Earlier this month, Faithwire shared the heartbreaking story of one British couple who aborted their daughter at 22 weeks after learning she would likely be born with Spina Bifida, a serious birth defect that would make life “challenging” for their family.
After publishing the piece, we were overwhelmed by the responses we received from readers who courageously bucked societal norms and “expert” opinions and trusted in God’s plan for their children. These faith-filled testimonies inspired the idea for our “Life Is Beautiful” series, a collection of personal accounts highlighting the ultimate blessing of choosing life.
Faithwire recently spoke with Deanna McKeehan, a mother who was advised to abort her first child after a prenatal test revealed she had toxoplasmosis, a disease transmitted by cats that can cause serious problems in an unborn child.
“My first pregnancy I was 21, very young, and so excited,” McKeehan told Faithwire.
But after hearing about toxoplasmosis from a coworker, she looked into getting tested.
“The doctors told me what could go wrong with a fetus having a positive test result — birth defects, etc.,” she said.
When the test came back positive, Deanna’s doctor reminded her of the potential risks, which include serious eye or brain damage. She was told that since she was only in her first trimester, it would be early enough to abort if she wanted to.
“I was so upset I didn’t know what to do,” she recalled. “I cried and cried and prayed.”
Eventually, Deanna and her husband realized they had only one choice: to proceed with the pregnancy.
“There was no Google or search at that time, which I think was better in my decision to keep my baby,” she said. “My husband and I were just like, ‘No way, we will take the risks.'”
Deanna now has two beautiful, healthy daughters, ages 25 and 30.
“I chose life because I wanted this baby so much and I just knew in my heart she would be fine. I prayed about it and left it in God’s hands, and I felt reassured he would answer my prayers for a healthy baby,” she explained.
Looking back, McKeehan doesn’t feel that her decision to choose life for her daughter changed who she was as a person, though it gave her “stronger faith and belief” in God’s providence.
“My daughter is my world, and I can’t imagine my world without her,” she said. “And the faith she has through my teaching is amazing. I’ve always prayed with my children every night.”
For other women faced with the uncertain and scary prospect of having a child with a birth defect or disability, McKeehan offered some words of encouragement:
“To the other moms: pray, pray, pray and trust your heart,” she said. “And if something goes wrong, just know God will be there for you and your baby no matter what.”
Thank you, Deanna, for trusting in God’s plan for your family and being a bold example for others.
Stay tuned for more inspiring stories in our “Life Is Beautiful” series!
More “Life Is Beautiful” Stories: