Go to navigation Go to content

The Ultimate Sacrifice: Mother Choosing her Baby’s Life over Her Own

Complications during the course of a baby’s delivery are fairly common. But rarely are the complications so grave that the parents must choose between the life of the baby and the mother.

The New York Post reports on one mother's courageous sacrifice.

Elizabeth dreamt of the day she could get pregnant with a baby. But her physicians told her it was impossible. So naturally when she did become pregnant last year she was elated.

However the pregnancy faced many complications. Elizabeth was unfortunately suffering from cancer. Her physicians told her she could either continue with the pregnancy or terminate the baby and begin a treatment plan.

Being the altruistic and intrepid woman that she was, Elizabeth chose to continue with her pregnancy and her miracle baby. Elizabeth’s husband told the Post, “Having a kid was one of the most important things in the world to her. She said, ‘If we terminate the pregnancy and it turns out I can’t have a baby [later], I’ll be devastated.’ She knew this might be her only chance.”

The couple was together for two years when doctors found a tumor in Elizabeth’s body. Her husband said, “The day the doctors called us with the results is also the day I proposed to her. She said, ‘If it’s terminal, I’m not even going to fight. Let’s travel the world until I keel over.’ ” Max put an engagement ring made out of aluminum foil on her finger the same day and told her not fighting was not an option.

Elizabeth fought the cancer before she got pregnant. She bravely endured four rounds of chemotherapy and surgery to ensure that the tumor had been overcome. But it was as a result of this treatment that doctors told her she couldn’t get pregnant. The couple refused to stop trying though and moved from the Upper East Side to Roosevelt Island to start a family. Soon after the move, Elizabeth became pregnant with her miracle baby. But not long after that she devastatingly found out that the tumor had returned.

The Post explains what followed, “Doctors removed the mass, but because she was pregnant, Elizabeth couldn’t undergo full-body MRI scans and her oncologist couldn’t see whether the cancer was growing. The baby was due March 4, but the doctors could no longer wait. In January, a surgeon performed a C-section and beautiful baby Lily was born. Elizabeth’s health quickly declined as her cancer spread. Tumors invaded her right lung, heart and abdomen.”

Her husband described what the last couple of weeks have been like, “We said our goodbyes. It was like something out of a movie. We sat there and cried. We tried to tell stories, talk about all the great things. Liz came home five days after Lily was born. That one night at home was all we had. Liz had this way about her. She had this positive energy that made you want to be the best version of yourself. She was intolerant of self-pity.”

Elizabeth died on March 9th in the hospital.

Her husband, Max, was at her side. She was known as an extremely strong woman. Elizabeth raised herself after her mother died and her father abandoned her. She worked for a real estate firm and was extremely proactive in raising funding and providing aid to cancer charities.

Liz’s husband told the Post what his motivation to go on has been, “Liz’s magic rubbed off on Lily. She’s beautiful and remarkable. It provides me with the strength to get through this.” A documentary about the amazing couple entitled “40 weeks” will be coming out soon. It describes the inspiring and astounding journey that Liz and Max daringly endured to have baby Lily.