Yesterday we had our confirmation scan which verified 100% that baby has anencephaly. The lovely doctor performing the scan pushed my stomach which showed the baby’s brain matter moving and floating in the amniotic fluid, completely uncontained by a skull and only temporarily protected by the safety of my womb. As I cried, the lovely sonographer took my hand and asked in French, “Why are you crying? The baby feels nothing. The baby knows nothing. The baby is, not even really a baby.”
I found this a little difficult to take in at first. This is my baby, faults and all, and I love it. I had dreams and plans for it. Our future to date did not exist without this baby in it.
He continued, “Please don’t cry. Look, you have a husband and two healthy sons and you live in the Gers (France)! You have a lot to be happy about.” I smiled. I agree and I know I have so many wonderful things in life to be thankful for. It didn’t take away the pain of that moment or of losing another baby, but it gave me a warmth within. A reassurance that in time when this hurt had begun to heal, my life would continue to be wonderful and complete, as it had been before. That despite this challenge, I would overcome because of the support of those around me, and the unconditional love of my two sons. It may seem odd to say but I was overwhelmed with gratitude.
We made our way to the reception area to receive our scan photos and notes, and to pay for the session. The lovely doctor handed me the envelope and gently whispered in French, “There is nothing to pay.”
The sheer generosity of this man reduced me to tears. At a time of despair and darkness, light and hope filters through in all shapes and sizes. I don’t think he will ever understand how that simple act of respect and kindness to us and our baby, will be forever marked in our memories of these testing times.
My head was filled with questions such as what will happen now, and where would the birth take place and what would the procedure be? I decided to call the doctor we had seen at the hospital a day prior in the hope she could put my mind at rest. I knew we had a meeting planned for the following Monday, but those 4 days of waiting seemed like an eternity to have the answers I so needed right now.
Sadly, the doctor was not at work, however the senior midwife made herself available to speak with me. I explained I had lots of questions and hoped she could quickly answer some. She told me it was too complicated to discuss over the phone, however, she would rearrange some appointments the following day, in order to make time to see me so I did not have to wait all weekend.
Once again, I was overwhelmed at the lengths people were going to in order to reassure and support me. They were moving mountains, for me. Little old me. Quite insignificant really in the grand scheme of things. However, I know that my baby and I are in good hands and I pray that this level of care continues during and just after the birth of my precious angel, so that I can look back at this period of my life as a gift, a lesson and even, a blessing.
“Surrender to the power of being crushed by love”