Friday, April 20, 2007

My own experience

When i found out that the child that i was carrying had anencephaly, i went into shock. I couldn't believe that this was happening to me. It was hard coming to the realization that i would have to make the decision to have a "therapuetic abortion" or bring my child to full term and watch him die. I chose the abortion, I don't think that I could have standed carrying a child to term and then watch as he took his last breath.

Anencephaly is not widely known about and I don't think that many people understand the full meaning of what the parents go through. I was about 4 months pregnant when I found out. I was able to feel the baby kick and move around, so it was really hard to understand that there was something wrong with him, especially since I had such a normal pregnancy. I found out about the NTD through a test called the AFP (alpha-fetoprotien) which is taken at 16 to 18 weeks. They then sent me to get a Level 2 ultrasound to confirm the diagnosis. more info Once they told me that basically my child was going to die no matter what, we found a name for him and then set up the appointment to have induced delivery. I still wanted to see him and say goodbye.

When I went of the internet to see what he might look like, the picture's where frightening, they looked like monsters. I think that these pics are the worst case scenario. When I saw my child he looked fine. His body was perfectly formed and there was just a slight depression in the skull. I'm glad that I saw him, if I didn't I believe that in my mind i would have pictured one of those horrible children on the internet. I think that going through this has made me a better person.


peachy said...

Hi there,

I just wanted to say that I too received the shocking news at 13 weeks that my baby had anencephaly.

I had never heard of the condidion. I didnt plan the pregnancy and felt terribly guilty for not taking folic acid. I have been told though that an over dose of folic acide helps to stimulate the genes that help form the brain. Its not that you are defficient.

I too had a termination and it was a frightening and horrendous experience. I dont believe in termination but felt that this could be viewed as an early delivery as the condition is fatal. I wish everyone the love and support I received from my family and heart felt love if you have too been through this experience.

Best wishes..


KB said...

Hi Guys,

Like you I found out that the baby I was carrying was an anencephaly at 14 weeks. Terminations are illegal where I am, and if required would have to be carried out in a different country, it would have been against the law to bring back the remains. As I wished to have a place of rest for my baby girl (we called her Emily) I went through the pregnancy up until the 33rd week. It was an extremely harrowing time both physically and emotionally. With every kick and turn you would begin to hope that the diagnosis was wrong. However with every scan and photo the reality would be driven home. There was also the additional problem where the part of the brain that controls the swallow reflex was absent. This meant that there was a massive buildup of amniotic fluid in my womb that had to be removed. The procedure is described perfectly on this blog. Family occasions were awful as you start to look at the other kids running around, knowing that your bump won't be doing the same in a couple of years. People congratulated me on my pregnancy, sometimes you smiled and lied sometimes you couldn't. picking out the outfit was emotionally devestating, buying new born nappies because you don't know how long your baby will live. Trying to find a hat small enough to cover her head. Anencephaly babies heads are smaller in proportion to the rest of their bodies, and are also missing the cranium. We had to make funeral arrangements before the birth which felt like a betrayal.

I must say however, that when I gave birth to Emily it was only when I finally saw her that I knew that she wasn't meant for this world. I had to go through it all to finally understand. She died during the labour. We held her and buried her on the 2nd day.

Anaheras Mum said...

Our baby was was also diagnosed with anencephaly just a few days ago at out 12 week scan.

I had been on a folic acid supplement.

We have also decided on a medical evacuation.

We were completely in shock as 1)we have a healthy 10 year old daughter and 2)the baby seemed fine on the screen, moving around and kicking, with arms, legs, torso, head, just missing the skull cap.

As we may wish to have another child, we have been advised to have genetic testing and genetic counselling, which we plan to do.

We have honoured her with the name Anahera Aroha - a Maori name that translates to Angel Love.

To Peachy - don't blame yourself, we were all just sent extra special babies.

Our prayers for peace and serenity and our love go out to anyone else who has been through this or who will refer to this in future.

romanmegga said...

Your comments about monsters and horrible children are so heartbreaking to me. Those women and families chose to bring their children into the world and leave their death in God's hands. It is sad to me that you could speak that way of someones beautiful angel baby. :(

Jen said...

I am so sorry for your loss, I two just went through the process, I was 24 weeks along with a little girl, Addison. I also chose to have the termination, I couldn't imagine holding her and saying goodbye in that way. The doctors told me she would feel no pain but it was more about what I could handle. It was hard to understand because I have a heathy 3 year old son. but these things happen and God does have a plan, sometimes we just can't understand, but I too feel like a better person because of it.