7 days

by Kerri

October 11, 2017

With the help of a reproductive endocrinologist, I was finally pregnant, my husband & I were thrilled to be expecting our first baby due January 1, 2016. What a perfect way to start the new year! All of our scans looked great and blood work came back from our Harmony test that reveal our baby had none of the major trisomies. We also found out we were having a girl! Our 20-week scan was scheduled for August 20 when I was 20 weeks and 6 days. We were so excited to see our little girl. Our ultrasound tech spent a lot of time looking at her heart and finally the doctor from Maternal Fetal Medicine came in. As she scanned, she told us that there were some severe brain and heart abnormalities, and that we may have to consider termination. She also told us the chest cavity was small, and that the lungs may not be developing properly. This was our first time meeting this particular doctor, and she presented the information to us in a harsh way, making difficult information even harder to take. At that moment, our world came crashing down. I was hysterically crying and my husband was also visibly upset. The doctor wanted us to do an amniocentesis, and we decided to wait on those results before making any final decisions on how to proceed.

A few days later a geneticist from Maternal Fetal Medicine group called with the results from the amnio- she had triploidy, three copies of every chromosome. The geneticist explained a bit about what it is and said it’s “not compatible with life.” Tears began rushing down my face, my husband was upset as well. We both calmly made the decision to terminate. We did not want our little girl to suffer. We would much rather take on that suffering for her. We called back the geneticist at the MFM center and told them of our decision, and we said we wanted to do this as soon as possible. I was told the day of the ultrasound that I only had until 24 weeks to make a decision. They asked us to come in that afternoon to meet with a doctor and to set everything up. On the day we saw our baby girl moving around one last time.

The next day induction began, our parents waited overnight to meet their first grand child even though they knew she would be born sleeping. At 3:16pm August 26, 2015 Anneliese Marie was born. We named her after Anne Frank. And like Anne Frank, I wanted to make it my mission in life for her to go on living even after her death. She was so tiny – only 7 ounces. She was wearing a little pink knitted hat and was wrapped in a blanket from the hospital and the one we bought especially for her. I immediately cried. She was so tiny but beautiful. She looked just like my husband. She had his chin, my nose, and these long fingers. I kept staring at Anneliese, touching her, admiring her the whole time. I didn’t want it to end. I wished she was ok and that we could take her home. We all stayed in the room overnight. It was the only time we would ever be a family of 3. I left the hospital the next day, sans pregnancy, sans baby, I was an entirely different person in just 7 days.

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