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Pregnancies Saved Moms

ve8QAd   |   May 09, 2014

Happy Mother’s Day to all our moms! Giving the gift of life cannot be matched nor measured.

Speaking of pregnancy, it’s designed to be a beautiful, life-giving experience. And in some special cases, the gift of life is given in more ways than one—from the mother to the baby and back again. Today, I want to share with you some incredible heartwarming stories of extraordinary miracles that occurred because of pregnancy.

Nicola Weller’s life was turned upside down when a tumor was discovered on her womb. Her thoughts immediately turned to her 8-year-old daughter. It was terrifying to imagine her growing up without a mom. Weeks later, it was determined that surgery would need to be performed. Before the operation, she had a scan and what they discovered was unbelievable. The medical team said that her tumor had disappeared. Then they broke the news that Nicola was seven weeks pregnant. It was shocking, as she had not planned to get pregnant and had been using a contraceptive. Getting pregnant was unexpected in itself. Then the doctors revealed that it was the pregnancy hormones that caused the tumor to disappear. A biopsy was done on the small residue left behind by the tumor and it was found to be the early stages of cancer. “I was stunned to find out I was expecting a baby—but even more stunned to hear that this baby had caused my tumor to disappear. It was like he had been sent from above to save my life,” Nicola recalls. Now that she’s in remission, the family embraces their young son, Brandon, who’s rightfully nicknamed, “Superman.”

Since the young age of nine, Jess Astill had suffered from eating disorders. Her struggles continued to increase into her teens. At 19, her anorexia was so severe, doctors were concerned about her fading health and hospitalized her. She weighed only 71 pounds at the time. The hospital admission came with another shock, Jess was pregnant. Because of her sickness, she had been told it was almost impossible for her to conceive. And the risks to the pregnancy were high. Doctors explained that a miscarriage was inevitable unless she overcame her eating disorder. It was a wake-up call for Jess. “My first thought was, what have I done? I was heartbroken to think I had been harming not only myself, but also my baby.” Her mindset completely changed from being self-destructive to thinking only of her health and the wellbeing of her child. She underwent an aggressive weight-gaining diet, challenged to gain 4 pounds a week. Jess considers the pregnancy “a divine gift” that saved her life. She’s now enjoying raising her young daughter, Cassandra. “When I see Cassandra toddling around, I still have to pinch myself that I’m so lucky.”

Amy Hansen recalls the awkwardness of what it was like to be both pregnant and bald—facing the uneasy looks from strangers. It all began one day when Amy was experiencing abdominal discomfort. It was only because days earlier she had discovered she was pregnant that she decided to seek medical care. She went to the emergency room and doctors discovered and drained a cyst. Later, a pathology report revealed it was ovarian cancer. Amy’s doctor, Oncologist Diana Medgysey, knew that there would be challenges in treating the cancer during pregnancy. However, she understood the gravity of the situation. “We always get nervous when it comes to a pregnant patient because we think about two patients in the body of one. The first thought that comes to mind is ‘do no harm.’ That applies not only to your patient but also to the fetus yet to be born.” What a blessing to have the care of a physician who truly values the life of the unborn! After seeking multiple opinions, Amy and her husband, Andy, decided to move forward with a nine-week course of chemotherapy. Thankfully, baby Gavin was born happy and healthy in November. Amy is now in remission. The couple credits Gavin with saving Amy’s life. Andy stated, “The fact we found it so early because of him was a miracle. If we did not have him, she might never have known until it was too late. He really did save her life.”

These women’s lives give hope, affirm life and reveal the fact that a diagnosis while pregnant doesn’t have to result in abortion.

If these stories touch your heart, I know you’ll enjoy watching a special Facing Life Head-On TV program called, “When the Mother’s Life Hangs in the Balance.” You’ll meet two families who each endured facing cancer while pregnant, but had two very different outcomes. It never ceases to amaze me how mothers can openly give of themselves to their children, even in the midst of some of the most challenging situations. Through it all, their courage and love shine through. I pray you experience that same feeling of awe and gratitude as you honor the special mothers in your life this weekend.

Happy Mother’s Day,

Bradley Mattes
Executive Director
Life Issues Institute

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