The Hardest Decision of All: Whether to End a Pregnancy

It was a horrific nightmare. I went to the doctor, expecting all to be well – but the ultrasound showed that all had gone horribly wrong.

I have to say that there is absolutely nothing worse than hearing that something is wrong with your baby.

Our baby had developed anencephaly– a severe brain deformity where the chances of survival are almost nil. And for those babies who do survive, they have no quality of life for they are never conscious (read more).

People may judge my husband and I because we decided to end it. You may think: "I'd do anything to have a baby, sick or not.” Only my mother knows the real story of what happened to us. 2 years later, I am still filled with guilt even though we know it was the best decision for our baby.

Here are some of the kindest words people have said. If you have a friend or family member in this terrible situation, and you are struggling to find the ‘right words’ -- here are some suggestions. And if you are a doctor or other professional, I hope these suggestions will help you in your practice, too:

“Though you may always question your decision, it was the best one for your baby.”

“It was a loss. You didn’t do anything wrong by choosing not to have your baby. Anyone who really thinks about being in that situation would not judge you.”

“All the secrets you feel the need to keep must weigh on you daily. Maybe you should tell people what you went through. Maybe they need to understand your pain.”

“You are such a strong couple, to have made the choice that you had to make.”

“Clearly you are still in mourning and you know, that's alright.”

“You did what you felt was best for your baby, and I totally respect that.”

“I wish that you wouldn’t feel guilty and judged. I wish people would remember that it's not them making the decision. We all have limits of what we can and can not handle.”

“It’s sad that you have both made such an unselfish decision and yet you feel judged on top of all the other horrible feelings you are having.”

“I have nothing but respect for you being able to do what you felt was best for your baby, even though it completely broke your heart.”

Thanks for reading.

Comments (3)

Said this on 30-12-08 At 06:54 am
Oh Megan. I am crying have read about your baby. My son was diagnosed with hydrocephalus due to aqueductal stenois. It was discovered at my level II US at 19w4d on 10/24/08 and confirmed by the children's hospital at 21w on 11/3/08.
The fluid surrounding his brain had gotten much worse in the days between the appts. We were told our little angel would only be able to suck, swallow and cry. He would not have any other brain function.
My husband and I have been trying for 3 years to get pregnant. Having done all the fertility treatments. This was our 2nd IVF. How do you make a decision like this? Especially after what we went through to get to this point?
Hearing that our son would have no life quality, we made the horrifically awful decision not to make our son go through that.
I was induced on 11/5/08 and our beautiful son was born on 11/6/08 at 21w3d.
Many hugs and tears go out to you.
Said this on 26-02-09 At 02:15 am
We had to make the same choice. We found out my daughter was going to be born with a rare case of spina bifida and an around chiari III malformation. They told me I wasn't going to be able to carry her full term. It was a hard decsion to make but I wanted to give Kayden a chance. She was born very sick and spent most of her life in and out of the hospital. Kayden lived for 363 days. We were blessed. I'm so sorry for your loss I hate that you guys had to make that decison. God bless
Said this on 31-03-09 At 03:44 pm
I lost my daughter Ruby at 19 weeks. At 16 weeks, my waters starting leaking due to a infection and then contractions started for a few days. I was put in hospital on bedrest for the next 3 weeks. Due to the lack of fluid, her cord prolapsed right down the cervic and out of me. I was told then there was zero chance of survival and the risk of infection for me was so massive they had to induce me straight away. Even knowing there was no chance for her, it broke my heart to induce her: to sign those forms agreeing to this felt so wrong. I now live with the guilt of doing this... and of always wondering what I did wrong to break my waters in the first place...why did I get the infection?? So many "what if's". Some people have said some stupid comments to us; I wish they could look at this website and start to understand what we are going through.
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