Mother of two boys, researcher, animal lover, born and raised in Texas and always a Texan at heart.
Fifteen weeks pregnant, my bags were packed for my five-night business trip to London. I had just stepped out of the shower, barely covered with a towel, when I got the call: “Unfortunately I have some bad news for you. Your baby has trisomy 21.” My mind was swimming…which one was that? Was that the one where they die right after they are born? Or that other one I think is also fatal? No, it was Down syndrome. I was in a state of shock as I discussed when to do an amniocentesis for confirmation with the genetic counselor. My husband walked up the stairs as I blankly spoke into the phone. He took one look at my face, and said, “The baby?” I nodded. “Downs?” I nodded again. He raised his arms high and then fell to the floor. Tears started streaming down my face. There must have been a mistake. This could not be happening to us. Full story.
Suburban mom. Former paralegal. Surgeon’s wife. Animal lover. Atheist. My over-reaching list of ambitions includes dreams of becoming a writer, gourmet chef, marathon runner/cyclist, and world traveler. Keenly aware of my charmed life, each day I am grateful. Life has given me more than I ever dreamed and expected…except a 2nd child. Still learning the lesson of acceptance, I keep moving forward. I’m stronger than I used to be.
July, 2006, my world stopped. A routine 21 week ultrasound revealed our 2nd daughter, Emily, could have a form of dwarfism. A second ultrasound confirmed Thanatophoric Dysplasia, a “100% fatal” condition. The name literally means “death bearing,” characterized by short limbs, a narrow ribcage, and clover-shaped skull. Emily had all of these. Because her ribcage could not accommodate her lungs, she could not process amniotic fluid. I developed polyhydraminos, putting me at risk for placental hemorrhage and possible death. Our perinatologist recommended we terminate the pregnancy. We were handed a slip of paper with the number of a doctor who “helps people in your situation,” and were escorted out the back door into the parking lot. We were shattered. For us, it wasn’t a choice. A week later, we drove two hours to a clinic, and prepared to say goodbye to our baby. Full story.
Mother of two, wife of 10 years, chronically infertile. A family of my own became my source of constant grief and obsession, overshadowing everything in my life, my marriage, and my career as a graphic designer and interior decorator.
After a harrowing and devastating shock of soul-crushing, intense grief, and the urgency of a lifetime to find out everything we could about our son’s diagnosis, we talked to as many people as we could, and pursued every possible option. We ultimately decided our very much loved, very much wanted son should not live under the medical interventions and lifelong illness that awaited him, and that we had an obligation to our oldest child to not consign him to a lifetime of caregiving, as I had experienced with my own mother. Full story.
Christian, wife, daughter, aunt, sister, cousin, friend, neighbor, college-educated, career-oriented, optimistic, loving, kind-hearted, caring, selfless, ambitious, silly, and the list goes on…
After being married to my college sweetheart for four years and together for 11 years, we decided that it was time for us to start a family. We were very excited about having our first child. At 19 weeks, it was confirmed that our little girl had Trisomy 18 and Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome. We were provided with the options to either end the pregnancy, or allow her to die at birth and possibly suffer. We decided to put our angel to rest and out of her misery before it even began. Full story.