Jessica’s Story

The happy dance

When we first found out that I was pregnant, my husband and I were scared, but we soon got used to this new concept of being parents. At our first ultrasound appointment around 10 weeks, everything looked great and we got to see our baby move. It was like he was dancing in there for us—it was so amazing to see! A few weeks later, I got to hear the heartbeat. Everything sounded great, and I was feeling fine. 


UNEXPECTED ULTRASOUND RESULTS

March 5th, 2019, we were scheduled for our midway ultrasound, and we were excited to find out what we were having. My husband, mom, sister, and mother-in-law were there. They started the ultrasound and I kept thinking, when is she going to say something and when will we get to see the profile of our baby—what is going on? The doctor typed stuff into the computer and then shut the machine off. 

I honestly can’t remember what all she said, but I knew it wasn’t good. She talked about how the fluid is virtually none and that it should be around this amount. Again, I’m not sure what that amount was, and, then she said, this scares me and I’m going to refer you to a perinatal office to get a better look. 


STANDING BY OUR DECISION

The two weeks waiting for that appointment were hard but not as hard as when the perinatal office told us our baby would not survive because the baby didn’t have working kidneys; which in turn wasn’t allowing any fluid to help with the development of the lungs. Right away they suggested we terminate the pregnancy. We left that appointment scared and shocked. We didn’t know what to do. We are definitely a pro-life family, but it was so scary. 

A few months later, my doctor scheduled me with another perinatal place, because the first place really didn’t want to answer the questions we had and did not want to see me again—that was their diagnosis and that was it. Honestly, I feel like they were trying to scare us into terminating because they said there was a risk to me. But my regular doctor had a discussion with other doctors, and they all agreed I wasn’t at a higher risk than any other pregnancy. 

However, the second place we went to confirmed the diagnosis of the other office. It wasn’t that we didn’t believe them, but we were talking about the life and death of our child, and we needed to know or have a better idea of what was going on. Through this whole pregnancy, we were offered multiple times to terminate, but we chose to keep going. It wasn’t easy, and, especially where we live, there aren’t as many resources in our area as compared to those found in bigger cities.


STANDING BY OUR DECISION

In the meantime, we were trying to cherish our time with our son. We found out the sex through some genetic testing because the lack of fluid made it hard to see—we could not see what he or she was. And the other frustrating thing was we still didn’t get any results as to what might be going on. 

Before the birth though, instead of planning a baby shower, I was arranging my son’s autopsy, I was arranging his cremation, and I was in contact with a photographer to see if they would even photograph for us. There was nobody to help with anything. It was all left to us to arrange. 

No parent should have to do that on their own. When it came time to give birth, and say goodbye, there was still confusion on the transportation of the body to get to where he needed to be for the autopsy.


SUPPORT MAKES THE DIFFERENCE

I guess what I’m trying to say is that I’m so glad we chose to carry to term. However, there need to be more resources or social workers to help parents through something like this, because it was the most agonizing thing to have to make all of those arrangements on our own. I’m glad there is this place for other people to go to. I wish we had known about you guys sooner.