When I came across this Facebook page for International Bereaved Mother’s Day I was hit with a wave of sadness. The memories of losing my first-born son are just as painful today as they were almost 17 years ago when he was born & died; unable to overcome the abnormalities he suffered as a result of a rare chromosomal disorder called ring 21.
When his condition was first diagnosed the doctor told me there was a 50/50 chance that he could live a normal life. There was no way to predict if he would have severe abnormalities or a few set-backs that he could learn to live with. The doctor’s advice was clear: you should end this pregnancy (I was about 18 weeks at this point). I couldn’t do it. I don’t believe in abortion and above that I just could not be the one to decide that he should not live. The doctor wasn’t certain; what if he was able to live a somewhat normal life? If I killed him, I never would have known. Living with the questions would have been far worse than living with the loss.
After a sonogram at 28 weeks that revealed he was growing normally, I got comfy. I thought he would be ok. In my later weeks I missed a few doctor appointments; never a good idea but in my case it was the worst possible thing I could have done. What I did not know was the swelling, headaches, and occasional dizziness I began to experience were signs that I had formed a severe case of eclampsia which was about to come to a head.
At 37 weeks and 3 days I began having seizures. I blanked out so the rest is based on the stories my mom told me but long story short I had an emergency c-section where they took the baby to administer life-saving medicine. The nurses asked my mom if I had been on drugs, because my baby had a malformed liver, heart, lungs, and extremities (his left hand had only 3 fingers) due to his condition. It was my mother’s decision (since I was still out of it due to the procedure & medicine) to end medical intervention and allow him to rest in peace; after 9 hours and 33 minutes of life. I am thankful that she made the right choice to end his suffering and let him go.
I still think about him a lot, but not everyday like I used to. I wonder what his life would have been like if he had grown healthy and been born without the internal complications that cost him his life. I know I am not alone; there are so many mothers out there that have lost a child/children or are unable to have something they want so badly: a baby. I am happy to have found this site and the support network that revolves around these mothers because it truly is an everlasting pain. I am blessed to have had 3 very healthy children since then and while they will never be able to replace the baby I lost, I do thank God every day for them; knowing how very lucky I am to be able to be their mother.
I want to hear from you!
Have you heard of International Bereaved Mother’s Day? Please leave me a comment below and let’s have a discussion.