Today I become an Aunty. I have been waiting for this day for years and it should be one of the happiest days of my life – but it’s not. You see, while I sit here writing this, my sister-in-law is giving birth to her 18 week old baby, knowing full well that she will never bring the baby home.
My sister-in-law and brother-in-law have had to make the bravest decision – a decision that no parent should have to make- and that is to terminate their first pregnancy because their precious baby has been diagnosed with Duplications of 4q. This is an extremely rare chromosomal abnormality and will mean the baby will suffer a lifetime of health, developmental, physical and learning problems. I can only imagine how they are feeling. The heartbreak of knowing that finally after 5 IVF attempts the pregnancy they so desperately wanted is ending too soon.
I certainly can’t imagine going through labour knowing the end result will not be a happy one. Just thinking about it triggers my anxiety. My chest tightens and I find it hard to breathe. Closely followed by my feelings of guilt –about my 4 children and how easily they eventually came about, as well as my feelings towards my 6 year old son.
I’m trying hard to put all this aside because I know I am not the only one hurting. My in-laws, who adore their 4 grandsons, were hoping this pregnancy may deliver them a much-wanted grand-daughter. That hope has now gone. My children who have been desperate to have a cousin are sad and confused, and have had to face the harsh realities of life sooner than I had hoped. My darling husband who has been hanging out to be an uncle is devastated. However, it’s my sister-in-law and brother-in-law who are hurting the most. They’re the ones who have had to go through all the IVF procedures, then undergo a barrage of invasive tests and play the waiting game, to find out what was wrong with their baby. They were also the only ones who could decide what to do. The tears they must have shed over this decision, I imagine, would fill an ocean.
However, in my heart-of-hearts, I know that this was the best choice. And even after only 18 weeks they have proven to be great parents – putting their unborn child’s needs before their own wants. I can only hope and pray now that they will find the strength and will try again when the time is right for them and that one day I will get to hold my niece or nephew in my arms and our family circle will be complete.
Postscript: nearly 48 hours after the procedure began my SIL gave birth to a little girl.
RIP Mia Jane, my little angel niece ❤
To find support for yourself or a loved one going through a pregnancy loss I recommend http://www.teddyloveclub.org.au/ for guidance and advice.
Posted by naughty little angel, 9th September 2014