"It's one or the other"

Caitlin - posted on 12/06/2010 ( 45 moms have responded )

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I posted this on PD&HT, but I figured i'd post it here too..


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. It's an interesting dichotomy though, because i'd give my life in a second for either of my girls (or both), but wouldn't do it for my unborn baby, even though i've carried them for 9 months (or so) and wonder why exactly, and where that bond actually becomes THAT strong that you'd give your life without even thinking about it.

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A - posted on 12/08/2010

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As far as being attached to the baby in the womb- with my first (and only) son I wasn't that attached at all. I have no experience with children and I just didn't have any idea. Now after having him and experiencing motherhood, I would be *so* excited to be pregnant again (although I don't want to be right now lol). But even so, I think I might end up still choosing my own life (and I am pro life also). Being pro-life doesn't just apply to children. I believe all people (adults and children alike) should never die because of selfish acts of others- be it the Holocaust or an abortion. So Even if you want to argue that choosing your own life would be wrong because you're "killing" the baby essentially- you could argue choosing the baby is also wrong because that would be like choosing suicide, which many pro-lifers also believe is wrong.

Anyway I just remember how hard it was for all of us after having our first child and adjusting. It would be very difficult for anyone to deal with the death of their partner, explaining it to any older children and helping them through the pain, and caring for a newborn as well. Especially for my husband because I know he could not care for my child like I would want and he would feel guilty for not being able to (breastfeeding, being a SAHM- he wouldn't be able to do those things which we feel are very important in regard to raising our children). So that would be a lot on his shoulders and although some would say it would be selfish to keep the mother alive, it would also be selfless because you'd be sparing your husband of some of the stress. Dead baby= grief but a partner to help you through. Dead mom= grief, extra stress of taking care of a child, no one to help you.

A - posted on 12/08/2010

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I've thought about this, but I never know what I would actually choose in the moment. Logically speaking, I think I would choose my life to continue. Who would breastfeed my child? Would my husband be able to deal with the loss of his wife AND take care of the children in the best way? He would have to work...who would watch them? So logically (based on my beliefs), I wouldn't want my child to be raised in that environment, so I would rather myself be saved.


Emotionally speaking- mother instinct is to protect our children at all costs. Could I really give the OK for my child to die??? How could I live with myself?

So I don't think there is a GOOD answer to this. Either way its tragic. I don't think I would fault anyone for their choice.

And the priest saying save the child...what the heck? I"m catholic and yes the child hasn't sinned but it will one day (unless it dies first) so who is to say the child will grow up to be anymore holier than the mother was??? I'm glad that priest was ejected!!!

Amanda - posted on 12/07/2010

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I would choose myself. I couldn't imagine my life without my 4 children or them without me! And I know that it's not right saying that an innocent child doesn't deserve to live, but in my opinion I could alway have another child, my children could never have another mother. They don't need to lose their mother so a child can survive, with no mother. As hard as it would be I'd get through it. God won't bring you to it if he can't bring you through it. I'd have to say myself and my fiance agrees with me as well! :)

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Oh, and if it were left entirely to my hubby I think he'd probably save me, but only after kicking the doctor's ass for not trying hard enough to save us both.

But I haven't done shit in my life other than marry my husband and have his baby and I'm not close enough to my parents that they wouldn't get over it. So my Julie would have to live, and I know my hubby would never blame her for it.

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Wow. Sorry, I think I'd have to tell the damn doctor to do what he or she was trained for, and save BOTH OF US. And tell that priest to get the hell outta my room.

But if I HAD to choose, I'd choose my baby. She's my first, and may be my only anyway, and my husband might miss me, but I don't think I could handle choosing my own life over hers in the long run. My husband would have his family, if not mine (they don't like him anyway so they'd only do it for the baby), to help him, and I'm sure he could find someone else to marry someday, if he wanted to.

Jenn - posted on 12/07/2010

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I would probably say to save me in that case. Luckily that isn't a decision I'll ever have to make.

Caitlin - posted on 12/07/2010

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I was insanely attached to my baby in the womb.. I sang to her, played with her (flashlights and poking when she was older - it was fun..). I loved her more than I could even have imgined it possible to love, but still, after someone metioned thatthat child would grow up without a mother, and the burden that their mom died while birthing them, I think it would always be me..

~♥Little Miss - posted on 12/07/2010

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So I asked my hubby, and he chose me over the baby...I was suprised and flattered...

Veronica - posted on 12/07/2010

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My reasoning - Im with the belief that life begins at conception; Im very bonded to my baby during pregnancy, too - feeling all the movements, hiccups, kicks and punches - I just dont see how I could let this baby die - who just spent 9 months developing inside of me - who has a heartbeat and brain --- where Ive at least lived some of my life....
How many of you are attached to your baby in the womb? Does this change or not change your answer?

Veronica - posted on 12/07/2010

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This would definatly be the hardest decision to ever make. That being said - my first instinct would be to tell the doc to do everything he could for both of us - pray to the Lord for his will -- and if the choice was still there after all of that - I would give my own life. Yes, I have an armload of kids at home - and i love them sooo much! Although im not quite 30 years old yet - and i havent lived a full life - id give my life for my unborn child to have a life. Im not insecure about who is going to take care of my kids - my husband and our families would see to that. Id rather give the baby the chance to live. It would be devistating either way, but I sure this is the decision I would make.

Lady Heather - posted on 12/07/2010

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It would be awful to lose that baby, but then I also have my daughter at home who would lose her mother. She really needs me. I don't think I could make the choice to kill the mother of my child at home unless it was to save her. So I guess I agree with you.

Sharon - posted on 12/07/2010

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I'm pro choice too and opted to save me.

BUT I think its a given that all of us would want the doc to TRY and save the baby but we want ourselves to be the primary effort.

I remember talking with my husband about this sort of scenario with baby number 2 or 3..

LOL he said the same a lot of other husbands did. He'd opt to save me because there is no way in hell he's gonna raise those kids by himself.

Hannah - posted on 12/07/2010

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I would choose myself as well. I think Tara makes a very good point. It would be a lot of guilt either way. The child, if it were saved, would live with the guilt of killing their mother. The mother would live with the guilt of killing their child. You have to prioritize your life and decide which is more important, you or the child living.



Very tough decision, indeed. One that I am glad to never make.



***edited because I do not know what a "touch" decision is.***

Dana - posted on 12/07/2010

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I'm pro-choice, I tend to think at this point, I'd want to save the child first. We already have one son, we had tried for almost a year for a second child, we got pregnant, lost that child and we're hoping to get pregnant again. I've already thought quite a bit about the fact that having a second child via C-section raises risks, I've had to accept that.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 12/07/2010

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I am very curious what my hubby would say...I am gonna ask him when he gets home from work.

Caitlin - posted on 12/07/2010

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Ya, this is mostly about full term babies, or babies that have a chance at survival.

Looking back, it would be silly to chose the baby if it were my first, but I think it's instinct..

Sara - posted on 12/07/2010

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My husband and I had this discussion when I was pregnant, and he told me that we can always have another baby, but he can't replace me. So he would have chosen me, I would have wanted him to chose the baby. I think it's just instinct for a mother to want her child to survive, even if it means sacrificing herself. How many of us would throw ourselves into the path of a moving vehicle for our children? I would.



*edited to add: I mean full-term baby, just to be clear*

Tara - posted on 12/07/2010

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Not even if it were my first child. Simply because I am selfish.
I would be leaving my husband without his soul mate, my family without their daughter/sister/niece/granddaughter etc. and I know how hard that would be for them and in all honesty I don't think they would look at that child and say "well we made the right choice, at least we have the baby." who will never know its mother and who will always share her birthday with the date of her mothers death, which would never had happened had she not been born. That's all got to be a little much for a kid. It might seem romantic in the movies etc. but really that child is going to have it rough.
I would choose me. I have invested too much time into my life, into my relationships etc. to give it up for a new life that has just begun. It is different like the OP said when you have other kids, I would die today if it meant one of my kids would live instead. I would give them my heart if they needed it to live. But they are here and I have had the time to form an intimate bond with them.
I don't think it is selfish though.
And I don't think anyone willing to do anything else is wrong either.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 12/07/2010

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A fetus that is 6 wks vs a child that is about to be born, labor, pushing, ect IMO 2 different things

~♥Little Miss - posted on 12/07/2010

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Hmmmm...I wonder how many of you that said you would chose yourself over the baby are pro-life....just curious.



That is the worst decission a mother would have to make. If my child ran into the street and was going to get struck by a bus...but I had time to run and throw them out of the way and get hit in there place...you bet your sweet ass I would rather get hit by the bus and die than watch my child get hit. I think I would tell the Dr to bust his ass to save both of us....it is not an acceptable choice...that way if one of us died, it would not have been up to me or my husband.



I am pro-choice

Tah - posted on 12/07/2010

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i choose me..my husband chooses me also...my kids i am sure would choose me.so that's that...

Erin - posted on 12/07/2010

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I would have to say I would choose myself. I know it is selfish. I do have a son and I am pregnant with my second child. Either way (first, second or third child) I would be leaving a child (children) without a mother. I would rather deal with the pain of losing a child myself than have to put my son through the pain of losing his mother. I lost my mother when I was 25 and even though I was an adult I wouldn't wish that on any child.

C. - posted on 12/07/2010

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Honestly, I would keep praying and praying that God saved both of us. I wouldn't want to be selfish, but I wouldn't want my children growing up w/o a mother, either.

Iris - posted on 12/07/2010

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I'd be devastated losing a child. But I would choose me. I have two other children to take care of.

Sharon - posted on 12/07/2010

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I'm with you.

I'd want to be saved. I'd be sad to lose that life but my kids would be devastated to lose their mom.

Amie - posted on 12/06/2010

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Oh I do know someone who gave her own life for her child's though.



She was diagnosed with some vicious sort of cancer shortly after finding out she was pregnant. She refused treatment to save her baby instead. She passed away when he was 2 months old. She got the treatment but it was too late.



Her son now lives with her parents, who are elderly. I went to school with this woman. While I admire her for making that decision her child is left without a mother and without a father because he ended up not being able to handle it. So her parents stepped in.



I'm sure not all stories end that way but it's still sad. They could have gone on to have more children (or adopt if the treatment left her sterile), had she aborted and gone with the treatment. This is what is left though. A child being raised by his grandparents, a woman dying too young and a man shattered from his heart break.

Amie - posted on 12/06/2010

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First child or not, I would not choose the child. That child would still be left without a mother then. I can not willingly do that to any of my children.

It is selfish but I had them because I want them, I want to be the one to raise them. If it means I lose one to go on and have more. That would be my choice.

Becky - posted on 12/06/2010

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To be honest, I wouldn't have a choice. My husband says the dr. would have to save me. I mean, I guess I could fight him on that, if I was able to, but that would waste precious time.
I would choose my life over the child's anyways though, as much as I would probably be wracked with guilt over that for the rest of my life. I already have 2 boys who need their mommy.
Now, if it was my first child, I might feel differently.

Jodi - posted on 12/06/2010

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My mom was put in this position with my older sister. She was told point blank to make the decision as she hemoraging whether to save herself or the baby. She told the doctor she refused to answer that question as she wasn't God and neither was he...they both survived thankfully. If it was my first child I would say the child, but i already have a child to take care of and I too would have to choose myself at this point...although I think I would have to tell my doctor that he better save us both, just to put that little extra pressure on him to work that little bit harder. Hopefully, it is not a decison I will EVER have to make.

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thats understandable. You have other children to take care of. If i was not a mom. I would choose the unborn. Since i already have a child to take care of, i choose me.

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I would choose me to die.... which is another one of the many reasons I will never be getting pregnant again. I couldn't choose to let my baby die... EVER and I couldn't stand the thought of my ex and his wife being the ones to raise the kids I have now. I couldn't do that to them either (the kids I mean).

Katherine - posted on 12/06/2010

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That's is tough one. I would lke to sa Iwould choose the baby, but I have 2 other children. I couldn't imagine being without them or vice versa.
I also couldn't imgine losing a baby.....
I think the life of the mother always comes first anyways in those situations as far as a doctor is concerned.
I hope I never have to make a choice like that.

JuLeah - posted on 12/06/2010

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I don't really think the choice is ours to make. I think this is one of the things we like to believe we have control over, but really don't. I lived through a car crash that all professionals said no one could surive. My friend Deb lost her life in what was really a fender bender.
I know a guy who broke his ankel stepping off a sidewalk ... blood clot .... dead two days later and otehrs to have broken more bones then they can count and are still walking around.
I'd ask the doctors to try for both and let he chips fall.

Jocelyn - posted on 12/06/2010

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I'd choose me. It would be heartbreaking to loose a baby, but I've already got two kids and I won't leave them without a mother.

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I would choose me as well. If i were to die and my unborn live, then that child and my daughter would end up in foster care or something if i wasn't here. My daughter needs me I couldn't leave her here alone. If it were not birthing a child and i needed to save her or me. I would pick her. I couldn't live with myself knowing i let her die.

Nikkole - posted on 12/06/2010

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I would choose me to die i couldn't handle knowing i had a choice and chose to kill my baby!

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