By Anne Mellinger-Birdsong Survived is used in the sense of being stronger for having accomplished a major challenge. I have survived The death of my mother Before I was married Before I had children. I have survived The loss of 3 babies Much wanted and much loved, And that has changed me more Than anything else that ever happened. I have survived The questions and harangues From people who didn’t understand Or flat out disagreed With our decision to induce labor When we found out our baby had Down syndrome (Trisomy 21). Who didn’t know all the medical problems that go with Down syndrome Who […]
By MJP We’re the women politicians don’t talk about. Women who were pregnant with wanted and waited for babies, not birth control accidents, not rape, and not “irresponsible.” My story is now 24 years old but still relevant. We always thought we would have three or four children. Baby number one was born in 1985 after an uneventful pregnancy, a healthy boy. In spring of 1988 I had my first miscarriage and was devastated. In 1990 I had a second miscarriage. I was told not to worry, that it was only after a third miscarriage that the doctors would be concerned. A few months later I […]
My sister assured me that God would certainly not do that to me again. Unfortunately, I am here to tell you that lightning can strike twice. Instead of Trisomy 18, this time my baby had Trisomy 21.
Sad Girl There comes a time in your life when you feel like you are mature and ready enough to start your own family. My husband and I felt that nothing will make us happier than having a little addition to our family. It didn’t take us long until we were happily pregnant. We told our parents and a few other members of our family. I was a little concerned about sharing the news so early because you never know what might happen. Unfortunately my concerns were correct: That pregnancy miscarried before the end of the first month. Full of disappointment but with great hopes, we started working on a […]
I felt I was standing on some imaginary line with one foot in two very different worlds. I felt parents who terminated focused on the bad to get through, and parents who had a living child with a disability or fatal illness focused on the good to get through.
The doctors were all emphatic that this wasn’t a decision for us, we had to choose what was best and most painless for her.
Tova lost her twin daughters, Sunshine and Daisy, to twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome. Here she explains how she eventually broke away from grief to replace it with a new way of honoring her daughters. Check out Tova’s blog, Finding My Muchness.
By Julie I was unlucky two times. In a row. I had to make a heartbreaking decision to end my son’s life at 21 weeks and terminate a much-wanted pregnancy because of the prognosis of a “best case scenario of the developmental quality of life of a two-month-old.” We were told it was a one in a million occurrence. Five months later, I found myself pregnant again. We were monitored closely: every other week at a perinatologist’s office. And then, week 17, they started to see the same abnormalities. Week 18, diagnosis confirmed. Week 19, second termination. At that point, I couldn’t imagine being happy again […]
By Tova Gold About six weeks after the girls died, I thought I would die from my grief. The entire experience of pregnancy and loss felt like a bad dream that I’d imagined. It’s because I never met them. I had no concrete evidence they’d existed. I chose to be “put under” for the delivery, because I was scared, and when I woke up they were gone, no longer in my body. It wasn’t until after that I realized how much I yearned to know what they’d looked like. How I ached for the opportunity to hold my two daughters at the same time, looking […]
Nancy W. As a mom who had to end her wanted pregnancy back in 1991, as well as a medical social worker with a specialty in maternal-child social work, a pediatric physical therapist, a hospital chaplain, a childbirth instructor, as well as a hospice founder, I have a unique opportunity to share with you at this time of crisis in your life. I have degrees in both physical therapy and social work. When I was in my twenties, my first husband died from malignant melanoma. After his death, I became very involved with the early Hospice movement in America. I remarried in my thirties and […]