Like all pregnant women at a medical appointment, Courtney Williams Baker, of Sanford, FL, only wanted to hear that her baby was doing OK. Instead, she got a shocking diagnosis: Down syndrome. But as a believer in God's power to work any miracle, that was information she could handle. It's what her doctor said next that she couldn't shake even months later.
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The prenatal specialist encouraged her to terminate the pregnancy. And despite Baker making it clear that she wasn't at all interested in abortion, the doctor urged her anew, insisting that the toll caring for a special needs baby would take on the family wasn't worth her life.
Those words haunted Baker, and about 15 months after her darling girl, Emersyn Faith, came into the world, Baker did something she'd longed to do. She mailed the doctor a letter detailing exactly what she thought after hearing those harsh words.
"I knew how important it was going to be to write that letter before Emmy was even born," Baker told ABC News.
And while she doesn't know how the specialist reacted to reading it, she knows this: "Every action from opening and closing the mailbox, to raising the red flag, was closure for me."
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Here's what she wrote:
A friend recently told me of when her prenatal specialist would see her child during her sonograms, he would comment, “He’s perfect.” Once her son was born with Down syndrome, she visited that same doctor. He looked at her little boy and said, 'I told you. He’s perfect.'
Her story tore me apart. While I was so grateful for my friend’s experience, it filled me with such sorrow because of what I should have had. I wish you would have been that doctor.
I came to you during the most difficult time in my life. I was terrified, anxious and in complete despair. I didn’t know the truth yet about my baby, and that’s what I desperately needed from you. But instead of support and encouragement, you suggested we terminate our child. I told you her name, and you asked us again if we understood how low our quality of life would be with a child with Down syndrome. You suggested we reconsider our decision to continue the pregnancy.
From that first visit, we dreaded our appointments. The most difficult time in my life was made nearly unbearable because you never told me the truth. My child was perfect.
I’m not angry. I’m not bitter. I’m really just sad. I’m sad the tiny beating hearts you see every day don’t fill you with a perpetual awe. I’m sad the intricate details and the miracle of those sweet little fingers and toes, lungs and eyes and ears don’t always give you pause. I’m sad you were so very wrong to say a baby with Down syndrome would decrease our quality of life. And I’m heartbroken you might have said that to a mommy even today. But I’m mostly sad you’ll never have the privilege of knowing my daughter, Emersyn.
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Because, you see, Emersyn has not only added to our quality of life, she’s touched the hearts of thousands. She’s given us a purpose and a joy that is impossible to express. She’s given us bigger smiles, more laughter and sweeter kisses than we’ve ever known. She’s opened our eyes to true beauty and pure love.
So my prayer is that no other mommy will have to go through what I did. My prayer is that you, too, will now see true beauty and pure love with every sonogram.
And my prayer is when you see that next baby with Down syndrome lovingly tucked in her mother’s womb, you will look at that mommy and see me then tell her the truth: 'Your child is perfect.'"
See Emersyn in action below:
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