Imagine going for a prenatal doctor visit and hearing,

“Your pregnancy is incompatible with life.”

Hundreds of couples receive this heartbreaking conclusion to news of a poor diagnosis, often along with the offer to terminate the pregnancy. Yet there is another road to take. As Nancy Mayer-Whittington says,


“The phrase ‘incompatible with life’ is a judgment, not a diagnosis.”

Nancy Mayer-Whittington is also the author of  a memoir detailing her experience carrying and delivering her daughter, Angela, who died shortly after her birth.

Nancy stresses that the phrase incompatible with life has taken on such weight that it often serves to take away a parent’s right to choose by making them feel as though there is no response available. She also cites the work of experts who note that this terminology portrays a judgement about quality of life as a factual medical determination, thereby pre-determining who only a parent should be allowed to decide.

Eager to offer support to couples who have been plunged into their worst fears and confusion, her organization Isaiah’s Promise comes alongside with information and resources to help accept and love the child they are going to have.

As families share stories of loving their children for seven hours or seven months, they again and again marvel at the beauty of a life lived completely surrounded by love for every single moment and each breath.

Preparing to say goodbye to a newborn