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.

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Jen, Florida

JenFL

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.

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.

Victory, Michigan

Victory

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.

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.

Marketia, Arizona

Marketia

I am a 54-year-old housewife and mom. I love to read, play a little golf, and watch college football games with my husband.

I also had two late-term abortions due to major birth defects. Our oldest son is 27 and the pregnancy with him was completely normal. We thought having a second child would be easy enough and had planned on having at least 3, if not 4, children. Michael was born in 1985.  In March of 1988 I had my first miscarriage. The second and third miscarriages were in 1990. All were in the first trimester, and no cause was found. In 1991 I was once again pregnant.  When I made it through the first trimester we thought we could breathe.   Full story.

BB, Nevada

BB

Together with my high school sweetheart for the last 12 years. Wife, sister, mother of two living children. College graduate and career woman. Enjoys being outdoors, riding horses, and playing with my children.

We were so excited to find out we were expecting our second child. Our hearts were filled with so much joy and love for our newest addition, and it was only multiplied exponentially when we found out we were having another girl. PINK!! Our daydreams of adding a beautiful baby girl to our family were stripped away in an instant when we found out our daughter had major development issues that were deemed incompatible with life… We were faced with a decision no family should ever have to face. Full story.