POP MOM: What If Doctors Said Your Child Would Be Born Severely Disabled? Here’s What Singer Vivian Green Did.

January 13, 2016  |  

Vivian Green and son

Pregnant with her first child, it was supposed to be one of the happiest times of R&B singer/songwriter Vivian Green’s life. Unfortunately, things didn’t pan out that way. In her second trimester of pregnancy, doctors told her that the baby she was carrying had a severe undiagnosable illness that would leave it seriously disabled, and if she had the baby it was likely to die within one week.

“It was horrible,” Vivian says of hearing the news. “Stuff like he had no fingers or toes, his entire cardiovascular system was undeveloped; things that you never want to hear as a mother.”

Indeed. As a mom, it’s hard to imagine being told such horrific news. But it also begs the question, why didn’t she abort since it’s legal in cases where doctors can predict these types of issues?

In fact, there was a couple in Australia that aborted a pregnancy at 28 weeks when they discovered their baby would have a deformed left hand–though most would consider that an extreme reaction. Sometimes, the pressure comes from doctors who discourage parents from bringing kids into the world when they know ahead of time the massive challenges the future holds.

For Vivian, it was simple. “By the time I got the diagnosis I was in my second trimester and he was already moving. So I knew I couldn’t do it.”

Constant prayer and strong family support got Vivian through the pregnancy.

What happened next was a miracle.

“Once my son was born it was nothing like what the doctors said,” says Vivian. “He does have some issues. Like he has no opposition in his thumbs, he was born very small, his skull was flat–it’s gotten a lot better–and he sometimes has some random things that don’t necessarily go together, but still, it’s not what they said.”

Clearly, the fact that he is going on 12-years-old when they only predicted he’d live a week is a testament to something Vician learned from her mom, “doctors are not always right.”

It was this knowing that she would rely on again when pressure mounted to get him plastic surgery. “One doctor really wanted to start plastic surgery and I felt that he was too young. Let’s watch to see how things develop.” Once she received a second opinion from another doctor who agreed, she felt convinced that her motherly instinct was right once again, and let her son be.

Vivian Green's son, Jordan

Today, Jordan does everything for himself, even if it takes him a little longer. She says her parenting style is often compared to the mom of singer Ray Charles: “After I see you can do it one time I’m not going to help you again because I know you can do it.”

Vivian has been homeschooling Jordan since kindergarten, but plans to transition him to a regular school now that he’s in the 6th grade. A few years ago, she had him tested to make sure he was mentally up to par. While his mental process is a little different, he’s fine. “Jordan’s doctors are some of the best in the country and they are amazed at his progress,” Vivian says.

And while things may not be nearly as dire as the doctors predicted, Vivian’s life is far from a walk in the park. Has she ever regretted her decision to have her son?
“Not at all,” she explains, “He’s very much a loved child wherever he goes. He’s touched so many people in the past 11 years. It’s really amazing.”

Given how things worked out for Vivian, one might think that she would discourage moms-to-be from listening to doctors, but not so.

“I always urge mothers to do what’s best for them because many children are born with horrible diseases and doctors sometimes are right about what they see. So I don’t want to give any false hope that every case is going to be like mine. I just happen to know that doctors aren’t always right.”
Vivian also urges mothers to do their own research and trust their instincts.

Good advice.

It’s interesting because now when we see a kid with a disability we can assume it’s because a parent chose to bring him into the world knowing that it wasn’t going to be easy. That’s love.

Vivian Green’s fifth studio album, VIVID, is out now, and be on the lookout for her ‘I am different; I am human’ PSA’s for the special needs community.

Check out Erickka Sy Savané’s column, Pop Mom, right here on Madamenoire. Before Erickka became a writer/editor, she was a model, actress, and MTV VJ. She lives with her husband and two daughters in Jersey City. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.

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  • shellyTheGreat

    she sounds like she has a good heart. and i LOVE her new song, before I let you go…that’s my song, fr.

  • Pingback: THE DOCTORS AREN’T ALWAYS RIGHT | The Mama Love Project()

  • TXterrytruth

    Thank you for sharing her story. Truly inspiring!

  • LaTonya D. Somerville

    We have a severely autistic 20 year old daughter and if we’d known then what we know now we would’ve aborted. We would’ve aborted because we’re not fortunate enough to be rich or not need government or state help and in this country, help from them us either not sufficient or non existing. It’s a scary and hurtful feeling to know that if you outlive your child they may suffer greatly. I wouldn’t wish this on anyone. WHERE IS THE HELP? I’m happy things worked out for you Vivian. May God continue to Bless you!

  • sunni_daze

    Good for Vivian.

  • Gunnardab

    Being an adult who was once
    a child I grew up with severe medical issues I still have like asthma, skin
    disorder, brain disorder that affects my vision, brain fluid in my brain
    sometimes I can’t even pick my head up like it’s so heavy and painful to move.
    I suffer from cluster migraines that pretty much cripple me and so my point is
    I so disagree to Vivian Greens actions. If you know that your child is going to
    have an extreme issue medically I don’t think it’s right for you to make the
    decision to tough it out what about the child they have to suffer thru it they
    have to be poked and tested retested heavily medicated socially awkward
    regardless how normal you think you made it for your child they’re still
    ostracized they are still affected. Back in the day {no I’m not telling my age}
    doctors didn’t have the technology to test for anomalies that I have now and I can’t help to wonder why would you want
    to punish your child with anguish when you know you don’t have to make the
    child suffer? Why be that selfish because you want a baby?
    Love your music

    • JustSaying

      Sorry to hear of your struggle but I’m glad you commented because people are mentioning the amazing stories of doctor’s concerns being inaccurate in the long run but there are times when they are right and the consequences are not something to idly ignore.

      • Gunnardab

        I appreciate that thank you

    • shellyTheGreat

      i appreciate your story. i do have a question though. it seems like you’re saying that you think parents should abort when they learn that their child will be disabled. so, are you saying you would rather have not been living than to go through life the way you have been? you would have rather not existed at all? and even though the doctors are sometimes right in their diagnosis, what about the many times when they are wrong? should mothers abort even though they know there is a good chance there could be nothing wrong with their child?

      • Gunnardab

        I’m saying I think the child
        should be taken into account more than just the parent thinking let’s just
        tough it out and see what happens. Being disabled is tough hard and that’s just
        for the parent the child that has to deal with it has so much pain and tragedy.
        Plus we all need to get second and third
        opinions of other doctors beside just the initial doctor. If the mother wants
        to abort or not abort that’s up to the mother at no time will I make a decision
        for a woman’s body; however I will say personally if my mother knew what I was
        going to grow up dealing with I truly am not sure what she would have done I
        think it would’ve been more cost effective and emotionally easy to not go thru
        having me. But I’m here now so deal with it as it comes

        • CaribbeanGlow

          It was really tough reading your comments. I feel your pain so deeply, but I’m glad you shared. Mostly, I just want to give you some e-hugs.

          • Gunnardab

            Very sweet thank you. However my ordeal has made me a very strong person.

            • CaribbeanGlow

              Oh, I can see that! 🙂 No pity party here.

  • CeCe Says Ugonlearntaday

    I LOOVE HER!! She’s an amazing singer and a beautiful woman!

  • A Mother’s love never dies. Love her.

  • Taneesha Culture Clash Thomas

    she’s an amazing woman & mother…i hope his father is there for him as well

  • JustAGuest

    So glad she decided against the abortion. When I was pregnant with my son, my doctors told me my son had a genetic defect called Trisomie 18, which is a chromosomal defect and that he would be born with very serious birth defects from missing fingers/toes to heart/brain problems and would not live past a year. They recommended I abort him. My then husband and I discussed and decided it would be a blessing even if we only had him for that little bit of time. Needless to say, it was a very stressful pregnancy, even the birth was stressful because of all the specialist in the delivery room. Well after all of that, my son’s only problem were issues with his lungs. After about a day in the Nicu, I was able to hold him and a day later took him home. Granted he did have problems off and on as a baby until about age 5. Now 18 years later, is a handsome 6ft 5in, 220lb 18 year old college student. Doctors don’t know everything.

  • David Thomas

    Doctors are not gods. There is only one God. Doctors are not prophets. Doctors do not have crystal balls. Also, doctors will tell people with sickle cell anemia that they should not have children.

  • with sprinkles

    Amazing!

  • Meemo

    Beautiful story. My mom was told I would be stillborn and she trusted her instincts as well. I’m a firm believer that moms know what’s best. If you’re not comfortable get a second, third, fourth opinion. Often times I’ve noticed something with my son that the doctors have missed and missed it on several times. You just have to be proactive when it comes to your children because you know them best.

  • Nikki W.

    Awesome story!! I always loved Vivian music!

  • Golden_Goddess

    Very touching, God bless them both!!!

  • yoda

    It’s good that her son is fine but every case is not like this and not every parent could afford to take care of a child they anticipate may have disabilities.

  • IntrovertedSE

    If they told me about it and it was before my third trimester I’d probably abort. That’s a personal choice though and I say kudos to parents who choose to raise their children with severe disabilities.

  • Allie

    When my sister was pregnant, she was told her child was going to have down syndrome. She had to get an second ultrasound to confirm it. During that time, she decided she was going to have her baby regardless of the results. He did not have it. I admire her for her decision and not listening to other people and Doctors who suggest abortion.

  • Toya

    I have pair of college friends who married and they are expecting their fourth child any day now. First the doctors said her digestive system wasn’t going to work properly because it wasn’t growing. When she started developing fine it was that she had a hole in her stomach. Further down the line they were said “Well it looks like it’s closing on its own, but she’s progressing and we’ll monitor when she’s born”. Imagine if they had heard the first report and decided to just end things since they had three already. Not saying it works for every couple or parent, but I am thankful that they waited it out.

  • Charla

    She’s right. Every situation is completely different and families have to make their own choices. I’m glad everything worked out for her and her son. I wish them the best.