I have read a lot of stories on this website but this is for the ones that choose termination!
I had a termination at 20 weeks in 2005 at the age of 29 for my first baby that had bad genetic defects – I was told I had 1 in 40 chance of having an issue with my baby after the scan – but the way I thought of it was that if 40 people were lined up and a stray bullet was fired it wouldn’t hit me – never imagined something like this would ever happen to me but it did, my baby had Trisomy 18 – he didn’t have a full brain and had major heart issues and Spina Bifida and was considered not a viable life so we felt the decision was already made for us and felt we were doing the right thing for the baby and us as these babies don’t often live past birth but when the time came to terminate, within days of the results, it was scary and there was a lot of self judgement.
My Mum, my rock, my friend, happened to be having an operation the same day so she couldn’t make it – my partner was there though but he is male haha. I was given some pills to end the baby’s life, I believe by stopping the blood to the baby which I thought sounded horrific but this was the process. I was then told the baby could have still be born alive which I didn’t think I would cope with, however when I was induced 2 days later the pills had done their job. It was a long process in another town with 2 different midwives neither of whom I knew, as my midwife wasn’t paid for this sort of thing, also we were in a normal birthing ward so there was happy Mums and Dads around so it was very upsetting. Then this sweet little boy was born – my partner was out of the room luckily as he didn’t cope with this sort of thing anyway but was trying his best – but I couldn’t see the babies issues I was told about – I couldn’t see anything wrong with him and this sent me into self doubt about what I had done.
The midwife took some photos of him which they sent to me a month later where I finally was in a better place so was able to recognize the defects – I believe I couldn’t see the truth because love is blind maybe and I just loved this little man. At the time I was happy that I did not legally have to have a funeral, I didn’t think I wanted all that, I have never named the child either, I have just always said the FIRST baby – I could have taken him home with me to bury myself, but that was all too much for my partner and family and probably me, its only looking back now that I wish I had done more – something special, his ashes are at the Hamilton Rose Gardens near the hospital but going there feels like bringing up the past and not going is just as painful.
I had a long road ahead of me with the healing – I read books about what people might or wont say as they just don’t know how to react, my family struggled to deal with my emotions – I went back to work after 4 weeks and felt very alone even though I had lots of friends and family and started drinking too much, I crashed my car and then 3 weeks later got done for drink driving which was actually a God send as I needed a reality check to sort myself out, I was then pregnant again but had a miscarriage but was able to work through that – obviously that was nothing compared with what we had been through before. Finally, in a better place we were pregnant again and it was very nerve wracking with all the tests but our baby girl was born healthy and now we also have a son too. I just want to say – I don’t regret what I did 99% of the time and know that my baby was never in pain. I just want people to realize termination is a valid option too!