This woman was told when she was pregnant that her baby’s MSAFP test (to check for spina bifida) came back abnormal; and an ultrasound showed that her baby “seemed to have a flat forehead” which could indicate anencephaly (no brain). She prepared herself for the birth of a baby who would be stillborn, die very quickly, or have life-long severe disabilities. They were wrong.
As an aside, I will say that spina bifida is not necessarily a severe disability. It usually is, but not always. I’ve known two people with spina bifida, and they were at the opposite ends of the spectrum, as far as the severity of the disease. One was a woman who lived in a nursing home all her life, her legs never grew beyond the size of a child’s, and she had to use a wheelchair to get around. The other was a childhood friend, and I didn’t know he had spina bifida until just a few years ago. He was completely normal, as far as I knew. When my mom said something to me about him having spina bifida, I was shocked; and she said that the only problem he had was that he couldn’t control his bowels — he had to wear diapers always “Just in case”; but he could control his bladder, and obviously could walk, run, and do whatever else kids do.