This morning whilst not laying wide awake and not able to sleep due to the days upcoming events, I decided to go on a Facebook support page called “Our Angel Babies Matter” for people who had lost their babies. A lady was on there, her heart breaking because she had received the devastating news that her babys heart had stopped beating and she was struggling to cope.
I sent her my love and told her to try to be strong. I empathised with her because of what I am going through myself and said I hoped she could find some faith and strength to get through it.
I was then bombarded with what I can only call “abuse”.
A team of women began telling me I could not understand the pain or upset of losing a baby as I had chosen an “abortion” for my anencephalic baby. They said that to claim I was upset was an insult to women who had truly lost their babies and that I had a choice to carry my baby to full term, which they did not. They claimed that God was talking through them to me to try and advise me to do right by my baby instead of choosing to kill them.
Absolutely gobsmacked and sick to the stomach, I read their cruel and judgemental comments. I could not believe that in this horrific and painful time in my life, a so called “support” group could leave me feeling so low by brandishing me a baby killer.
I sobbed and sobbed as the messages poured in on the feed. And just as the self doubt crept in and I started to believe their torrid of insults, a private message popped up. It was from a lady called Sofia who had seen the messages and wanted to let me know she thought I was incredibly brave and doing the absolute best for my baby and my children, and that she was sickened by the messages being sent by the other ladies on the site. Her message was the little pick up I needed. The little reminder to not let others judgements or opinions cloud the difficult yet necessary decision we had made.
And not that I need to, but feel I want to, I decided to justify our situation and answer some of the harsh questions thrown at me this morning. I wrote these all down whilst I sat in the hospital this morning waiting to be discharged having just taken medication to start the inevitable process of giving birth to my precious baby this week. Here we go:
“Our baby has severe anencephaly. The very small amount of brain matter it has is completely unsupported as our baby has no skull, and therefore the brain matter is floating in the amniotic fluid.
This was verified by two sonographers, including one of the top specialists for our region who confirmed the fatal diagnosis, as well as the harsh reality that our baby would not survive birth, even if the pregnancy were to make it that far. There is also the possibility of health risks to me later on in the pregnancy, such as polyhydramnious which I am susceptible to get as I had it in my previous pregnancy. Therefore any attempts to carry baby full term could put me at risk too.
Initially, I did consider carrying the baby to full term, to perhaps donate their organs, but have been advised (and research backs up) that baby’s organs may not even be suitable for donation after birth, again, in the small chance that the pregnancy continues to full term.
This information was a crushing blow having been through the heartbreak of a miscarriage just 6 months prior.
Our 8 year old was very upset after the miscarriage. It took a lot of love, discussion and reassurance to help heal the loss he felt. As you can imagine, he was overjoyed when he discovered I was pregnant again, so now imagine his pain on discovering there was a problem with this baby too. For an 8 year old, five months is a long time to wait and endure the pain of knowing that his precious baby brother or sister would be either stillborn or die shortly after birth. Not to mention his concern for me if their were health problems that affected me in later months.
Before 5 months gestation the baby’s pain receptors have not fully formed meaning our baby will be unable to feel pain if born now. Surely it is kinder to allow my baby to born in a dignified manner and pain free, than to prolong the inevitable and risk my baby suffering a painful birth from which they will die anyway?
So the question is, do we end the pregnancy now, preventing further harm and hurt to the baby, to me and to our son’s psychological welfare – or do we continue the pregnancy knowing that the end result will be the same. Our baby will not survive.
That is why I have no choice. There is no choice. Regardless of now or then, our baby will die. And I know my baby would not want their siblings to suffer as they suffered.
And as for the women who said I didn’t love my baby. You really have no idea. I love my baby with every inch of my being and would go to the ends of the Earth to protect them from hurt and suffering, as I would do with any of my children. To lose this baby (and the last baby) was a harrowing blow that will leave an endless pain and hollow pit of emptiness deep in my core, which I’m not sure will ever truly heal. But love will pull me through. Love of my angels, love of my children and love of my life and all those who I hold so close.
There was a great mention of God in this mornings comments. One woman claimed that God was talking through them to get to me and make me see sense.
Although I have great faith, I wouldn’t say I’m religious. I don’t know if there is a God, so to speak, but I believe there is a higher consciousness of some kind out there, watching over us. And I believe this “God” has shown themselves more than ever in this past week. Through the kindness of the doctors and hospital staff I have dealt with, to the generosity of complete strangers and messages of support and love from family and friends. They show themselves in the form of butterflies and robins, rays of sunshine, random quotes and music. (Ed Sheeran and Danny Gokey have become God like icons to me this past week as their music has given me such hope and strength!)
I don’t believe that a God who is portrayed as loving and forgiving and non judgemental would tolerate the treatment I received today.
However, at a time where most people lose their faith, mine is stronger than ever.
I can’t quite explain – but I am so grateful for the beautiful gift of life inside me, and for being trusted to love and nurture it for its short existence – and then deliver it safely to the heavens. I am so grateful for the opportunities this has created to help and support others in our situation – through writing these blogs and crocheting clothing for angel babies. I am so grateful for having my eyes opened to the wonders of the World around me and the beautiful people in it who have shown me nothing but love and unity during this challenging time.
I’m even grateful for those ladies on that site this morning. Because in questioning me, I questioned myself, which only led to me reaffirming that everything we are doing, we are doing for the best. For our children. For our baby. For love.
And I wish those ladies peace, and forgiveness and healing in their hearts. I hope one day they too will realise that behind every person there is a story, and a beautiful lesson to be learnt.