Kaitlynn's Story

Diagnosis: Anencephaly

By Kaitlynn's Mother

In August of 1998 my unborn baby girl was dianosed with anencephaly. I was in my 20th week of pregnancy. The outcome of a baby with anencephaly is death. I was a single mom of three children and my fiance abandoned me when we got the news.

I chose to have early labor (22 weeks) in the hospital with the help of my high risk doctor. I was given my options and told that my life would be at risk due to too much fluid in my body due to the anencephaly. Because I had three C-sections already, I was told I would have to have another one if I went full term with Kaitlynn. I had to make a choice for my sake and for my other three children.

Kaitlynn was born on August 21st 1998 due to induced labor in my 22nd week. I was able to have her vaginaly since she was so small. I had her baptized and I was able to have a birth certificate due to her living for 16 minutes. We were able to take pictures of her and have a funeral.

Since the father of this baby abandoned me during the pregnancy, I was not able to get his name on the birth certificate. I have a child that is six years old by the same man and he is telling her that Kaitlynn is not his. I had to pay for the burial expenses and any medical bills not covered by insurance. I was able to convince my insurance company to pay for the inducement because of Kaitlynn having anencephaly.

Recently, I started a lawsuit to try to have paternity testing done to prove he is the father and have his name put on the certificate. I am trying to get the legal system to understand what has happened. My six-year-old is getting conflicting stories and the father owes me for expenses.

The problem I am having is his attorney is trying to present this as a typical elective abortion, claiming no living child was born and that I cannot have a paternity test done on a child who was not born. I did save Katilynn's cord in case I needed to prove paternity at a later date. This attorney I am fighting against has told me there is a statute of limiations on an aborted baby. My attorney is fighting this, pointing out that my child did live for 16 minutes.

You may not understand why I am doing this. The main reason is to have closure. My baby is in heaven without a daddy and I am trying to give this to her. The money means nothing to me but the judge says I need to ask for money or there is no legal reason for the case.

I suffered a loss that was very difficult for me and I need closure. I am remarried and have a child that was born healthy in November of 1999, one year after losing Kaitlynn. I was told that my chances of having another anencephalic baby were extremely high (around 80%) however, Hannah was born healthy. God has his reasons for taking our little angels and I was blessed with another child. Kaitlynn is our family's little angel and we visit her grave often.


Mothers tell their stories...

I told her how sorry I was and that I loved her and did not want her to suffer. I would rather suffer every day for the rest of my life than to allow her to suffer one moment in life.

~Mom of an Angel

Everything was going great. As already having two "normal" pregnancies under my belt, I felt confident. I knew there was always that chance of hearing bad news but I said "no, not me, not our baby."

We felt that if our daughter had been in a car accident and was on life support with the same internal injuries, we would not keep her on life support and let her suffer. This child deserved the same dignity."

~ A grieving mom

I initially thought I would "be brave" and continue my pregnancy. But I came to realize that ultimately it wasn't about how strong I could be, how deeply I wanted this baby or what important lessons he could teach me. It was about what he would experience in his short life. Given his diagnosis, he would have known only suffering. As his mother, I couldn't allow that to happen.

~ A mother at peace

It was our ignorance for believing that all pregnancies led to a healthy baby. It was my arrogance for believing that since I had the best medical care, took prenatal vitamins even before and during my pregnancy, never took drugs, never smoked cigarettes and drank about half a glass of wine a year, that our baby would be safe.

~A bereaved mother

A mother will stop at nothing, including her own hurt, both mentally and physically, to protect her child.

~Brokenhearted Mother