In 1997 I was on Accutane. It is for acne. It is a very strong medicine which causes severe birth defects. I had to sign a consent that I was fully informed and agreed to birth control. This was before I was Catholic, before I actually knew how the pill totally worked (I didn't know until very recently that it changes the lining of the uterus to prevent implantation...how did I get through RN school without that knowledge).
Because my oldest was also conceived when on the pill I was very diligent about taking it. Even at the same time.
I was just finished the Accutane and then found out two or three days later I was pregnant. I was terrified. I had 2 dr's in the early stage suggest abort the baby. I couldn't.
I was debating about Catholicism at this time. I saw the Miraculous Medal and started wearing it. I spoke with St. Catherine alot. I prayed alot.
I had an ultrasound which looked OK. I refused testing for any other concerns (amnio, spina bifida testing etc.) For me it didn't matter. I really didn't want to know. I remember deciding one day that if something happened I would cope with it. God would only give me what I could handle. I would find out in the delivery room.
I wore that medal everyday. Once it came off when a patient ripped my necklace. His mother knew how important this was to me. She gave me a pin and I pinned it to my shirt. She offered to buy me a new chain but I had one at home. That night I put it back on my neck.
I still continued to talk with St. Catherine and St. Gerard...knowing they would hear me and interceed.
I saw my dermatologist for a follow-up. He told me that with the longer half life of Accutane and the fact that the fetus cells don't split until 2 weeks after conception it was unknown if my baby would be affected.
I still knew it didn't matter, I could never abort a child and God would provide.
When I saw the OB/GYN near the end of my pregnancy she was upset that I hadn't aborted the baby. I told her it's a little late now (I was 33 weeks).
My son was born perfectly healthy. No neurological effects. Brain where it should be. Ears where they should be. Not one problem. He is now 8. He is smart and acts just like anyother 8 yr old.
I was so grateful my next dd is named Catherine after St. Catherine. Thanks to her and God. I honestly consider it a miracle.
Ironically I have worn that necklace everyday since. The only ever time it was taken off was recently for an x-ray of my face. I was asked to remove the necklace as it was showing up and distorting the X-rays. I took the necklace off. It also has a crucifix on it. The technician took a few more X-rays and said something is still distorting the X-ray...the medal was stuck to the back of my neck. It didn't want to leave me.