I was asked a really tough question on a "mom" forum today.
"This isn't a bash but a question I've always wondered the answer to and the answer may help make me a better practitioner....I've known what anencephaly was for a while but what I don't understand, and forgive my ignorance, why, given the 100% mortality rate, would they not terminate the pregnancy and allow you to carry on this pregnancy?"
I answered on the forum and many of you are probably wondering this here as well. We had the option to terminate my pregnancy. We were going to. THEN it hit us, this sweet sweet child living inside of me cannot help what is going on. We stayed up talking ALL NIGHT that night. The following day, I joined a support group on Facebook and lurked a little and read about their stories. Not one of the women that carried regret carrying. They took pics and met their little ones. Some pass away before birth and some right after.Some live for hours and some live for days. BUT they passed naturally. Some people regret terminating because they will always wonder what their baby looked like. It is not my place to judge someone because they chose that decision.
Why? Because until you are faced with the hard decision like we had, you don't know what you will do. YES, it is easy to look in from the outside and say " Hey!I would do this, blah bla " Well let me tell you something, when you are sitting in that ultrasound room and they tell you that the Dr needs to see you immediately, and they tell you that your child is going to die because of the condition. You break down. You cry. Your world just came crumbling down on you. IT SUCKS! I hurt EVERY SINGLE DAY. My husband hurts every single day. It hurts our family.
They allowed me to carry this pregnancy because my child is ALIVE. What are they going to do? FORCE me to get rid of my child? NO! I had two options- Go to planned parenthood and terminate ( because this is a catholic hospital they do not do early inductions to terminate) OR Carry this sweet baby. When we told our Dr that we wanted to carry, she was THRILLED!
We are carrying this baby because we want her to go peacefully. They say that Anencephaly babies do not feel pain, that may be true. They also say that they they can't respond to things. This is where many of us think that doctors are wrong. My baby kicks when I push in on my belly. When we talk and even when I eat! We cannot wait to meet her. We will enjoy every moment of this pregnancy as if nothing is even going to happen. I am carrying an angel! She will go when she is ready, until then she will be safe inside of my womb then in our arms.
After reading my blog post, if you know someone that is carrying a baby that has a fatal birth defect or even if they have already had a baby and their child has passed...please think before you speak. Words may be words. BUT sometimes when you don't word them right, THEY DO HURT.