despite doctors’ warning after seeing her baby’s smile in a 3D sonogram.
Katyia Rowe, 26, and her partner were expecting their first child when Rowe was told that her developing baby’s brain had not properly formed. Doctors urged her to terminate the pregnancy, but after seeing her unborn baby in a 3D scan, Rowe decided to continue with the pregnancy, regardless of the outcome.
The real-life moving 3D scan reportedly showed the baby boy smiling, blowing bubbles, kicking, and waving his arms in utero. Upon seeing the scan, Rowe reportedly decided to go through with the pregnancy and birth.
Despite doctor’s warnings that the baby would never walk or talk, the British mother made her decision: “As long as he was pain free, I vowed to let him enjoy life both while inside me and outside, no matter how long that be.”
Lucian, who was born in October, died a mere nine hours after he was born.
Despite all the the couple went through, Rowe maintains that she has no regrets since she was “able to cuddle her baby son.”
Rowe noted, “We were devastated to be told our son’s brain abnormalities were so severe [that] we should consider a termination. Further scans were arranged to asses the extent of his disabilities but when I saw him smiling and playing inside me I knew I couldn’t end his life.”
The 26-year-old training administrator recalls: “If he could smile and play and feel then despite his disabilities he deserved to enjoy whatever life he had left, no matter how short. Just because his life would be shorter or different, didn’t mean he didn’t deserve to experience it.”
Rowe and her partner of four years, Shane Johnson, were reportedly overjoyed with the prospect of raising a child.
“It was a shock but we were thrilled. Shane and I were so excited and looking forward to the birth. We had so many plans for the future and could not wait to meet our baby,” notes Rowe.
Then their 20-week ultrasound showed complications to what had been previously considered a healthy pregnancy. Doctors told the couple that the baby’s brain was not developing properly, and that the child would never walk or talk, and would need 24-hour care. He was given a life expectancy of up to five years. Doctors recommended terminating the pregnancy at 24-weeks.
Rowe then underwent a 3D real-time scan to determine the extent of the baby’s disabilities. Rowe recalls:
“Despite all the awful things I was being told, while he was inside me his quality of life looked to be wonderful and no different to any other baby’s, he was a joy to watch. I was told he would never walk or talk yet the scans showed him constantly wriggling and moving. As I watched I knew that while I was carrying him he still had a quality of life and it was my duty as a mother to protect that no matter how long he had left, he deserved to live.”
Rowe reports that not knowing how long they had with him, she and Johnson were “determined to enjoy him for as long as we could.” They learned little things about their son, that he would “kick when I sprayed water on my tummy.”
For the last nine weeks of her pregnancy, Rowe had to undergo painful procedures in which excess amniotic fluid was drained from her abdomen, since Lucian could not swallow the fluid the way babies generally do in utero. When others questioned Rowe’s resolve to undergo painful treatments for a baby who may not live, she was adamant.
“As a mother you will do anything for your child and for me I became a mother as soon as I fell pregnant, that job had started already.”
Lucian was delivered in October, and died peacefully nine hours later, in his mother’s arms. He was able to meet his grandparents in his brief life.