by Kate Chetta
“Poor prenatal diagnosis”– These words are sudden, jarring and unbearable. My world came crashing down when I learned that LILY, my second daughter, bore this horrendous fate. It must be a mistake, I thought; but test after test by the best Maternal Fetal Medicine Specialists in the country made it clear that Lily was extremely sick from something called congenital CMV. The damage to her little body was severe. If she did survive birth, she would likely be severally disabled, with what doctors deemed a “very poor quality of life”.
As I sat in the examination room and the initial shock subsided, I asked the doctors what they would do if they were in my situation. Without hesitation, the doctor said “I would “interrupt” the pregnancy”. My head began to spin as I tried to grasp the meaning of those words. He was telling me to end my pregnancy – to abort my child. In that moment, I fully understood the fear, desperation, and hopelessness experienced by families who are forced to make a choice between what the experts tell them and what their hearts long for.
My husband and I thanked the doctors and went home. We decided we would savor and celebrate whatever time we had with Lily. My husband read to her and kissed my belly, her older sister gave her hugs and told her she loved her. We made a conscious decision to make each day special to celebrate her life, no matter how brief.
Pregnant, need help or know someone who does?
National Hotline: Call 1-800-712-HELP or Text 'HELPLINE' to 313131.
In Southeast Penna: Call or text 610-626-4006
If you or someone you know is suffering after abortion, confidential non-judgmental help is available. Call Project Rachel's national toll-free number 888-456-HOPE (4673) or visit hopeafterabortion.org.