Once a mother and father find out their unborn child will die, there are two things that could happen.
1) Discouragement- She is given a skewed bias opinion on what could happen to her and her health. Which leads to more worry than calmness. And gives family and friends the wrong words to build up the mother and father. To give up, accept defeat, having to hide from life...
2) Encouragement- with more information about the joys this child could still bring to a family's life, trying to be unbiased and letting the parents choose their course from the heart, parents can fill empowered to face life's most feared thing and turn it into the moment they could live over and over. In death, there is still life and a love that gives hope for the future.
In October I got to speak with a mom who just found out her baby had anencephaly. This is our conversation: (excuse the short hand type)
Mom: Hi Stephanie, Thanks for getting back to me. I am struggling so much with this. I feel like everyone around me are worried about my health and future fertility, while I sit here thinking of my son. He deserved whatever time God has given him. People around me, mainly my dr but now that others have heard the health risk more, are concerned with the what ifs. My dr has mentioned the increased risk of a c section, which as I have 3 angel babies but no children at home they are worried about when I would be able to try again, dr says 1 year. I've also been told that due to the possibility of excess fluid, there is an increased risk of complications leading to a hysterectomy. Everyone is worried about all the risks and I get it, but I am worried about my son. I worry about him suffering. I also worry about residual guilt that would come with ending his life early. I felt peace with carrying to term but there are so many putting pressure on me through risks to choose to induce. It makes my heart sick to go through all of this and the back and forth pull.
There are plenty of risk in termination as well. I don't know all the medical stuff, but I have a friend who is a huge pro lifer and told me that termination can lead to breast cancer. Not to mention the guilt, sudden loss, grief. You will have loss and grief carrying to term as well, but they are different. It's in God's timing and you are giving Him the chance of beautiful miracles. Not just healing your child, but life transformations that you will never know of it you don't see through to the end. Your body is God's and He will take care of you when you trust in Him. This song (I Will Carry You) got me through the tough days. God has chosen us for this path. To love Him by loving our child. To show us that He knows how hard it is to lose a Child, Jesus. And when we give all our trust over to Him, we gain a Love that is so powerful! It's indescribable!
She followed up with this in April:
Mom: I wanted to thank you for your support as I made the decision to carry our little Matthew to term. He was born 2/18 and spent four amazing hours with us. Thank you.
I tried sending you a message on my phone and it wouldn't go through, so sorry that it took me a while to get to a computer. Thank you for messaging me and giving an update. Congrats on being a wonderful mother and being able to love on your child. I will continue to pray for you and your family. Big hugs!
Mom: Thank you. We are healing slowly and appreciate the prayers. Those four hours were the most incredible hours of my life.