Anencephaly

‘I was crying uncontrollably. There was no heartbeat. I tried to pray, but all I could say was ‘Hail Mary,’ over and over. It felt like a sick joke.’: Mom loses son to pre-eclampsia and HELLP syndrome, ‘He would have turned 7 this year’

“They tried to run an IV through my swollen, bruised hands. I nearly passed out. I remember someone slapping my cheek a little. I was completely naked on the table, shaking uncontrollably. We heard the doctor say, ‘Baby.’ There was no crying, no sound at all. The first time we got to hold him was also the last.”

‘Is there something wrong with her head?’ Matt insisted on an answer. He bowed his head in prayer. I held his hand tight.’: Mom loses daughter to anencephaly, ‘Rachel made me a better person’

“‘She’s going to live, right?’ The doctor looked at me and said words I will never forget… ‘These babies don’t live.’ She handed me a box of rough, thin tissues and left the room. I completely lost all composure and thrashed around that room like I myself was being killed. ‘Not my girl… not my girl…’ I asked Matt, ‘What are we going to do?’ Without a pause, my brave husband said, ‘We’re going to give her a name.’”

‘Were you bit by a mosquito during pregnancy?’ The doctor said, ‘I’m having a hard time finding the baby’s head.’: Mom births miracle baby with microcephaly, ‘He brings us endless joy!’

“Every diaper I got to change came with so much excitement. Every feeding was so special to me. But secretly, I was still scared. My heart was attached, but my mind knew to keep a distance, just in case. And then I felt it. ‘This baby isn’t going anywhere.’”

‘Do you want to hold her?’ My husband cradled her in his arms, weeping. ‘I just love her so much.’ My lungs burned as I gasped for air.’: Parents lose daughter to Anencephaly, ‘My husband fell to his knees’

“I collapsed over her body that no longer held the warmth and softness of a newborn. Nothing was going to bring her back. She was finally healed. Safe. Free of pain. I kissed her forehead. A final goodbye. My husband was escorted out of the room by the funeral director. I saw my daughter’s body leave forever, safe in her daddy’s arms. Stop. Stop. Stop the car. I can’t do this. I can’t go home. He rubbed my hand. ‘Let’s go to a hotel…’ We slept hard that night and awoke to a new day. A new, unwanted step we had to take without our baby girl.”

‘I have to tell you something. Your baby doesn’t have a skull.’ She squeezed my hand. Tears welled up in my eyes. I waited.’: Mom loses child to anencephaly diagnosis, ‘He was born smiling, so peaceful’

“I finally gave in and made the call. I cut the doctor off. ‘My water just broke.’ Right there in the middle of my kitchen. His tone quickly changed. ‘Get to the hospital ASAP.’ We were snowed in, at the worst possible time. The woman at the desk asked me, ‘Are you pregnant?’ I wasn’t sure how to reply. Do I explain, ‘Yes, I am in labor with my dying son,’ or just let it alone? They wheeled me into the operating room. ‘Oh you just had a baby! Congratulations!’ Those words stung very deep.”

‘Our angel was beautiful. The most precious lips, tiny button nose. I memorized every inch of her. We sobbed.’: Mom says there was a ‘calm presence’ as she delivered stillborn daughter, ‘Our time with her will never feel like enough

“’My gut feelings usually are never wrong, especially about our children.’ I could not shake the sense that there were complications with the baby. ‘I believe there is something wrong with your baby’s head.’ I never once thought our sweet girl would die. She was perfect. I’ll never forget the weight of her laying on my chest. We read her stories and left her cheeks wet from tears. Her sister and brother got to meet her and love her.”

‘I need to talk to you guys.’ I just said, ‘the brain.’ My husband was in shock, but I knew. We wouldn’t get our baby girl.’: Mother loses twin daughter to anencephaly after birth, ‘My oldest gave me a lovey for her to take to heaven’

“‘So I’ll only have a baby brother?,’ my daughter asked, confused. I woke up at 5:24 that morning and went to check on her, in Matt’s arms. I was grateful it happened peacefully. I woke him up. ‘She’s gone.’ We each held her, then one another, before calling the nurse in. We kissed her perfect little cheeks. ‘Goodbye, sweet girl.’”

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