So many questions remain after a termination for Trisomy 13

Left With So Many Questions

Posted on Posted in Induction/L&D, Stories, Trisomy 13 (Patau syndrome)

So many questions remain. Why do I feel like I’m in someone else’s life? Why don’t I recognize myself anymore? What can I do to help myself get better?

By Malky

It was a storybook pregnancy: perfect timing, smooth pregnancy, I was feeling great, and I’d gained minimal weight.

Then we went in for the second trimester ultrasound at 22 weeks and nothing was perfect anymore. Trisomy 13. No chance of survival. Possible dangers to me if I carry the pregnancy to term. The doctor’s advice was “Stop the pregnancy as soon as possible.” Just like that, everything changed. No warning.

Six days later it was over. The baby was out and I was back home with my parents pampering me back to health.

The birth was all right and I recovered well. I had no pain afterwards, just great fatigue for about a week. Another week later I was dancing at my sister-in-law’s wedding. It’s been a few weeks now and I have a feeling it’s all starting to catch up with me. I’m tired but can’t sleep. I have no appetite and my emotions seem turned off.

It’s like I’m a different person; I don’t recognize myself anymore. I don’t have the same kind of thoughts anymore and I can’t figure out what I’m feeling. One moment I’m fine, and then I’m crying. Especially at night—I’m up for hours trying to fall asleep, listening to my husband breathing, and this weird empty feeling just keeps coming up. There is nothing bad that I’m thinking about, no dark thoughts, no sadness, just emptiness. My husband keeps asking what I’m feeling and why I can’t sleep. He begs me to explain and talk to him. And I try to—but I can’t. I don’t even know myself what’s wrong with me. He’s so supportive and always there for me. If I knew what the problem was or how I felt I would tell him. But I’m just confused. I don’t know what’s wrong with me. 

Questions

Why do I feel like I’m in someone else’s life? Why don’t I recognize myself anymore? What can I do to help myself get better? I just want things to go back to normal, like they were half a year ago. I want to try to get pregnant again with a healthy baby and live a happy life. 

I know all the right answers in my head, but it’s like there is a wall between my brain and my heart. I know everything but I can’t feel anything. It’s all just nothing and empty. It’s like nothing matters anymore. You’re hungry—so what? Something hurts—so what? Tired—so what? Life just goes on and these things don’t matter anymore. In a way it’s like losing the baby put things in perspective, but are day-to-day things supposed to matter so little?

Wasn’t I a healthy human being before, someone who was able to feel things? Why can’t I get back to that? What was switched off up there that my emotions and feelings are just gone? Do I have postpartum depression? If yes, what should I do? I don’t want to talk about it to people around me. I don’t want to be the weak victim who needs all that attention. I was always the strong one who helped others. I was the one who people talked to about how they felt and I was able to help them.

I want to be that person again; I want to be strong. Why am I so weak? Did this story change me so much that I cannot even recognize myself anymore? What am I supposed to do and feel? Is there anyone who can relate?

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Editor’s note: Here are some of our resources if you would like to read more about working with your grief: 

https://endingawantedpregnancy.com/ewp-survival-guide/

And if you feel that you may have depression or postpartum depression, we would urge you to contact a medical professional. Here is one of our articles on the topic: 

 

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