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Parents of lost babies and potential of all kinds: come here to share the technicolour, the vividness, the despair, the heart-broken-open, the compassion we learn for others, having been through this mess — and see it reflected back at you, acknowledged and understood.

Thanks to photographer Xin Li and to artist Stephanie Sicore for their respective illustrations and photos.

for one and all > My tiny angel

I got pregnant right after my endometriosis routine medical examination. At the hospital, in November, I didn't have good news. Endometriosis was back again, ready to damage my body and mind again. I already did a laparoscopy in November 2015, for excruciating daily pain, doctors told me it was too early for one other. So they suggested me the pill, again. I asked them a delay, they gave me 6 months. And my sweet baby was quick, after two weeks I was pregnant. I didn't believe I could really get pregnant. I have endometriosis and PCOS too, so doctors too didn't know if I was fertile. Pregnancy arrived after 3 years of hard fight against endo pain, so it was like a miracle. Some light after darkness.
I had a normal pregnancy, and we were so excited, we were waiting every scan with the excitement you all know.
Then we had at 20th weeks the 3D ultrasound scan, the one where you know if it's a male or a female.
The doctor during the scan was very silent, and repeated to himself that he couldn't see the heart well. Then asked us sorry and came again with one other doctor. They kept taking to each other. At the end of the scan I was shaking. My husband was white. Doctor told us the heart had some problems, and he was going to send us at the main hospital to one other scan with expert doctors.
We had to endure 10 hours scan in 3 days. It was so suffocating. Me crying and trying not to cry, and killing my husband's hand, while doctors pressed hard the scan against my baby. Oh she was so cute. And she moved a lot. And her tiny face! Her nose, her mouth....
But she had severe deformities at the heart. And the brain too.
She had just her right part of the heart, a too tiny arteria, and the tricuspid valve not working well.
And her brain was grown with many deformities too. I asked the doctor why, she was so full of energy!!
They gave us few days to decide what to do. They told us that if we decided to move on with pregnancy, she could die in any moment for the heart problems. If she could manage to reach birth alive, she'd neeeded to be the right weight very soon, she had to survive 3 open heart surgeries in her first 2 years, and her life would have been in bed because of the brain severe deformities, seizures, convulsions...
Those few days were the worst of our Life. We cried all our tears and more. This is not a choice. This is pure hell. Decide to carry on and see your baby girl suffer in pain and never awake, and hardly breathing, or decided to do abortion? who's got to suffer? Us? Her? Both?
Who's passed through all this understand well what we felt. And what we feel. No one should have to do such a horrible choice.
We decided to do abortion, choosing to suffer at her place. And the pain was really breathtaking. It still is.
She went to heaven the 7th of April, and she's our angel Charlotte. We miss her more than anything. We miss the baby we chose to let go earlier, and we miss the baby we dreamt of and never had. It's so hard. People tells me that it happens frequently, that I'm young, that I'm gonna have one other child soon, that... but they don't understand, I want my tiny baby girl, the one I cuddled at night in my belly while my husband was asleep, the one that kicked so strong, the one that made me think that yes, life can be still beautiful. I miss you, baby.
June 12, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterMarghy
Marghy, I'm so sorry for the loss of your precious Charlotte. What you have been through is so heart breaking. I'm 5 years out from losing our baby girl Shelby. We also chose a medical termination after the 20 week scan showed severe physical issues and would have meant a life in pain for our girl if she survived birth which was later found to have not been possible. I've been where you are and it's just the most horrendous decision to be faced with. You made the right choice- because you made it with love, you adored your baby and did the best you could for her. Your decision was made all for her. You did the right thing for your situation with the information you had. Please be kind to yourself.......

The guilt and the battle in my mind over whether we made the right choice was so raw in the first few years- the grief is intense and you miss your baby on top of all the complex other stuff. I just want to offer you a shoulder to cry on, another mama who has been in your place and the words of hope that although this grief is all consuming now it will ease and you will feel differently eventually. Just keep plodding through the days and doing whatever you can to take care of yourself.

Are you seeing a therapist at all? And do you have an in-person support group? Sometimes these things work for people and sometimes not. Might be worth trying them out and seeing if they are right for you on your journey. I'm so sorry Charlotte had to leave you. xxx
June 12, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterShelby's Mum
I'm s sorry for your child too, I know how it's hard and painful. That's not a natural decision isn't? A parent should never, ever decide such a thing. I know we did the right choice, but.... well it's horrible anyway. Even if we met the most caring doctors and nurses, in this sad and painful process.
Yes we have been followed by a psychologist one time, it was in the same hospital where we had abortion, it was paid from the health system. But we couldn't get back. Not at that hospital again, it was so painful.
I don't think we need some psychologist... I don't know. I think the grieve still have to do its course. We're gonna take a puppy for sure, in one month, I've never had a dog and I've heard they are a lot helpful in these Situations.
Thank so much for your kind words. Know I'm not alone in this choice is sad, but helps me remember I was not the first, and not the last. That it can happen. Don't know why it happened to us, we already had our years of fight and pain. I will try to be a better person after all this. Endometriosis changed me a lot, and in positive too, because I reacted and have the most loving husband. Pain changes us, I already learnt that. What I'm gonna be after all this? Now I don't know who I am anymore.
Thanks for your sweet and caring answer. You gave light to my day,
June 13, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterMarghy
I just wanted to chime in and say we also had a horrible discovery at the 20 week ultrasound, only I chose to continue the pregnancy. And I want to tell you there is guilt and questions on this end, too. Was that right for me? Best for me? Best for her? I will never know. Truly, we tell ourselves we made the right decision- but we don't know because we can never choose again. We can never compare how we'd feel on the other side. It's a very horrible thing to be that pregnant, that bonded, and get that news, for that baby you love and want. I don't know that there is a right thing to do in the circumstance. It all just is terribly wrong.
June 13, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterElaina
Elaina, I'm so sorry you were faced with this choice too. And the choice you made was absolutely right for you and your daughter too. It's an impossible choice. My heart aches for all of us because in the end we all question our decisions and are left without our babies.
June 14, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterShelby's Mum
Elaina, I'm so sorry for your baby loss. You're right, it's not a choice. It sucks that's all. My husband and I had to realized what happened and 'decide' in few days, maybe 2 or 3. That was not enough for the shock to go away, and they asked to choose too! No one should ever ever face this burden in their lives. The pain is immense. And there's not a right choice, it's all wrong, as you say, and my older brother told me the same. I'm so sorry for your loss, hope one day we will find some peace, knowing that we're just humans, unable to be prepared for such shock and pain. Don't feel guilty please, our babies know how much we loved them, and how much we would sacrifice to have them still alive. Praying for our little angels. Hugs.
June 14, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterMarghy