The Verdict - Chapter 5

In about 10 minutes the doctor came in and sat down in front of us.  In soft comforting tones, she began telling us how our baby had a condition called anencephaly.  What this meant was that her head didn’t develop the bone around the skull.  Simply put the brain would be exposed to the world when she was born.  Did that mean that she would live?  I couldn’t imagine how she could live with a condition like that.

The doctor went on to tell us that she would not live and that she would die within a day or two days of being born. She let us know that there were a couple of different options.  The first option was to continue with the pregnancy and let our baby develop and have a regular birth. She would die within a couple of days.  The second option was to have an abortion and that would take care of the problem.  She also told us that they couldn’t do the abortion at their hospital because they were a Catholic hospital.

Needless to say we were stunned.  We didn’t even cry! Hundreds of images were going through my mind. I was primarily focused on where we were to go from here.  What were we to do? Would we survive? What decision would we make?  I knew abortion to be against God’s plan, but what about in this case?  The baby would never even know that it was alive.
The doctor graciously allowed us to talk for a few minutes.  She told us just to come and get her when we were ready for her.  We didn’t know what to do.  How were we supposed to handle this?  We talked a little bit about what we should do. We knew that we could never come to a conclusion right away and we needed time to think about it.  So we told the doctor that we needed more time and that we would think about it.

Finally, we got up to leave.  I think we thanked the doctor but I am really not sure. That time is still a little foggy in my mind.  We had to walk down a hallway to get to the receptionists desk. When we finally reached where we were to checkout, we tried to fake the expressions on our faces so that they wouldn’t wonder about us.  We didn’t know though how much they already knew.  They very well could have known the whole situation.

We made the co-payment that we were supposed to make and started toward the elevator.  We waited in silence for the elevator.  We didn’t say a word that I can remember.  I believe that we rode the elevator down the three or four levels with someone.  They got off at the second floor and we continued down to the main level.  I believe this is where we just came unglued.  I have never really cried in public before, but we couldn’t hold it in any longer.

Lessons Learned

  •           If you are going through having an anacephalic child, be sure to realize that there is no known cause for anencephalic children. Please don’t berate yourself for having done something wrong.
  •           If you know someone, who is going through an experience similar to our experience with anencephaly and Ashley, help them find out the facts about it.
  •           Scripture Promise: The Lord keeps watch over you as you come and go, both now and forever. Psalms 121:8