My template

Monday, March 2, 2009

Saying goodbye early is not painful? Says who?

I subscribe to Google alerts for both Trisomy 18 and Edward's Syndrome, so I can visit those blogs and comfort parents who are going through what I did. The blogging world is heating up over a family's accusations that a Catholic hospital encouraged her to terminate her Trisomy 18 pregnancy. I have visited a few of them, the majority of them strict pro-life sites.

One didn't seem to be from that angle, so I left a comment. One of the other commenters had this to say, "Even if a child is sure to die early in life, choosing to abort that child is still an elective, unnecessary abortion performed so a couple or mother doesn't have to face pain."

Excuse me? Did I read that right? Does she really think a family who receives a poor prenatal diagnosis ends a pregnancy early to keep from feeling pain? I don't think she realizes the pain that goes into making the decision to end a pregnancy.

Making the decision to terminate was the hardest, most painful decision I have ever had to make. I agonized over it, reading different information on the Internet, wavering between what I wanted to do. I guess I came about as close to terminating as you can get without actually having to go through it. I know what goes into making that decision, and never once did relieving my pain come into it.

Keeping Jenna out of pain? Yes, I did think about that a lot. It was probably my main reason. To save Tessa from feeling pain? Yes, that was another reason I considered it. But, I didn't think about my pain. I was already feeling the pain a parent experiences when their child receives a terminal diagnosis. How could terminating spare me from pain? Please explain that one to me.

Even though I didn't terminate, I know what it feels like to make that decision, although I don't know what it feels like to actually go through it. I also know what it feels to have a stillborn baby and hearing her diagnosis and making the decision to terminate was just as painful, if not more so in some ways, than birthing a dead baby.

It is because of attitudes like that commenters that many women who terminate due to poor prenatal diagnosis keep quiet about it, afraid of being judged. I'm sure some women who want to terminate don't due to this fear. Instead of judging these women, we need to realize they have experienced a loss just as profound as those whose babies are stillborn.


mrsmoore08 said...

I'm sorry about ignorant people. If they don't know all the facts they shouldn't bother talking about it.

JenJen said...

Life is full of tough decisions, and as humans we are not in position to judge one another. I'm sure driving to Atlanta was the longest one of your life, and we all know that you didn't want to have to make this decision for your child. Personally, I am pro-life, but I would never judge another mommy for the decisions that they make for their sick child. ((hugs)) and you're in my prayers~