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Diagnosis: Anencephaly

By Laytricia

Derrick and I had wanted another child but at the time felt it wasn't the best timing. We were entering our final year of his recruiting duty tour and he worked so many hours that he wouldn't be able to enjoy the pregnancy with me. He is active duty in the United States Marine Corp and that would mean travel with a new baby to a new destination.

Upon return from a business trip for my job on October 19,2009, I started suffering from extreme exhaustion and went to see my doctor. She decided to send me for some tests and blood work but also took a urine sample for pregnancy test. She came back within five minutes and told me that no further testing was needed as I was pregnant! I didn't know what to say but was instead thinking of how was I going to tell my husband and how is this possible because I was wearing my contraceptive ring at the time.

An ultrasound two days later confirmed that I was 6 weeks pregnant. I didn't know why, but as the pregnancy progressed, I never felt happy or contented as I did with my previous pregnancies. This child would make number four for us.

The entire time, I was always worried that something was wrong or if my baby would live. Even with therapy sessions, I couldn't shake the feeling. I suffered with hyperemesis (extreme nausea and vomiting) the first three and a half months as I did with my other children, but in addition, my uterus always felt heavy early on and uncomfortable.

In the early hours of January 4, in my fourth month, I began bleeding with no cramps or other symptoms. They had me come in for an ultrasound the next afternoon to be sure things were OK with the baby. The technician first did a traditional ultrasound but couldn't see the baby's head so she then did a vaginal high definition ultrasound and discovered a problem. She stopped the ultrasound and went to get the doctor who came in and gave us the heartbreaking news. The baby had Anencephaly.

A friend had come with me because my husband wasn't able to come. My husband was called to the hospital and we were given our choices. We both agreed on a D & C surgery because we personally couldn't bear to carry the pregnancy full term and deliver a baby we could not take home. On January 8, 2010, our angel went back to heaven and I felt so very empty. I was 17 weeks.

For us, it is a day to day task of dealing with the pain and healing from our loss. Though we did not intend to get pregnant, we had just begun to get excited about our soon-to-be born baby. I do not know what the future hold for more children. I do however,take comfort in knowing one day we will see our baby again in Heaven where he will be whole and loved again.


Books on Loss and Grief

Our Heartbreaking Choices: Forty-Six Women Share Their Stories of Interrupting a Much-Wanted Pregnancy

The Dive :: A Memoir

A Time to Decide a Time to Heal: For Parents Making Difficult Decisions About Babies They Love

Precious Lives Painful Choices: A Prenatal Decision-Making Guide

Sunshine After the Storm: A Survival Guide for the Grieving Mother

Empty Cradle, Broken Heart, Revised Edition: Surviving the Death of Your Baby

Empty Arms: Coping With Miscarriage, Stillbirth and Infant Death

A Silent Sorrow: Pregnancy Loss

Unspeakable Losses: Healing From Miscarriage, Abortion, And Other Pregnancy Loss

Surviving Pregnancy Loss: A Complete Sourcebook for Women and Their Families

Difficult Decisions: For Families Whose Unborn Baby Has a Serious Problem

Books for Fathers, Family, Children and Friends

Couple Communication After a Baby Dies: Differing Perspectives

For Better or Worse: For Couples Whose Child Has Died

How to Say it When You Don't Know What to Say: The Right Words For Difficult Times

A Guide For Fathers: When A Baby Dies

When Your Friend's Child Dies: A Guide to Being a Thoughtful and Caring Friend

When Pregnancy Fails: Families Coping with Miscarriage, Stillbirth, and Infant Death

What You Can Say When You Don't Know What to Say: Reaching Out to Those Who Hurt

Books about Trying Again and Pregnancy after Loss

Journeys: Stories of Pregnancy After Loss

Trying Again: A Guide to Pregnancy After Miscarriage, Stillbirth, and Infant Loss

Pregnancy After a Loss: A Guide to Pregnancy After a Miscarriage, Stillbirth, or Infant Death