Just over two weeks ago, I was twelve weeks pregnant. I was so looking forward to telling you all. We were so ridiculously happy. And we’d just had the most beautiful month’s holiday in summery Australia, including Christmas at Port MacDonnell, and a week at the beach in Portland with my parents, and paragliding in Bright (my GP told me in her opinion paragliding in early pregnancy was perfectly fine, and I nearly hugged her. When I told my Grandma I had doctor’s approval to jump off mountains she wasn’t quite so impressed!) After our paragliding adventure, Michael left for two weeks work in Texas, and I headed back to Adelaide for some teaching preparation and a conference in Wollongong. And my twelve week scan.
My mum came with me. We thought we’d go out for lunch afterwards and do some shopping. We saw the little thing dancing and leaping around and it was amazing. But after prodding me for hours in two different ultrasound clinics, they told me that it had a diaphramatic hernia, its stomach was displacing its heart, and its lungs probably wouldn’t be able to develop properly. They said it’s a completely random defect that affects about one in 2500. There is a chance of survival with surgical intervention, but the stats aren’t good.
I had two weeks of further tests, and meetings with specialists, and tears and deliberations, and pouring over medical reports and statistics, and hours on skype to Michael. (In the midst of all this I managed to pull myself together enough to attend my conference, which was wonderful, and deserves a post of its own.) They told us if we wanted clearer information on the prognosis we’d have to wait till nineteen weeks.
We decided not to. We decided it really didn’t look good. We decided we didn’t want to take those risks for us, or our child. So on Wednesday, at fourteen weeks, I went to the hospital and ended my pregnancy.
I knew as soon as they told me what was wrong, that we’d have to make a decision. That I’d have to make a decision. (As much as I hoped we’d do it together, I knew legally and ultimately it would be down to me.) There was no way out of making a decision, and living with the consequences. One of my friends suggested that I wait and see what would happen, and get out of making a decision that way. But that would be a decision in itself. My friend suggested that we weren’t supposed to be in positions like this. But we are in these positions. I wonder if it’s one thing that sets us apart as humans that we put ourselves in situations like this, and then act within them.
I knew it was a decision we’d have to make with our eyes and hearts open. And we did. It was terribly painful. But we made the best decision we could, and we are happy with that. We will be ok. The poems I wrote are here. They say everything I deeply need to say.