Dedication: My son Sebastian
Trigger warning: Before reading this post, please be aware that it includes photos and graphic and explicit description of a stillbirth.
Where should I start? I have dreamt my entire life of having a kid. At the age of 12 I would talk about getting married, having a home, 3 kids and having 2 dogs. I met the love of my life 15 months ago and I couldn’t be any happier. Yes, we have our ups and downs but what relationship doesn’t? 9 Months into our relationship I found out I was pregnant. I was on birth control for 5 years but decided to get off of it because Depo Provera the BC I was on causing osteoporosis and they never recommend you staying on it for more than 3 years. Over a long period of time of being on it I began to feel weak to the point I couldn’t carry a bag of groceries anymore. I knew it was time to come off it. 6 Months later I ended up being 2 days late for my period and I just knew I was pregnant but I wanted to be sure. I remember the doctor coming into the room and saying “Isis You are definitely pregnant.” I was so happy I immediately called my partner to share the news but little did I know it wasn’t amazing news to everyone. The first thing my partner said was ” We’ll talk when I get home from work and it wasn’t a happy response. I was so scared on what would happen when he got home and I was right to be so. When he got home he said to me “babe, you know what we have to do right?” I said what do you mean? He just threw abortion into my face and my response was to cry. I am against abortion, always have and always will be. I knew we were young and weren’t the most financially stable but that didn’t bother me. I refused to get an abortion and that didn’t make him happy, he begged me for almost a week and I refused everyday. MY DREAM FINALLY CAME TRUE!! He was so angry with me, nothing was the same for awhile. I told him that if he wasn’t ready to be a father that was fine but I was going to keep the baby whether he liked it or not. He accused me of being selfish that I didn’t care about how he felt. He was wrong though I felt guilty everyday during the pregnancy that I hated myself for having to put him in this position of resentment towards me. On Christmas day we had the worst fight ever to the point we almost broke up. I was so scared I was going to lose him but I would do anything for my baby. Over time things got a lot better and our happiness for the pregnancy became 2 instead of 1. I was so happy that my partner was excited to be a father. We moved into a bigger place, we created a registry, we bought gifts and we received gifts. Little did we know this was all going to come to an end. On March 15th of 2021 I got the worst news of my life, “Isis, we found so many issues on your sons ultrasound that there’s nothing we can do. We believe the best course of action is to terminate.” I bursted into tears screaming “what’s wrong with my son”? They told me he had a lemon shaped head, flat back head, clenched hands/finger’s, hole in his heart, 2 cysts on his brain, clubbed foot and a spinal tube defect. I couldn’t believe the way the doctor had described my son, I was just traumatized. I asked him what this meant and he said my son would have no quality of life just a lifelong time of issues. I knew we had to terminate the pregnancy because I couldn’t live a life where my son would just suffer. My heart just ripped out of my chest I didn’t know how I would tell my partner the terrible news. I immediately told him when I got home and he cried. We both knew without discussing it that we would both agree with the termination, and we did. A day later we had an appointment to sign all documentation in regards to giving the hospital consent to end my pregnancy. I didn’t know how to prepare myself I just knew this wouldn’t be easy for me. We had been given an appointment for March 19th at 8am to be admitted in the hospital. During a painful day and night of contractions by son was born the next day at 4:44am. Angle numbers what is the coincidence? Based off how small my son was weighing 400grams and 11.5 inches, Birth didn’t hurt at all! I pushed once with the water breaking and he just came sliding out on his own with no pushing. The minute he came out and I heard no crying I just felt empty I couldn’t stop crying. All I could think about was “why me” “why did I have to go through this?” “what did I do so wrong that I had to lose my first child at 19 years old.” I took me over 6 hours to hold my son but it was the best decision I had ever made. I was debating for a week whether I should hold him or not based off how the doctor described my son and I was terrified that I would be traumatized. My son was beautiful he looked just like his father. My partner has a skin tag on his left ear and so did Sebastian. He had his father nose as well, my god he was just so cute and so small. Based off the doctors description, my sons hands and clubbed foot were the only thing we could see. The thing I will never forget is how cold he felt and how non-developed he was. His head was so delicate that I thought his head would just snap off his body if I didn’t hold his head strong enough. It was just so scary. After taking turns holding him, kissing him and talking to him we decided to leave the hospital at 3 pm later that day because he knew the longer we stay the harder it would be to say goodbye. I love my son and will always love him. He was my little prince/my little boy. Later on that day we had a meeting with the genetics team and we were informed that they believe my son had Trisomy 18 and if not they will be doing further testing. We were told it would take 4-6 weeks for results to come back as they need to test Sebastian’s brain and heart. As the brain is so mushy and soft they need his brain to sit in a liquid which hardens the brain so they could do testing on it. They said that if it’s confirmed to be T-18 then my son would have not survived past 30 weeks of pregnancy and if he did, he would not have lived past 1 day of birth. We knew just with that information what we did was the right decision as if we were to keep him, losing him then would’ve been a lot harder then mentally and physically. It has been 2 weeks since my termination and we are still waiting on the results. Waiting is the most stressful thing because all you want to know is what happened? what did my son have? why did this have to happen? This has been by far the worst experience of my life and I will never heal from it. What I would like to share with others out there who may have gone through or are going through this is, take your time!! Don’t let anyone rush you on your healing process. If you need time off work, take it. If you need time off from school, take it. If you just need space from others, take it. But please don’t isolate yourself forever because during this stage of grief you need to be around people who love and support you. Don’t let anyone say your a “baby killer” or give you hate speech on your decision because deep down you know what you did was the best thing you could ever do for your child’s quality of life! One thing I will say before I go is, There will always be the feeling of regret somewhere deep inside of you because I have it and it’s not been easy. ALL THE FEELINGS YOUR FEELING IS NORMAL AND IT’S HEALTHY. Just believe that it’ll get easier and you’ll be okay. Hugs and kisses to all the mothers out there who have angel babies. You’re amazing and you’re so strong. I love you.
Photo credit: Images provided by the storyteller.