In a booklet meant to encourage women pregnant with disabled or sick babies choose life, Barb wrote about the pressure she came under to abort her son who had anencephaly:
Seven months into the pregnancy I was referred to the high-risk clinic. It was there where I was attacked by a doctor because I decided to keep the baby. My husband did not come with me, so I had nobody to defend me. The doctor basically told me that by keeping this baby I put myself in a great risk of having a lot of things go wrong. He even offered for me to abort that baby at that time. I cried so much when he was telling me this, but he did not seem to care. As I was driving home. I could not stop crying. How could somebody be so cruel? I couldn’t abort this baby. It was a gift from God even if only for a short time. I heard the heartbeat, I felt the movements, how could I just kill an innocent baby?
Bernadette Zambri Hope in Turmoil: A Guide for Decision-Making after Receiving a Difficult Prenatal Diagnosis Regarding Your Baby (2014)
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A woman who was told her baby could not survive had an abortion, then came to regret it deeply. Here is her story:
“The news came via a phone call. TRISOMY 13,that was the result. We went straight to the doctor’s surgery where we were given more information. The long and the short of it was that with trisomy 13 the organs and basically everything else do not form properly. My baby had no chance of survival…
My heart ached and my mind was a blur, my body numb. My beautiful, precious baby. We had wanted another child and we thought we were blessed to fall pregnant so quickly. Our heads were swimming with medical terms, odds and facts. Our only thought was of our child being in pain and we wanted to stop the suffering. Our decision was to terminate the pregnancy…
[After the abortion] life around me went on as normal. We told people we had lost the baby, as everyone knew that I was pregnant. Conversations replayed in my head like reruns of television shows. Then the nightmares began. Every night my two little children died in my dreams in every imaginable way… I cried all day and all night. I wanted my baby back. What had I done?
I wished we had made another choice. I had wanted to keep my baby boy and hold him in my arms even if he died. My husband disagreed. He felt that we had made the right decision even though it had been very hard. It was here that we somehow lost each other. For the first time in our life together we did not share the same opinion on something that really mattered. I felt my life spinning out of control. I couldn’t and didn’t sleep. I had no patience with the children. I cried all the time and I found myself wishing that I were dead just to stop the constant aching in my heart…
I began to see a counselor (Anne) a month or two after Joshua’s life ended. It has helped and it has also helped my husband and I work through this together even though we do not share the same views. He still believes that we made the right decision for our son but I know in my heart that things should have been different.
Now I have to face life without my precious Joshua, never having seen him, touched him, never having held him in my arms even once. I have to live with having no ending with him, no funeral and no grave to visit. Almost as if he never existed. I have to wake up each morning and look at myself in the mirror and know that I had a choice and I/we made the wrong choice and took the wrong path. I thought it was the easier path, the best choice but it turned out to be exactly the opposite.”
Anne R Lastman Redeeming Grief: Abortion and Its Pain (Balwyn, Vic: Australia: Gracewing, 2013) 156 – 158
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Kathy was pregnant with a baby who was not expected to live, and she had an abortion. Later, she deeply regretted it. She says:
“I should have allowed my baby to go to full-term and given birth to it and held her in my arms so that I could tell her that I loved her. I should have believed in her. I didn’t. I should’ve allowed her to go in her own time. I could then have known that I did the best I could for her. In this way I didn’t even give her a funeral. I don’t even know what happened to her.”
Anne R Lastman Redeeming Grief: Abortion and Its Pain (Balwyn, Vic: Australia: Gracewing, 2013) 147
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