“I get mail; therefore I am.” ~Scott Adams

Dear SD:

I’m impressed by your blog. I’m going through a difficult time after terminating my pregnancy at 24 weeks because of cerebral anomalies (very similar to those of the professor you mentioned in one of your previous posts … I have no idea on how severe it could be, now of course I imagine she would have been not too bad). My partner didn’t want a disabled child while I wanted her; she was still my baby and she was already there. Of course I was afraid too and we had terrible discussions, he told me he could leave and that I would be turning the whole family into a living hell. We have another little girl and I felt responsible for her too and time was very tight – just a few days between the last exams results and the legal deadline to terminate in my country so eventually I gave up and had the termination. Now I just think I’ve sacrificed my baby, I can’t stop wondering what she would have been like.

Maybe in such situations no choice is the right choice but I can’t avoid thinking I made the wrong one.

I like you speaking about heaven where Pearlsky will talk and run … I’m religious too, but with so many doubts and it’s so hard to believe I’ll ever meet my baby again. By the way we would have called her Hannah.

I don’t know why I’m writing you this, probably I’d like to know your opinion even if I’m not in your shoes and you’re not in mine.

And I responded …

I have always said that with children like these, there is no “right” decision. I find myself always wondering what if I made the other choice? Should I have? Anything from medication choices to surgeries, to color of wheelchair! Your decision, of course, was much more monumental, but you would always question going either way.

I can’t offer an opinion either way. We went on to have a second child, after Pearlsky, and did a lot of prenatal testing. I do not know what we would have done if we had a diagnosis at that point. David did end up as disabled as Pearlsky. Should we have terminated if we knew? Am I glad we did not terminate? I honestly don’t know.

Your life will be very different than if you did have Hannah and she was severely disabled. I don’t like that you felt as though you “gave up” (prefer to think you “gave in,” but not a great difference) and thus terminated.

I was involved with the termination of a pregnancy many many years ago, and have doubts and regrets. That may have been a “typical” child, one I may never have.

As for the professor you read about, here is his wife’s blog, The Socially Inappropriate Mom. Their little girl is severely disabled.

I wish you the strength to go on, because that is what we do. You will never forget Hannah, and always wonder “what if” but you must not let it take over your life. I believe you will catch up with her in heaven, why else would there be a heaven?

Thanks for writing. Be strong …

That email came in yesterday, and the author agreed to allow me to post it. And there is my response. What’s yours? (Comments such as “the partner should have been the one aborted” will be removed)


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