I’ve had some friends ask me to tell my story that I shared at the Sanctity of Human Life prayer service…so here you go!

Every time I think about it, it amazes me how even when I didn’t know God, He still knew me!  He was working in my life and through circumstances to bring me into a personal relationship with Him.

When I was 20 years old, I went to the dermatologist for acne.  I had tried everything to get rid of it… from creams to pill, you name it I used it!  He suggested as a last resort, Accutane.  Now, if you don’t know what Accutane is, it’s a class X drug which means its highly unsafe and very potent.  Well because of that, he made me promise to be on birth control while using it because there is a 99.9% chance of birth defects while using it.  So after hearing what he had to say and promising that I would go on birth control, I started taking one pill a month for the next 6 months.

So, here I am taking Accutane for my acne and birth control due to the birth defects.  Five months into it, I was gaining weight, my hormones were out of whack, and I was depressed, so I stopped taking the birth control.  As a 20 year old, in my mind I’m not thinking about anything but me!

Then it happens…I’m pregnant.  Is this good…bad…I’m kind of excited..but not sure if I should be excited since I’m not married…and so on.  Then comes the fear, what a minute…pregnant means birth defects!  Whoa…it’s not just about me anymore!

So, I tell my mom and we go to my dermatologist.  Talk about one of the hardest things I had to do (and there are many) having to face my doctor and tell him that I let him down and basically lied to him.  Remember, I had promised that I would be on birth control during the treatment with Accutane and here I still had one month to go.  Knowing that I had disappointed him, it led to him saying that the baby would have birth defects so “you need to abort!”

On our way home, my mom then suggested to me “maybe we should abort.”  She was listing all the “what if’s” and negatives that would go along with me keeping the pregnancy.  Not really going through the list of “positives”.  We met up with my boyfriend Jason (now husband) to tell him that the dermatologist as well as my mom thinks we should abort.  I tell you what, it was by the grace of God that I was going through this with Jason and not someone else because the outcome could have very well been different!  I praise the Lord for bringing Jason into my life because he said “No, that is not an option!”  That would go against God, don’t say things like that!” Alrighty then, him and I are in this together!

Jason and I head to my OB and inform her of everything that is going on.  She is aware of the drug Accutane and the risk of birth defects, but tells us the same thing…”you need to abort!”  After insisting that is no longer an option, she gets in touch with a doctor that has researched and studied the drug for years.  She contacted him to see what we were looking at for birth defects that is if we didn’t lose the baby to miscarriage.  So, to see what we are looking at, they need to know what date the baby was conceived.  Okay, remember…I am a 20 year old and I have no clue!  I didn’t mark things like that on the calendar.  We had only a rough guess – totally up in the air!  The doctor sent back the paperwork and said that there is a 2 week window that if you really conceived at that time (remember for whatever reason I didn’t take that last dose of Accutane) then we would have a better chance at it not affecting the baby as bad.

Now we are at a lower risk, no longer 99.9% but still were uncertain of dates, so there was no absolute!  That all happened in Nov/Dec ’98, Jason proposed to me at the end of Dec, many prayers by Jason’s family that I would be saved before we were married were answered in Jan ’99 when God saved me!, Feb we were married, and on July 26th gave birth to a perfectly, healthy baby girl, Cailey!!

If we would have listened to the doctors and what the statistics said (remember they were certain) then our precious daughter would not be here today.  God is good!  Everything He makes is good!  Cailey was made by God!  Every baby placed in a woman has a purpose and was put there by God.  Who was I to think that I could handle that kind of decision, power.  The doctors got it wrong, my mom got it wrong, and for a moment, I got it wrong!  Often times we don’t see the big picture like God does.  We think…I’m not married, what will people think or say, how will I support this baby, or this wasn’t part of MY plan!  I didn’t know God at the time, but I sure met Him soon after my husband and I made the decision not to abort!

I’m so thankful that God is bigger than us and He used those circumstances in my life to bring me into a relationship with Him!  I realized He created this baby and it wasn’t my job to stop it or get in the way of that!  I just had to trust Him to take care of everything in my life and no matter what the outcome, He would be there with me to get me through.

So, if you are ever faced with the decision like abortion, remember you don’t have to listen to what the majority says or what the statistics might say!  Listen to the One who really knows what is going on and has your best interest in mind.  Who ultimately has the power and authority to give life and take it away…God!

(Picture above: My healthy and beautiful daughter, Cailey (pooh bear), 16 years old)

34 Responses to "The story of my Pooh Bear"

  • zoe says:

    I’m so thankful to you for sharing your story. I’m in a similar situation and my doctors have said a lot about not keeping the baby but you just gave me hope. Thank you

    1. KB says:

      Can you provide an update of how things are going? I’m in a similar situation and could use some more information.

  • Rixxa says:

    Almost same situation with my niece. But her pregnancy took place more or less during that 1 dose of oratane. Your story make us think and give our faith a push to believe and to hope that everything will be according to HIS will. Thank you.

    1. KB says:

      Can you provide an update of how things are going? I’m in a similar situation and could use some more information.

    2. lbanik says:

      Hi Kendra! Just saw your comment on “The story of my Pooh Bear” page that I wrote. I know you asked the 3 others that are going through a similar situation how things are going with them, but I just wanted to let you know I’m here for ya if you have any questions or just need a listening ear!

  • ASB says:

    I am in the same situation in terms of my relationship as well as the baby… Thank you for sharing your story..

    1. KB says:

      Can you provide an update of how things are going? I’m in a similar situation and could use some more information.

  • Terrífied mother says:

    Thank you for an amazing and inspiring story. You are both a true example.

  • Stephanie Englund says:

    Can you explain what you meant by you conceived in a certain two week period that would not affect the baby? I took one month and was 10 days in my second month when i found out i was pregnant. I probably had 10 doses after my negative hcg. I found out i was pregnant very early and stopped immediately. Totally lost in the web of sad information. Thanks

    1. lbanik says:

      Sure Stephanie! My OB/GYN reached out to her friend who is a doctor at Mayo and that specializes on this topic. He took the info I gave my doctor (date I took last pill, last period, etc) and that is how he found this time frame.

      Blessings,
      Lauren

    2. Lee says:

      Hi …. I’m in the same situation and would really like to know what you did? What did your doctor advise?

      Thank you

    3. lbanik says:

      I imagine you are feeling like I did Lee, scared and full of uncertainty. My dermatologist and OB/GYN encouraged me to get an abortion, but once I told them that was not an option we continued on as if it was a normal pregnancy. She had a colleague at the mayo clinic that studied this type of situation do a write up using the date of conception (which was a guess), date I last took Accutane, etc. Other than that, did normal pregnancy check-ups.

      Hope that helps Lee,
      Lauren

  • Latifa says:

    Hey. I’m dealing with the same situation. My fiancé went to the doctor today to get an ultrasound. I told my doctor I was taking aborsica when I found out I was pregnant. She suggested that I terminate the baby. My faith is with god. I know he had my back. I’m so confused on everything

    1. lbanik says:

      Keep trusting in God!! He’s the one that creates life and continue resting in that my dear 🙂 and that He has it all under control! He has a plan for your precious little baby!! Praying for you right now ~ Lauren

  • Bryony says:

    Hi my name is Bryony. I am 18 and have been on isotreranoin for 6 months.
    I am not of faith but, I am 2 weeks pregnant. I am terrified. For me there is still that 99.9%.

    1. lbanik says:

      Thank you so much for sharing that Bryony! I know exactly how you feel, it is very scary. Not knowing and having to patiently wait is so hard, I hope you have support from others?? Whether you have faith or not, you can always talk to Christ, He is always there! God works in mysterious ways, I’ve seen it first hand! He started working in my heart, giving me peace and certainty during this time when things weren’t certain, ya know? I will be praying for you and that you will choose to keep this precious baby 🙂 Lauren

  • Jewels says:

    I’m going through a simplistic situation although I had completed my accutane treatment and had waited a month to become active . However the Obgyn and my dermatologist keep insisting I should terminate my pregnancy . Right now I’m 5 weeks

    1. lbanik says:

      Oh Jewels, I’d strongly suggest you keep the baby my friend…I know it’s a scary situation and I’m guessing you have a lot of “what if’s” with a negative outcome, if you do have those thoughts, I’d encourage you to flip it around to a “what if” the baby is perfectly fine and healthy! You never know what God is going to do through this and what plans He has for your precious baby.
      Blessings to you and please keep in touch!
      Lauren

  • Dianne says:

    Hi guys,

    I have a 16months old daughter who was accidentally conceived while i was on roaccutane 20mg daily. I found out i was pregnant exactly 5weeks ( i knew the day she was conceived) and ceased taking the roaccutane then. My dermatologist told me to abort but this was not what i wanted. It was a very stressful time but i had a great obstetrician who supported me and we did regular ultrasound to make sure the baby was developing well with nil issues. I knew after the 20weeks scan that everything was normal. I gave birth at 38weeks to a very healthy and very smart child.
    So please don’t listen to doctors who tells you must abort!

    There is a high chance that the baby will be just fine if you stopped taking roaccutane before you are 6weeks pregnant.

    Goodluck and have faith!

  • Macel Lu says:

    Hi, forgive me for not knowing the name of who the author of this article is. I just want to extend my deepest appreciation with your story. You’re an angel. 9 months ago, I’ve read your article and it gave me hope that somehow, I can have a healthy and normal baby. I’ve took isotane and acnotin for 1 week because of the acnes that just burst out of my face. I have no idea that it was a symtom of pregnancy. I became depressed when I found out that I was 1 month pregnant plus reading some negative comments about isotane pregnancy whenever I google it. I came across with your story. And I thank God for it. I kept on reading it everyday and praying that God will not allow my baby to have birth defects. And it happened. My miracle baby came out as normal and healthy baby. For those who experienced same situation with me, please continue your pregnancy and pray continually. God answers our prayers. My 5 month baby boy is a living evidence. ❤

  • Macel Lu says:

    Thank you

  • God bless your pregnancy. Keep the Faith. God cares 🙂

  • My 5 month old baby is a living evidence that God answers prayers. I took isotane and acnotin because of the acnes that just burst out of my face not knowing that it was a symptom of pregnancy. 1 week after, i’ve found out that I was pregnant. I was so depressed that time. I began to google my situation and i’ve read so many negative thoughts of having baby with birth defects. I was so scared but abortion had never been an option for us. Gladly, i came across reading your story. It gave me hope that theres a chance of having a healthy and normal baby. And it happened. So to everyone who have the same experience with me, it may be scary and lonely. Smile and have faith tgat everything will be ok. Same with my mine. GOD bless!

    1. Hope says:

      Hi, this gives me hope. I am in a similar situation. I was on the pill and tested negative for pregnancy before they started me on roacutane (30mg daily) I took 9 roacutane tablets before discovering I was almost 5 weeks pregnant. I stopped taking the medication as soon as I found out. I am now nearly 6 weeks. The doctors are saying I HAVE to have an emergency abortion but I don’t want to, do you have any information on what I should do? I am in the UK.
      Thanks

  • Hope says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your story, it gives me hope. I started taking 30mg of roacutane for 9 days before discovering I am 5 weeks pregnant (I tested negative for pregnancy when they prescribed the drug 9 days earlier) I went to my doctors today who said I HAVE to have an abortion, when telling her I do not want to go through with an abortion she told me you HAVE to because the baby will die or be severly deformed because I’d taken 9 isotretinoin tablets. She then said she was arranging me to go to the termination clinic and that was my only option. I believe in God and know he gave me this child for a reason. I was trying for 7 years with no luck before falling pregnant and now the doctors want to take that away from me. I feel I have no say in if my baby gets to live or not ?

  • Christine says:

    Hy , I am 27 years old. I am in the second month of taking acutane (30mg daily). I am abstaining for now but would like to stop at the second month. After how long should I get pregnant

    1. lbanik says:

      Hi Christina, that would be a question for your doctor 🙂
      Take care,
      Lauren

  • RKTF says:

    I came accross this article when I first found out I was pregnant and exposed to the drug. Isorotrin/ro acutane as soon as I found out I was pregnant I made an appoitment with my doctors went in with my mum and immidiatley I was told it’s best for me to terminate the baby, I was in 2 minds long story short I booked a day for termination but in my heart I don’t think it s right as the day I had my date for termination date I got a text from the midwife for a scan as i told my doctors too that I wanted to keep the baby so I though okay I’m going for this scan my partner and I went as they wanted to know how Many weeks to be exact I was. Found out at the time that I was 8weeks and 2days seen the scan my babies heart beat and everything Is okay so far that gave me hope. But the next day I had a midwife appoitment again I was told dsame thing that my pregnancy will not be a happy pregnancy as the effect of the drugs I took during my pregnancy. I cannot remember the last time I took the drug I don’t also know if I took whilst I was pregnant but I can remember that I was irregularly taking it. And I only took it once or twice I don’t know I’m on 60mg I know I have only taken it once or twice maybe during the time I got pregnant but not 100% sure but the doctors had said the damage has already been done either way I have it in my system. I do believe in god and this article really gives me hope I read it everytime I get down and depress about my pregnancy as I don’t want to either abort the baby or have complications aswell as birth defects no mother wants that for their baby.. I am really scared but I have faith and hope in god that he will work his miracle and my baby comes out as healthy as your pooh bear.. anyone going through same situation and have been through same situation please update.. I will also let you guys know the outcome of my pregnancy thank you.

    1. lbanik says:

      I am SO relieved that you didn’t go through with terminating the pregnancy! Trust that God has a purpose and plan for you precious little baby, he/she is a gift from God 🙂 You never know how God will use them in this life!! Cling to that hope and trust that God gave you this baby for a reason. Yes, please! Let’s us know the outcome and know that i just prayed for you my friend for a healthy baby like my pooh bear and that your faith is made stronger in Jesus because of this 🙂
      Lauren

  • Emily says:

    Hello. I have recently found out that im pregnant. I got told 2 years ago that i could not have children so to hear that im pregnant is a miracle ? however i had been taking accutane. I stop as soon as i found out and saw my OB who said yes there are major side effects to a unborn baby but because im so early on in my pregnancy the risk is smaller but im so worried about the health of my baby.

    1. lbanik says:

      I can totally relate to how worried you are Emily! I know sometimes it’s easier said than done, but if you can trust God and talk to Him while you are going through this, He will give you a comfort and a peace that you can’t imagine 🙂 Here are a couple of verses that help me…
      “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matthew 6:34
      “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” – Psalm 23:4
      Blessings on your pregnancy and when he/she is born, post a pic so we can celebrate with you!!
      Lauren

  • Hope says:

    Hello, I found out I am pregnant 5 weeks after taking roacutane 30mg a day. I stopped taking it immediately. Every doctor I saw told me to terminate my baby and said I had no choice. I prayed to god and kept my baby, I am now 16 weeks along with a little girl. So far everything seems to be ok but I am terrified for my 20 weeks scan as that’s when they will know if any damage has been done, also my doctor told me there is a 50% risk of miscarriage so I am terrified.

  • Jessie says:

    Don’t give up hope!!!!
    The Lord our God is bigger than any medical assumption. Yesterday, I celebrated my amazing son’s 8th birthday. When I found out in August of 2009 that I was pregnant….I was scared because of all the things I heard about becoming pregnant while on accutane. Like all of you here sharing your story, I was told to abort. My baby’s father told me to abort that he would not be a father to a child with problems. That if I decided to keep the baby, I will have to raise the child alone. At that time I did not have Christ in my life. I was young and ignorant, but all I knew in my heart was that I had to protect that child with everything I had. It was clear in my mind that abortion was not an option. Through my pregnancy I was extremely depressed because I did not know what to expect and because I went through this alone. Well that’s what I thought….Now I know that God was by my side all the time and He gave me the courage and strength to fight for the life of my son James Christopher. On April 9th 2010, He was born and he is so perfect. Fast forward to today, he is so smart, caring, loving, talented and at his young age God uses him in a mighty and special way. In my church they call him Pastor James.
    All I can tell you is don’t give up! And fight with all you have for the life of your baby. Trust in God and cling to Him.

    Proverbs 3:5-6
    Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your steps.

  • Elly says:

    I was on oratane 10mg 3 times a week , i was 1 month when i found out i was pregnant and i stoppped immediately,, my doc prescribed me folic acid ,, i am now 13 weeks pregnant and i am going through depression ,, i am glad i found this post and i am keeping my baby,, i trust everything will go well,, waiting for my 20 weeks utrasound