"It's one or the other"

Caitlin - posted on 12/06/2010 ( 22 moms have responded )

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My husband was telling me once about one of his friends who was married and they were having their first baby many years ago. My hubby drove the couple to the hospital when she was in labour because the guy was an absolute basket case, and couldn't drive (nervous first time dad..)

Either way, he waited at the hospital, but the delivery was unexpectadly complicated, and being many years ago and at a Catholic hospital, there was a preist there, who came in. The doc basically told the father to be that he could save one or the other, but one wasn't going to make it. The priest chimes in saying "save the child, save the child, because a child is without sin and the mother has sinned.." Well, both my hubby and the father to be were in the military at the time, so the priest was physically ejected in an airborne manner quite rapidly after that statement. Either way, the look the doc was given was apparently enough inspiration to make him work harder and they both survived after emergency surgery.

If this was you and it was ultimately you or the baby, would you be self sacrificing, or selfish..



If it were me giving birth and it was me or the baby, I'd chose me... It would be tragic to lose a baby and have to hold that little body in my arms, knowing it was so close to being alive, but on the toher hand I have 2 other daughters to take care of, and they need both their parents. I could always try again later on if I felt like it, or adopt if whatever complication made it physically impossible to conceive again.

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Brie - posted on 12/09/2010

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That is a hard one.. I think it would depend on the circumstances... What would happen to the survivor would they be a vegetable or unable to fully function... Would their chance of living be very good or is it possible that they would pass very soon? My hubby and I have talked about it before and we agreed that he would ask the doctors those questions and also make for sure that there was no way whatsoever to save us both... The doctor had to ask my dad that when she was in the hospital with my little brother and things like this pop up in my family a lot so I wanted him to be prepared if it ever came down to it.... In my opinion it would also depend on the answers to these questions before I could make my choice!

Christina - posted on 12/08/2010

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I'd be saved hands down. I have five children and my kids need a mother.

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I would choose the baby. I've already lost one child I don't think I could mentally survive loosing another. I would honestly leave my husband if he said to save me over our child.

I think it is selfish and cruel to think of yourself in a situation like that. That just like going out a getting an abortion because the baby has a disability. It's sick and wrong.

Sherri - posted on 12/08/2010

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If I had no other children save my child. However, since I have 3 others at home that need me. Save me.

Lesli - posted on 12/08/2010

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I Would love to sacrifice myself for ANY of my children, born or unborn.... But I was not raised by my parents, I met my mother about 5 years ago...And my father was never really there to begin with, and I had a horrible relationship with him. I haven't talked or seen him in over 7 years.
I DO NOT want my kids to lose me. Growing up without a mother is not why I decided to have a child in the first place. I cannot rest in peace knowing that even one of my kid is out there without me protecting it, without him/her knowing that I love them and that I would never leave them on purpose. It was so important for me to know that SOMEONE out there loved me, knowing that my child would not get to know me would feel like I am abandoning the child, just like both my parents did to me.

I'd rather fight, either we both live or we both die.

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I would fire the doctor and tell the hospital to send in someone who isn't making such stupid comments in the middle of a desperate situation! ;-)

Amber - posted on 12/07/2010

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@Kati~ To me, the difference is that I've already lived a full life and that the child I already have is used to having a mother. He would know and feel the loss. He has a bond with me.
And to be 100% honest, before I had children, I didn't realize the bond that I would have with them. I didn't realize the amount that they would need me, or that he would cry when he missed me for just a day or two. I see that now.
So, maybe I would change my decision now. But then, that was the decision I made.

Jane - posted on 12/07/2010

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Huh...haven't read any other responses but I would choose me over the unborn child. Would I be devastated? Hell yes and it would probably take me a long time to get over it but I would choose me and I don't believe that to be selfish but rather human to want to continue to live!

Lacye - posted on 12/07/2010

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I would say save me. I know I owe something to this child but I also have my daughter to think of. I can't let her grow up without her mother.

Rosie - posted on 12/07/2010

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to all of you that think they would sacrifice yourself if it was your first child, i have a question. why is it alright to leave that child motherless, but it's not ok to leave your other living children motherless? i'm not trying to be snarky or whatever, i just find it interesting that the answer changes with how many children you already have.



i would not sacrifice myself for a child, i don't think ever. it just doesn't seem practical to do that to my husband or other family members.

Laura - posted on 12/07/2010

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I'm suprised (in a good way) by the responses: I have always felt this way--saving me over the fetus-- and it is nice to see that I am not alone in those feelings. And I don't see choosing my life over an unborn baby as being selfish--I see it as being practical and reasonable. As everyone else has mentioned, I have a child that needs a living, breathing mother. My husband would prefer a living, breathing wife (at least I hope he does!). Opportunities will always present themselves to add to one's family at a later date whether by conception or adoption.

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I agree, this is one of those situations where you really don't know until you're in that situation. That being said, I think first child or not, I'd choose me. Its terrible when a baby is stillborn and I wouldn't wish that on anyone, but I think losing me would be harder on my husband and our family and friends than losing a baby they'd never met or even felt.

Johnny - posted on 12/06/2010

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If it was my first child, I'd probably choose to save the baby. Mostly because I'm not sure I could bear the broken heart. I have a few friends who have lost their babies, and I honestly do not know how they manage. I admire it, but just hearing about it horrible, I can not possibly imagine living though it.

Now that I have a child, I would choose to save myself because I am responsible to my living child too. It is would be so difficult, but my daughter would give me something to live for and be happy about.

Now, like others have said, it's hard to really know until you are actually in that situation, but I'm just guessing based on my own current feelings.

Erin - posted on 12/06/2010

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If it was my first baby, I would sacrifice myself. Now that I already have one child, and especially being a single mother, there is no way I could leave my daughter motherless.

This concept always crops into my head when talking about women pursuing dangerous and/or life-threatening pregnancies when they already have children. How can a mother justify knowingly risking her life when she has other children at home?

Becky - posted on 12/06/2010

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Wow . . .that's a tough one to even think about! Given my current life situation, I would have to go with saving myself. My daughter has put up with an on again, off again dad her whole life & while in the absence of her father, my parents would gladly take her in and give her a wonderful stable home, she'd be lost. I've always been the one constant factor in her life. She's always looked to me for strength and comfort when no one else understands how she feels about her dad. And of course there's always the fear that her father may one day make it out of prison and attempt to petition the courts to gain custody of her . . . . too much! Just far to much! The only way I can make sure my little girl is taken care of, physically & emotionally, is by being here to do it myself! I could always try for another child again, or adopt . . . . but she's already here, and she already needs me more than anyone else!

If it were my first child, I would say let the child live . . . I have lived and experienced a lot of wonderful things in life already, let the baby have a chance to do the same.

Jaime - posted on 12/06/2010

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Nope, I totally agree Caitlin...I care more about my children living outside the womb, than the one inside that I've never met (hypothetically of course because I only have one child and I'm not pregnant now). This reminds me a bit about a movie I once saw called "Sophie's Choice". It's about the Holocaust and a woman that is sent to one of the camps and has to choose which of her children is sent to the gas chamber. She has an 8-year-old son and a one-year-old daughter. She ends up choosing the daughter because she's known her the least amount of time and hasn't formed as much of a bond as with her son. It's incredibly sad, but when faced with tough choices, people do what is necessary to survive...even if that means sacrificing themselves to save something much greater than themselves. Not an easy choice for anyone to have to make when it comes to the life of a child.

Caitlin - posted on 12/06/2010

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Ya, I agree, it's hard to know until you are there.. If it were my first baby, I would have been 100% for saving the baby, but since I have 2 now, It's them I need to worry about. It's funny though, because when I think about it, i'd give my life in a second to save the life of one or both of my children, but not for an unborn child i'd never met, I mean, i've carried them inside me, but for some reason it's not the same.. It's interesting I think.. I was wondering if I were the only one to feel that way..

Jaime - posted on 12/06/2010

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I'd like to believe that I would choose myself, because I already have a son to take care of, but this is one scenario that no one can ever really KNOW until they are in it.

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That was the exact situation 36 years ago my MIL was in when she was delivering my brother-in-law. My MIL was hemmorgaing so fast and the baby was losing oxygen. I don;t know the whole story, but I know from the stories I've been told, it was truly "one or the other". My FIL jokes it off on my BIL's stupidty on his birth and says my husband's birth was far easier-since he was adopted, all they had to do was drive from NJ to FL to pick up a baby!

Nikki - posted on 12/06/2010

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I agree Caitlin, I would choose myself, I have a daughter to look after. It would be truly tragic. Hmm I must have this discussion with my husband, I am pretty sure he would choose me, but apparently I am not very nice when I am pregnant so who knows!

Amber - posted on 12/06/2010

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Wow. Such a hard question. Before I was a mother, I said save the baby. I had lots of complications and told Chad that's what I would want, just in case.
But now that I'm a mother, I also have another child to take care of. I have a responsibility to him.
So, I guess now, I would say that I choose me. I can't imagine leaving my son without a mother.

April - posted on 12/06/2010

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In the heat of the moment, I would insist on saving the child. However, I am thinking right now about how devastated my son would be if something happened to me. If I didn't have a son already, I'd say save the baby.

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