Renee, West Virginia

reneeWV

Wife, daughter, sister, stepmother and a mother to my angel daughter.

I was over the moon when I found out I was pregnant. I wanted to scream it to the world that I was finally becoming a mother. From the beginning I knew I was having a girl, and during our 20 week ultrasound my intuition was proved correct. Words can’t express the excitement of watching her move and feeling her kick, knowing this was my daughter.  I had no idea my world would ever come crashing down as the doctor said something was wrong with her. Full story.

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Lindsey, Pennsylvania

lindsey

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.

Tara, Virginia

Tara

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.

Colleen, California

Colleen

I am a 43-year-old mother to two boys; a sweet and sassy three-year-old and an angel, and wife to a wonderful, loving husband. I am a budget analyst for a university.  I love music and singing, although I’m sure I drive my family crazy when I sing with the radio! We have two crazy dogs and two silly cats – the beginnings of our own zoo. I believe we should have the right to choose what is best for our families, our bodies and our lives.

We have a wonderful, sweet, three-year-old son and he is our world. We found out that I was pregnant with our second child just before my son’s third birthday. We were scared – financially, it would be a hardship, and we were worried how we would love our second child as much as our first. My husband and I figured out the financials, and started to get excited for our son to have a little sister or brother. He would be such a great big brother; loving and sweet. We took him to our 13 week ultrasound and he was excited to see “his baby.”  Just my husband and I went to the 19 week ultrasound, and that is when our world began to fall apart.  Full story.

Mary, California

Mary

Married for 15 years to my high school sweetheart.  Mom, Daughter, Friend & Survivor. Loves butterflies, reading, listening to music, and being with my family and friends.

In January of 2012, at 33 years old, I found out I was pregnant again. I was scared and thrilled all at the same time. After a very long time I would be starting over, and the thought was both amazing and terrifying all at once. I waited a LONG time for this little one and I was overjoyed.  I never imagined I would  go in for my 18 week ultrasound and my world would come crashing down. I went in with hopes of pink or blue, and left with a heavy heart and crushed dreams.  Full story.

Dr. E, Pennsylvania

DrE2“Dr. E”  is a college professor and clinician in private practice in Pennsylvania. Prior to getting her doctorate, she was employed as a social worker in the fields of end of life care, trauma, and serious mental illness. She is also a trained opera singer and lives with her husband, infant son (at the time of this writing) and menagerie of dogs, cats, birds, fish, and rats.

As a clinician and professor specializing in death, dying, and bereavement, I always focused on helping others through grief and loss. I never expected to become a patient myself when our first child was diagnosed with an extremely rare and deadly birth defect. Our son’s diagnosis of CHAOS proved to me that I am not immune to tragedy or heartbreaking decisions. Having never expected to ever terminate a pregnancy, I found myself forced to end my son’s life prematurely before he died either prenatally of heart failure or, if he made it to term, in agonizing pain and suffering. Full story.