Vanessa McLeod was pregnant with her second child when she heard the worst news. Her husband was out of town and her unborn baby was in danger.
“I had an appointment with my midwife,” Vanessa recalls. “About an hour before my appointment, I got a call from her. She told me there were significant findings on the ultrasound.” This was at around 19 weeks into the pregnancy.
She took her mom to the midwife’s office to hear the news, but it terrified her. “‘I just want to keep my baby. I just want to keep her,’ I whispered. She was already so deeply entrenched in my heart, already a piece of me, a part of my being. I didn’t want to lose her. In that moment, I felt like I could handle anything, except losing her. I just wanted to keep her.”
The news was bad. There was a possibility of a cleft lip, possible heart problems, and she had no hands or forearms. The first two were medical problems that could often be sorted or helped, but the third was a shock. She rang her husband, who had to come home from work three hours away.
Doctors suggested terminating the pregnancy, saying that the baby’s quality of life would be so low. But Vanessa knew she couldn’t do that. She looked into War Amps and prosthetics, but doctors dismissed her research.
But she talked to her husband, and they decided that they could give the baby the best possible life, hands or no hands. So they decided to keep her. Baby Ivy arrived four weeks early but is doing well. Her parents and her older sister love her very much, and they are all getting great support from the Lucky Fin Project.
the family have no doubt that they made the right decision, and their family will go through everything together with love. And the fact that husband and wife, mom and dad, came to this decision together makes them the strongest, most loving family ever.
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