DALLAS (Christian Examiner) – "I was scared to be a teen mom," Micah Parker said. "I never knew I would have to deal with losing my daughter."
Micah's daughter "Ambra Storm Parker" was diagnosed with anencephaly 18 weeks into the pregnancy. Despite recommendations from doctors, Micah decided to carry baby Ambra to term.
"Although my boyfriend and I didn't think we were ready at 17, we both took full responsibility for raising our baby no matter what," Micah wrote. She and Kyle quickly dedicated themselves to parenting their child.
Doing an ultrasound on the same day they found out Ambra was a girl, they also learned about Ambra's condition. The doctor proposed an abortion, but Micah rejected that option.
"I knew that when God was ready to take her then He could, it was not my choice, and I would carry her as long as He saw fit."
Anencephaly is a birth defect affecting the development of the brain. According to the CDC, almost all babies born with anencephaly die shortly after birth. Each year, about one in every 4,800 babies in the United States is born with anencephaly.
Saturday afternoon, two days after she died we had her funeral service. While I was still carrying her we had picked everything out. The funeral home provided her casket with no charge and many other people around town tried to help contribute. I don’t know if you might think its weird but her service was butterfly themed. When my mother and I were looking for poems to put on the programs we found a butterfly poem and loved it. A butterfly actually landed on the flowers on her casket during the service. So now every time we see a butterfly we think of her. The only part of the funeral I wasn’t prepared for was seeing the casket. It was so tiny but the most perfect shade of white you could ever imagine.
During her pregnancy, Micah enjoyed learning about her daughter and seeing her frequently via ultrasound. Ambra was a very active baby who would often make Micah's belly move. "It was like there was a party going on in there!"
Though at first she thought she would face the challenge of teen motherhood, Micah instead had to make funeral arrangements while she was still carrying her daughter.
People in Micah's life other than Micah's family often reacted negatively to Micah's choice. Micah told Life Site, "Many people were so rude about the idea of carrying a baby that wasn't meant to live outside the womb. The amounts of comments I got like, 'Why don't you just abort?' People seemed to think by aborting it would be easier."
On November 10, 2011, Micah gave birth to Ambra, who arrived still. Micah and Kyle spent about three hours with their daughter.
Micah's mother Amber said she is proud of her daughter's choice.
"I can't even begin to explain what going through this journey with Micah has meant to me. This experience has brought us even closer as mother and daughter," the would-be grandmother said.
Since delivering Ambra, Micah has been a public supporter of pro-life decisions. Though she acknowledges that her choice was difficult, it is one that gave her beautiful memories of her baby Ambra.
"No matter what, she was my daughter. There was a life inside of me and I couldn't just take that away from her. She was alive, she had a life, and it was my job as a mother to give her the best life she could possibly have."