My boyfriend and I were very happy to have a newborn baby in our lives. I have always wanted to be a mother. At the age of 31, I found out I was pregnant. To make things more exciting, my baby’s due date was one week after my birthday. The stress of a new baby was starting to set in but the joy of carrying a child made me feel like the happiest woman in the world. At 16 weeks pregnant, I found out through a blood test that my baby was “high risk” for Trisomy 18. After several ultrasounds, I found out my baby was a little girl and she was showing physical signs of Trisomy 18 (2 cysts in her brain, cleft lip, clenched fists, and slowed growth). Our hearts were shattered.
I began to grieve the loss of my baby before it even happened. I cried uncontrollably for days, weeks, and every time I went to the doctor’s office. The doctors told me it was not likely that my baby would make it passed the second trimester. If she did survive pregnancy, she probably wouldn’t make it to her first birthday. Words can’t describe the devastation my boyfriend and I felt. We couldn’t believe this was happening. Why us? Why her? What did we do wrong? Everyone else has perfectly healthy babies! How can this be happening? We continued to go forward with the pregnancy in spite of the doctor’s opinions to seek other options. I even had a difference in an opinion with them when it came to the method of delivery. My doctor said, “Why are you going to have a major surgery like a C-section, if the outcome will still be the same.” Basically, he didn’t think my child was worth a chance since she would die anyway.
Having a C-section was the best decision we ever made! My boyfriend and I feel very confident Grace wouldn’t have survived a vaginal birth. She graced us with her presence for 2 days. She was born with weak airways and could not breathe on her own. She was immediately put on a breathing machine to keep her alive. We made the decision to let her go naturally, the way God intended it. It was a heart-wrenching situation to go through. We prayed and prayed that our baby would be one of the lucky ones. But it turns out we were the lucky ones, we are parents of an Angel. She has changed our lives forever.
We think about Grace every single day and we always will. Even if we knew she wasn’t going to survive, we would not change anything about our time with her. God Bless any families who are going through the struggles of Trisomy 18.