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.