Two cases of newborns beating the odds are making international news, illustrating the value of life, and literally defying those who wanted them dead.
“He's more perfect than we could have ever imagined,” Carrie Maize wrote on Facebook about her son, Decklen James Maize, who turned seven days old today. Decklen was born prematurely at just 22 weeks, long before his September due date. He was just 10 inches long and weighed 14 ounces.
“It’s rough…just being able to sit there at his bedside and just pretty much whisper,” James Maize told KCBS-TV, the Los Angeles CBS affiliate. Maize is stationed with the Army in Virginia, but has flown to California to be with his wife of six months. Last week, the couple had to choose whether or not to have an emergency C-section when Carrie suffered an umbilical cord prolapse, a condition in which the umbilical cord comes down the birth canal prematurely. They wanted to give Decklen a chance. “If he’s a fighter, you know, we want him to fight and make his own decisions,” James Maize said.
The couple’s words forced journalists in the secular, pro-abortion media to acknowledge Decklen’s value. The Daily Mail in the United Kingdom praised “the courageous couple … desperate to give their son every chance at life.” The newspaper also noted the couple “tragically lost their baby girl, Serenity,” last year at 22 weeks. Abortion has few limits in the United Kingdom until 24 weeks.
While doctors in California work to save Decklen, doctors in Australia have criticized another couple’s decision to allow their conjoined twin girls a chance at life.
The girls, born six weeks early on May 8, have diprosopus—separate brains and faces on one skull and one body, with one brain stem. The girls share everything, right down to one of their eyelids. When the condition appeared on an ultrasound at 19 weeks, doctors told Renee Young and Simon Howie to focus on their other seven children and end the pregnancy. The girls “would be looked upon by the public as a freak,” doctors said. None of the 35 other children born with diprosopus in recorded history is alive today.
But Young and Howie refused an abortion and named the girls Faith and Hope.
Reaction to the case has been mixed, with some praising the parents while others lambast them for not choosing to terminate the pregnancy. But despite the uncertainty surrounding the girls’ future, given the short lives of other children with the condition, the girls don’t seem to be suffering right now. Surprising the doctors, Faith and Hope are breathing on their own, even feeding. The heart they share is strong.
They’re even developing distinct personalities. “Faith tends to cry a little more, while Hope takes after her mum and likes to sleep a lot,” Howie told Woman’s Day magazine. “Faith blows little bubbles and loves sucking her thumb but Hope prefers the [pacifier].”
“You have to see it to believe it,” Young said of her daughters. “Sometimes Faith will cry and wake Hope up, who then looks sideways as if to say, ‘Thanks for that.’ We are blessed we’ve got this far. I just find them adorable.” Perhaps Hope will one day be able to give the side-eye to her doctors, who now say if the girls can continue progressing for five weeks, they have a good chance at survival.