For four months then torn from life.”
So I have written before about having a daughter who died, Starfire. But I never go into great detail about how she died or the circumstances surrounding her death. Im going to give a trigger warning now for abortion, post partum depression, and a big fuck you before you start sprouting pro life crap at me.
Heres your warning.
When I was 25, Jonathan Kent and I got pregnant. It was a planned wanted loved pregnancy. We found on June 27,2009. I will never forget the pure love I felt when I saw those 2 pink lines, or the joy I had in me for five months. It was a routine happy pregnancy. I did everything I was supposed to. I took the prenatals. I didn’t eat lunch meat or fish. I slept on my left side. I didn’t lift anything. Everything was running smoothly. Our first ultrasound at 12 weeks was normal. We were on track to having a baby on March 9, 2010.
On October 7,2009 we went in for our fetal anatomy scan. To me, this was just to find out the baby’s sex. And that’s what we and our whole family were excited for. I wasn’t all that concerned with the rest because Id made it through the first trimester so I thought the worry was over.
The whole scan was off. The girl that normally did them wasn’t there. And the one who was, was very quiet through the whole thing. I asked a few questions Could you still see the heartbeat? Was the baby growing? Could she tell what the baby was? She answered the questions until we got to the last one. She put down her wand and said ” Im pretty sure its a girl, but there is something showing up on my scan and the dr needs to come in and talk to you.”
My heart sank. I knew in the depths of my soul that if my daughter wasn’t already dead, she was dying.
My dr came in and sat down. She said ” I don’t want to worry you because this is quite common. But it looks like your baby has water on the brain, or hydrocephalus.” I asked what that meant and she said again it was water on the brain, but it was common, and they would do a little surgery at birth to place a shunt and it would all be fine. So she got us a referral to a maternal fetal medicine specialist that Friday, and we went on our way.
I was a mess. An absolute mess. Of course, I mean who wouldn’t be. Jonathan Kent held his shit together well. Not me. I had to take off work and googled everything I could about hydrocephalus. I learned that there is variations of it, and the outcome all depends on the degree of severity. I read blogs of parents of children living with it and I thought ” Ok, I can manage this. This doesn’t seem so bad. A few delays. A helmet. But a life. A happy healthy manageable life. ”
Then on Oct 9 we went to the MFMS. On the ride up there, our parents were planning the baby shower. This is how much we all still believed we were having a baby. We were planning a baby shower on what would be my last ride as the me I used to be.
The optimistic happy healthy vibrant smiling cheerful me. That woman does not exist anymore. She makes appearances and I act like her as much as possible but that women was left on hwy 23.
The MFMS were not as optimistic as my doctor had been to say the least. They thought because of the way she held her hands that it was a trisomy, particularly 13, which is fatal. They also mentioned holoprosencephly. I had to have to an amniocentesis done that day. And if you’ve never had one done, its like something out of a horror movie. The needle is long and big. And it hurts like hell. A deep hurt you feel your soul because your only doing this for the simple fact you know your daughter is dying and youd take any needle if you thought it would stop it.
They also advised me that because of the abortion laws in my state, 1) we were on a tight schedule. I only had days to decide to carry to term or end the pregnancy. 2) I had to sign the abortion consent papers that day just so I wouldn’t have to deal with the 24 hour waiting period should that be my decision.
I signed the papers that day to end my pregnancy already knowing the outcome.
I didn’t know if she had a trisomy, or this holoprosen whatever, but she had something and it was killing her.
The next few days are a blur of me crying, praying, and searching for any child living with these diseases. There are a few but if you google you’ll see they aren’t really living. They are just there and most are suffering, and all have low qualities of life. So Im 20 weeks and 1 day pregnant and I go to meet with my states top pediatric geneticist. I was leaving no stone unturned. I asked what her quality of life would be.
And I was told that should I choose to carry to term, no life saving techniques would be used on my daughter because her condition was too dire. That she would be in immense pain the entire time she was alive. That we could not hold her because the stimulation from it would cause her too much pain. She would spend her entire tiny little life in a box with tubes without feeling me hold her.
I had every test imaginable done. I had a fetal echo, fetal MRI, multiple ultrasounds by multiple doctors in 3 different hospitals. And it all came back the same. This baby either has a trisomy or holoprosencephaly. The amniotic test came back clean ironically. So that ruled out those 2 disorders. However, my daughter still had agenus of the corpus callosum so bad that the entire left hemisphere of her brain was gone. The left side of her face did not develop. She had no nose or left eye socket. She had no kidneys, and her stomach was on the outside of her body. She also had a heart issue.So while my daughter does fit into a certain box, you can see she was very very sick and would not have survived.
On October 19,2009 I meet with the lady who would perform my abortion. She explained the process to me. She hugged me and she cried with me. She told me how sorry she was. She didn’t want me in her office for that reason. On Oct 20, I had the lumniaria placed. It hurt. It hurt so bad I couldn’t stand.. But I felt like I deserved the pain, and to an extent I still feel that way.
I felt my daughter kick for the last time the morning of Oct 21,2009 on the way to the hospital. I cried the whole time. I begged for a different outcome, for them to do anything to fix her. But they couldn’t.
Im not going to go into details about the procedure, mostly because I don’t remember. I do know I asked to hold her and was told I couldn’t. They couldn’t tell if she had hair, and her deformities were visible.
3 days later, Jonathan Kent and I got married. I tried to call off the wedding but he refused. I was still bleeding and miserable. In all the wedding pictures I look like a shell of a bride.
And that’s how I felt. Until I found out I was pregnant with my hero, Batman. He saved my life.
What I hope you take away from this is how much I love my daughter. That I love her enough that I could not allow her to suffer in any way shape or form.I want you to know how much I wanted to hold her and that I had a future planned for her. And I want you to think about that the next time you think I would never have an abortion or think of someone who has as a murderer. Some of us are parents who love and want our children. Who grieve for them 9 years later. Some of us were left with nothing more then a heartbreaking choice.
Starfire passed at 6:03 am, October 21,2009.