This is one open letter you seriously must read. Right now.
A mom's letter to the doctor who told her to abort her daughter Emmy, now 1, because she was diagnosed prenatally with Down syndrome is going viral. Since Courtney Baker posted her poignant missive to Parker Myles' Facebook page, it has garnered 7,000 reactions and been shared over 3,300 times.
"This is Emmy, mailing our letter to the prenatal specialist who didn't want her to live," the Florida-based mom captioned a photo of her adorable daughter holding a letter by a mailbox.
The letter reads in part:
"Dear Doctor, 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.'"
Unfortunately, Baker had a completely opposite experience when she was pregnant with Emmy. "I wish you would have been that doctor," the letter goes on to say. "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."
- RELATED: Life With Down Syndrome
Baker writes that her doctor insisted Emmy's quality of life would be horrible and urged her parents to seriously reconsider their decision to keep the baby. "From that first visit, we dreaded our appointments," she says. "The most difficult time in my life was made nearly unbearable because you never told me the truth. My child was perfect."
The proud mom writes that she isn't angry, 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."
Baker insists Emmy, otherwise known as Emersyn, has actually added to their quality of life, and she has 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," the letter says. "She's opened our eyes to true beauty and pure love."
Baker ends her letter by writing she hopes no other mommy will have to go through what she did. She writes to the doctor, "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 absolutely perfect.'"
Judging from the over 560 comments (at time of this writing) that Baker's post has received, clearly her letter has deeply touched other parents. As for the letter's intended recipient, Baker told ABC News, "I have no idea how the doctor might have reacted to my letter, but I do have faith that God can work any miracle and he can change any heart."
Melissa Willets is a writer/blogger and a mom. Follow her on Twitter (@Spitupnsuburbs), where she chronicles her love of exercising and drinking coffee, but never simultaneously.