This book is a very valuable read for all pregnant women who are considering accepting tests for abnormalities in their babies- tests that are now routine with most carers.
The real-life stories in this book give important and heartful perspectives that balance the usual medical advice to terminate any pregnancy where the baby has an abnormality. Families tell of supposedly severely affected babies who were not aborted and who were in fact normal at birth, and also babies who died soon after birth, as predicted, but whose time was precious.
Several also recount the joy and love they have experienced with their "abnormal" babies, including children with Down syndrome and achondroplasia ("dwarfism"). The book also has inspiring stories told by parents with their own significant illnesses and disabilities, including cerebral palsy.
Many write of the pressure, and even blame, from family, friends and professionals, to choose termination, justified as saving their children from suffering. This perspective is challenged by words of those with disabilities. Abortion is also justified to save the community from future costs, which is the fundamental (and profoundly concerning) reason for prenatal testing for abnormalities.
The stories also challenge the idea that allowing a baby with a fatal abnormality to survive to birth will be intolerably traumatic for the family. As mother Teresa Streckfuss poignantly writes about her son, who died 24 hours after birth from anencephaly: "Someone asked us after Benedict died, was it worth it? Oh yes! For the chance to hold him and see him and to love him before letting him go. For the chance for our children to see that we would never stop loving them, regardless of their imperfections. Children are always a blessing, even if they don't stay very long."
Highly recommended for parents, professionals involved with prenatal testing, and all who are interested in the ethics and future of pregnancy.