Monday, July 09, 2007

Great new book coming soon!

My Child, My Gift; A Positive Response to Serious Prenatal Diagnosis, from the pen of Madeline Pecora Nugent, author of the marvelous Having Your Baby When Others Say No!

From the forward:

As a former pro-choice obstetrician-gynecologist who had little regard for the sanctity of human life, it was only through the grace of God that my desire to protect the unborn, and help their mothers at the same time, occurred when I asked the Lord to come into my life in August of 2000. .... For years, I have. been waiting for a resource which I could offer my patients faced with a difficult prenatal diagnosis. My prayers have been answered in Madeline Pecora Nugent’s My Child, My Gift, A Positive Response to Serious Prenatal Diagnosis.

This book is a comprehensive guide for parents who are unfortunately given the “bad news” regarding their pre-born child with either an ultrasound or laboratory diagnosis of a potential or real congenital problem. It explains to them both secular and religious faith-based strategies on how to emotionally, psychologically, and spiritually prepare for and assimilate the multiple and various emotions they will have to reconcile, as well as how to deal with the mixed messages they will be receiving from family members, friends, physicians, and their own inner conflicting feelings.

Madeline utilizes both her personal experience and multitudes of interviews conducted with parents given severe prenatal diagnoses ....

From the preface:

All human life is precious, and the birth of a new baby is just cause for wild and exuberant celebration. Sadly, however, the birth of a baby who is considered “different,” as a result of one or more medical diagnoses, is often perceived as a “tragedy” by medical professionals and many in general society. As a result, the usual new-baby celebration is quashed, along with the hopes and dreams of the baby’s parents. When a baby’s potential differences are diagnosed before birth, the situation devolves even further: physicians, other experts, and even family members often urge the mother and father to terminate the pregnancy. Little thought is given to the joys and contributions this baby may bring to his/her family, or the world, in general. Instead, the focus is on “protecting” parents from the anticipated disappointment, grief, medical bills, or other difficulties this child’s birth may cause.

But on a daily basis, the love, concern, and joy of parents whose children are born with disabilities or differences explode the myth that parents need to be “protected.” Their children—regardless of how long they live and regardless of their medical diagnoses—bring joy to their families and make the world a better place, by teaching all whose lives they touch. In this book, Madeline shares the stories of many of these parents and their precious children.


.... Who can know, with absolute certainty, that a diagnosis is correct, that having a certain condition means the baby will live or die, and/or that a baby will never achieve this-or-that? No one has the right to deny a child and his/her family the hopes, dreams, and joys that are inherent to human life. And in my twenty years of experience in the disability field, I have met many parents whose children have defied the odds, made liars out of professionals, and made their families proud!

When my own son, Benjamin, was born seven weeks prematurely, the physician patted me on the shoulder, his eyes filled with pity, and muttered, “Well, I guess you can take him home and do the best you can…” Rather than feeling sad, I felt anger—he was insulting my baby son—and I was determined not to let others’ opinions nor my son’s diagnosis of cerebral palsy (and a few other conditions) rule his life! Today, Benjamin is a successful college student who was just inducted into Phi Theta Kappa, the national honor society for community colleges, and he recently won a national film award. Despite needing a power wheelchair, other assistive technology devices, and a variety of supports and modifications, he has always lived an “ordinary” and very fulfilling life. As a child, he was in “regular” activities, like Cub Scouts, T-ball, and drama classes, and was in general education classrooms at school (instead of being segregated in special education classes). His diagnosis cannot define who he is, nor his potential!

For too long, our children have been described as having “birth defects.” .... In today’s society, if we find a “defective” product in our homes, we return it to the store for a replacement or dump it in the trash. A history of language indicates that the word “defective” was not applied to human beings until the birth of the Industrial Revolution. Prior to that time, shoes, as one example, were lovingly made by a cobbler’s hands, and each shoe was unique. But with the rise of machinery and assembly lines, all shoes were expected to be “perfect,” and those that were not were labeled “defective” and were discarded. Somehow, society began applying that standard to human beings. Our children may be born with congenital disabilities or other conditions, but these certainly do not reflect “birth defects” and our children are not defective.

Some children may only be with us a short time, but their lives and their contributions are no less valuable than children who may live to grow old. I will add my testimony to that of others in this wonderful book: my life and the lives of my husband, daughter, and son have all been enriched because of what we have learned and experienced as a result of my son’s condition. There is not one thing I would change about my son: he is perfect just the way he is, as are all children, regardless of the diagnosis or prognosis.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow! Thanks. This sounds amazing.