For all mamas to have a choice. A choice to carry their babies if they want to.
I did. I’m so grateful. And I don’t for one single second regret it.
Not even when my little not-so-innocent-anymore seven year old says to a very pregnant woman, “I really hope your baby doesn’t die.” She’s not intending to incite fear. She just wants to spare this sweet lady from hurt. She gets it.
The world isn’t perfect. It isn’t a cookie cutter place full of happy endings for everyone.
She (and the rest of us who held our little Kyle in our hearts) totally understand that the ending isn’t nearly as important as the during.
That the powerful God-means is what justifies the whatever-may-come end.
That we no longer count days, but make each day count.
So many women are faced with devastating news that their little life inside them has no hope, no future, no compatibility-with-life. However, many times, this news is associated with percentages and “There’s a 95% chance your baby won’t make it.” or “We see a marker for Down’s.”
Even when diagnoses are confirmed…many women don’t want to end their pregnancies. Even when the end of the baby’s life is clearly going to come before it begins, many women want a choice. To hold that baby as long as they can. And with every Mom I’ve spoken to who has made this choice (that’s 100%, folks), they don’t regret it.
This mama doesn’t regret that choice either.
Her baby has what Kyle had. An extra chromosome. He was born in a nearby town. The doctor left the room to give them time to hold their barely alive baby as long as he’d hold on. He waited for their call that his end had come. But they didn’t call. Several hours later, he returned. To find Mom and Dad, not crying in grief. But changing his diaper. “He seemed hungry, so I fed him? Now I have to change him.” He was crying. He was breathing. He turns towards his mama’s voice. He smiles.
His doctor stared in disbelief.
Then the birth plan – just like the one I had to write out, but didn’t get to use….the one about what interventions we would allow and which ones we wouldn’t….was thrown out of the chart, and a new one was quickly written up.
He was sent to a hospital far away for a major open heart surgery. I reached out to many of you on my facebook page and instagram feed – you all responded with an avalanche of prayer. It was successful. I was able to be there while my husband was in the same building having his own open-brain surgery.
This Mama had a choice. And she doesn’t regret it. At all. And after 4 months of intensive care in two different hospitals, 3 helicopter rides back and forth, and numerous doctors and nurses and care plans, this little guy is coming home this week.
And like one of my heroes fought for freedom of choice for his people, I am happy to fight for the dear mothers out there who want the same choice I had.
And how awesome that Dr. King’s grandkids and friends can look back on an ugly time of our nation’s history and say “As hard as it was, I’m so glad he fought for what was right.” I don’t know where my grandparents were during that fight for social justice. I don’t know where they stood. Perhaps they were marching right along with Dr. King. Perhaps they were just quietly standing for justice in their own neighborhoods.
When it comes down to it, God has created all men equal. And women, and children, and babies. And when my girls are older and they understand truly who Kyle was and what we did to celebrate him, as hard as it was, I want them to remember that I fought for him. And for babies like him.
Note: If you need support for your dream of holding on to a fatal diagnosis pregnancy, please contact the organization that supported us so strongly, yet gently, Perinatal Comfort Care. They can help you find doctors and nurses who will support you and your baby through the rough days ahead. If you’d like more personal information from me about our birth plan or our journey, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.