Allie Phillips of Tennessee was 19 weeks pregnant with a girl she and her husband already named Miley Rose when she went to see a high-risk obstetrician on Friday morning.
A technician began to conduct an ultrasound scan, but suddenly stopped and went to get the doctor. The 28-year-old expectant mom was left lying on the table and texted a friend to see if that had ever happened to her.
“Never,’” the friend replied.
The doctor entered and directed Phillips’ attention to the screen and a gap in a white line down the middle of her baby’s brain. The doctor explained that the gap showed the brain had not fully divided into the right and left hemispheres.
“I felt all the blood just leave my face and my heart sank to the back of my chest and I just felt numb,” Phillips told The Daily Beast on Monday. “I was still there physically, but my mind just kind of left.”
She looked over at her husband, Bryan Lynch. His eyes were welling with tears and she knew he was struggling not to break down in front of her.
“I came back to my body,” she later said. “I immediately began crying, like out loud crying.”
The doctor said it was a rare congenital defect known as holoprosencephaly (HPE). Only 3 percent of fetuses with it survive to birth.
To make it all worse, Miley Rose’s heart had only two chambers rather than four. There were also abnormalities in the kidneys and the bladder.
“I asked, ‘Is there any treatment?’” Phillips recalled. “She said, ‘Unfortunately, there’s nothing that can fix all these defects.’”
Miley Rose was doomed.
“I was like, ‘What do we do next?’” Phillips remembered.
The doctor said that terminating the pregnancy was an option, but they were in Tennessee, where an abortion ban went into effect six months ago…