How to deal with having to terminate a pregnancy at 21 weeks?

Kiristie - posted on 06/08/2010 ( 15 moms have responded )

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We found out last week our baby has a fatal chromosome condition. It probably will be stillborn, or die within a few hours. Because of my heart condition, I have been advised to terminate the pregnancy for my own health as well as the fact the baby won't survive. I am Catholic, so this has been hard to deal with in that regards. I have so many questions right now, we have to wait for the full report to come back from the doctor before sitting down with him and finding out our next step. I dont even know how they terminate a pregnancy at 21 weeks.

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I have to disagree with the majority on this board,having been in your shoes. Do what's in your heart. You will know what's right for you. I am against abortion, then and now. At 22 weeks our ultrasound showed the possibility our child had a form of brittle bone disease. We knew there could be a problem we researched till I'm sure we knew as much as most Doctors. We had discussed all the senerios, and inducing labour immediatly and having a "Medical Abortion" (I hate that term) had never even been discussed. But at 25 weeks and 4 days we heard the Doctors confirm it was the worst kind and it was a fatal prognosis. They discussed how a baby may live a few more minutes or hours in utreo, go to term and perish moments after birth or live up to a year after. But whatever the time line it was still fatal. Each cm that the muscles grew the bones were being broken or crushed. We know that babies have nerve endings by 16 weeks. We couldnt put our child throgh known pain just to possibly have a moment with them alive., We felt that would be totally heartless of us as parents. My husband and I just looked into each others eyes and hearts and made the decision that we had never even considered prior to hearing the TRUTH, immediatly, and with very little discussion. We knew it was what we needed to do at that moment for us as a family. They booked a room for us for 2 days later They started to soften my cervix with gel, I went thru labour, it was the intensity of early labour that I felt with my first child, but I had accepted oral and then intraveniously given pain medication. My mom had purchased a small recordable bear and with the nurses help we recorded our childs heartbeat before birth The baby was born after 6 hrs with my husband, mother and mother in law by my side. Our child was born sleeping, labour had been too much. Little legs broken so many times tht they were in a frog like position. There was a piece of skull about the size of a quarter above the right eye that we could feel, other than that (because it is a chromesone problem that doesn't allow the bones to form properly because of the inability to make enough collagen to sustain good bone growth), we had a baby who looked perfect down to the tiny fingenails that needed trimmed, but it was like holding a 1 lb 3 oz, 10 inch rubber dolly. We were able to keep our angel with us throughout that night and till noon the next day. We were unsure how one enters the hospital with a live, kicking child in tummy and walk out with empty arms. We arranged it so everything had been packed in the vehicle. Nana dressed our angel in an outfit she lovingly sewed and we held a naming ceremony in the hospital chapel.. A small white candle was lite, a few prayers said, We asked God to love and protect our now named little one and asked my husbands Grandpa to look after our precious one until we could. Daddy read a verse he had seen in a bible in the chapel earlier. Our 2 yr old had practiced for months before her own 2nd Birthday, (so excited as she had one cousin who turned 2 the day before hers, Nana's birthday was 2 days after that and her other cousin turned 2, 3 days after Nana's.) It was all she could think obout for months and she readilly learned how to sing Happy Birthday to each and every one of them when the time came. She was so excited that she was to be a big sister, It was fitting that Nana walked over to the candle, blew it out and started singing Happy Birthday to our angel knowing our daughter who would'nt meet or sing Happy Birthday to her sibling until they met in Heaven. We sang with tears rolling down our faces, choking out the words. I placed my child in the bassinet said goodbye , kissed a small forehead, turned and walked down the aisle of the chapel. Everyone else said their last goodbyes, kisses and hugs. We all walked as silently as our baby had slipped into this world and just walked straight out the hospital. It was the only way I could imagine leaving my child, I couldn't bear to have someone take my baby from my arms, this was something I had to be able to do on my own. The chaplin stood watch as we left..

Jill - posted on 06/17/2010

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God doesn't make mistakes... let Him and only Him make the decision if your baby is going to live or die....and for that matter you yourself.... trust Him ...he will not fail you.....

Kristina - posted on 06/17/2010

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Do you have other children? Please do not Google abortion and watch videos. Before I continue, I am Christian,and I am not pro choice. I understand that you say you have a heart condition that you could be putting your life at risk. I also like a previous post have some medical understanding. I am a critical care nurse. Before I began working with adults, I worked NICU. I am a firm believer that through God all things are possible but I have seen things that...well are just very difficult to explain. The choice you and your husband have to face is one I would not wish on anyone. I almost lost one of my pregnancies and myself in the process, my husband made it it very clear to me that as much as he loved our baby, if the time came and the drs said it was me or the baby...he would choose me. Now people may judge him for that but part of his reasoning was that we had two other children. You and your husband and your Drs need to be the ones to decide. Pray, alot. And make sure that you have Drs that you trust. Get a second opinion. Drs do not know everything and the good ones know that but they do know alot, that is why we trust them. Pray. I understand it is not about having a 100% healthy baby. A fatal condition is a very serious thing. If having the baby puts you at risk, certainly no one can fault you for terminating. You will grieve. But guilt should not be apart of it. Pray and listen. This is not an easy road. Go with God.

Jennifer - posted on 06/13/2010

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I pray that everything will work out right.And that you are given the wisdom to make the right decision.My aunt tried so hard to get pregnant for the second time. She couldnt on her own so she had invitro multiple times. She finally did get pregnant and was told later that the baby showed an abnormality. She had an amneocentisis and was showed her baby had spinabifida. The doctors suggested she terminate the pregnancy. Well she was faced with that decision.She decided that no matter what she was going to keep the baby since she tried so hard to conceive. well the baby was born 100% healthy.God is good. I wish you the best.Im not guilting you im just saying make sure you make the right decision for you and your family not the doctors.

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Carla - posted on 04/14/2011

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@Vickie, my heart goes out to you after reading your post. NO ONE knows what they will do until faced with the decision. We can only walk through these valleys with the knowledge that our Father is walking right beside us to give us wisdom in our decisions. That you made the right one is evident. I pray God comfort you and your family.

God bless

Christina - posted on 06/10/2010

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This is a very hard choice but it is your choice. I will pray for you.
I do not want this to be taken in the wrong way but you have two other children to think about as well. I have lost a child and would not want to wish that on any one, and am currently pregnant but I have a son and if they told me my little boy could end up with out a mommy and the child I was carrying most likely would not survive I think i would end the pregnancy. I understand iether way... But our god is good and loving god, Dont fear him... he has sent his wisdom to you and you will know whats right for you in your heart.

Alison - posted on 06/10/2010

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What a difficult situation. Have the doctors explained what the risks are for you in continuing the pregnancy? I could not judge you for whatever you decide, but I would think there would always be a question in the back of my mind if I did choose to terminate at this stage.



No matter what you decide, be sure you choose what YOU want and NOT what the doctor's want. You are the one who will have to live with your decision.



I wish you and your family all the best in this difficult time.

Carla - posted on 06/10/2010

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Father, you are God. You see the end from the beginning. Give Kirstie and her husband the wisdom to make the decision that is right from Your Will. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Laura - posted on 06/09/2010

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I completely understand your dilema. While I have not gone through it personally I understand the medical stuff as I am a paramedic. From a personal standpoint though I could never voluntarily terminate a pregnancy. I would want to do whatever I could to carry that baby as long as possible and spend whatever time was available to me with it.

I have had 2 miscarriages that resulted in 2 D&Cs (not DNE). I chose the D&C over the pill because of all the complications that can come from passing the fetus on your own (excessive bleeding and stuff like that) whereas the D&C is controlled and I personally feel safer because if something were to go wrong you are in a place where they can take care of you immediately.

I finally had my second daughter (3 weeks ago) after having gone through my miscarriages and while it wasn't an easy pregnancy (in comparison to my first daughter) it was well worth it.

Although I can completely understand the choice to terminate with everything you have going on and I would never judge anyone for doing that. I just feel that I could never do it no matter what tests show. I hope what I have said helps and whatever your decision know that it is the right one for you and don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

Kiristie - posted on 06/09/2010

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Still at a loss as to what to do. We sat down with the doctor today since they have the full report back. The amnio did confirm at a rate of 100% that the baby has trisomy 18, this confirms all ultrasound and blood test findings as well. I have a heart condition, cardio myopathy- which is congestive heart failure. My cardiologist feels it is in my best interest to terminate, and my ob, who is prolife, feels I should probably listen to him. The biggest concern is that I may have only one chance to carry a child to full term...so I really need to weigh that option. As far as methods of terminating, he told me the most common method was a medicine they give you that causes the baby to be delivered vaginally, as well as a DNE, I would not do a DNE. So, we are still trying to think things through and weigh our option, if I had no other health concerns, there would be no alternative in my mind...but this is not a simple case.

Theresa - posted on 06/09/2010

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Pray, pray, pray! Only God knows what the future will be for this precious child he created. The docs think they know, but God has a plan that only he knows. I personally don't think we should try to out guess God. Therefore I think you should let things happen naturally the way God has set it forth. I know that's easy for me to say since I'm just on the outside looking in. I can't imagine what you're going through. If you want to know what they'll do google videos of abortion. Trust me though they're very graphic and aweful. Pray, pray, pray and trust God. Look up the story of Tim Tebow. I know you can find it on YouTube, look for "Tim Tebow Superbowl commercial- the real story". His parents were told he had lots of problems too and that he wouldn't live, long story short, they trusted God, he was just drafted into the NFL. That story may be an inspiration to you. Good luck and I'll be praying for you and the little one.

Elizabeth - posted on 06/08/2010

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I am so sorry. Only God knows for sure how it will end. And this may be a time when you might die trying to do the " right " thing. Are you willing to take that risk? I'm going to pray for your health and wisdom.

Carla - posted on 06/08/2010

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Sweetheart, my heart goes out to you. No one should have to make a decision like this. I will, however, tell you my mother was faced with the same decision when she was pregnant with me. She was told I would be blind, mentally handicapped, on and on. She had waited for 6 years to be pregnant, and she decided to try anyway. I have had a lot of physical problems, asthma, arthritis, celiac sprue, bone problems, but I am almost 60 and still here.

As for your question about how they will terminate the pregnancy, trust me, honey, you don't want to know.

This is a decision that is going to take every ounce of strength you have. I pray God give you supernatural wisdom to weigh all the factors, including that we can trust God when we don't know what to do. I pray that, whatever you decide, you don't second-guess later on, and don't hold yourself guilty, driving yourself crazy with 'what if's'. I would like it if you would keep us posted, remember, we are here to help each other. God bless, honey.

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