It’s So Personal: Anencephaly

Andrew Sullivan —  Jun 8 2009 @ 5:36pm

A reader writes:

In August 1989, my then five-and-a half-month pregnant wife and I went in together for a routine sonogram at her OB's office. The sonogram showed that the fetus was Davinci

Immediately after the test we sat down with the OB in her office where she told us the reality of what we were facing. We scheduled a hospital visit for the next day. At the hospital they induced labor and the pregnancy was terminated. The baby was a little girl and she died during delivery. We were able to hold her for about an hour after the procedure. We named her and buried her.

It was a traumatic time and decision, but it was the right decision to make. How can you make a woman carry a baby to term when she know that the baby will die soon after it is delivered? Psychologically how much damage does that do to the mother and the family who cares for her?

Luckily for us, 14 months later we had a very healthy baby girl. A girl who is set to graduate from high school at the end of this week.

Over the past day, I have thought a lot about the OB who sat down with us almost 20 years ago and gave us the facts about what we were facing. The doctor was caring, empathetic, and honest. I'm going to contact the doctor who helped us in the next week just to say thanks for what she was able to do for us so long ago.