TO CARRY ON OR TERMINATE?
This is a pretty awful descision to have to make... And one that is very hard to understand or empathise with fully unless you've been in that same situation.
In my experience when you're told your child is incompatible with life there's a clear assumption from the medical team that you'd terminate. Now I wouldn’t say we were pushed to choose 'termination for medical reasons', but there was a definite feeling that by continuing on with the pregnancy we were making quite an unusual decision, and did we really know what we were doing? I had several calls from a midwife from the high-risk team one day making sure I fully understood the ramifications.
On one side you're faced with abortion and all that comes with that, physically and emotionally.
And on the other you're faced with carrying a baby for the next 6-months knowing you'll almost certainly never meet it alive, and knowing people are wondering why on earth you'd do this to yourself.
There are so many things that influence a decision like this and until I've had to do it myself, I don't think I could have fully understood the moral dilemma that comes with wanting to save yourself the pain of this situation.
For us, our faith in God was the biggest influence in our decision to continue on with our pregnancy. In saying that though, that was our decision, and in no way would I want anyone in a similar situation to feel judged for doing differently. It's tough. And it's personal. And man I feel for ya if you're going through something like that right now.
What made the decision easier?
Talking to people who had been through similar stuff. By all means talk to anyone about it - most people have an opinion on this issue - BUT in my mind experience is much more valuable than opinion. And it'll really help you get your head around the scope of what's involved if you want to carry on... answering people's questions, birth, grief, funerals etc.
Keeping the big picture in mind. Yep, sometimes carrying a baby that isn't going to live will feel like a massive waste of time, like your life's on hold. But in the scheme of life it's not much time at all. And in the scheme of heaven and eternal life, even less. And these testing times are when we grow the most... because we have to!
Finding peace in your decision. I find understanding as much as possible about what lies ahead is really important. It prepares my mind for whatever the challenge is, and pulls me back into reality, rather than hiding from the issue. Trying to leave things up to God and not take them into my own hands is something I aways try to do, so after a week of being in moral turmoil and coming to grips with what lay ahead, I had a real peace about the decision to continue on with the pregnancy. I know I can do this, many have before. And I trust God that there's a plan in this and it's not all negative... and I've seen evidence of that already :).
If you ever need reassurance about making a decision like this, please get in touch - happy to talk anytime.