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Anencephaly- The Story of Faith Mackenzie Walker

anencephaly termination for medical reasons

I just had a miscarriage. My husband and I weren’t sure we ever wanted to try again, but there was a positive pregnancy test- actually 3 of them.

Then an 8 week appointment, with a strong heartbeat of 171.

We cried when we heard it. After having a miscarriage, the heartbeat was the sweetest thing we could hear.

We were full of hope of a rainbow baby!

That’s exactly how we announced to all of our family who were beyond excited for us and our rainbow baby! 

anencephaly termination for medical reasons

The 12 week appointment was normal. I had no reason to do genetic testing, so I heard the heartbeat, left a urine sample, and left. I did the same at 16 weeks.

Besides having morning sickness still, we were having an amazing pregnancy!

My belly would roll around and others could see from as early as 11 weeks.

At 18 weeks my husband could feel baby’s feet pushing out. It was such a blessing! 

We started planning a gender reveal party and couldn’t wait to see our baby again!

The 20 week scan came.

My husband and I drove separately, as we were going to work after the appointment. We made it out of the first trimester, we should be just fine.

Perfect limbs, internal organs all functioning perfectly, and a beautiful 4 chamber heart beating at 154.

My two year old giggled and pointed at the screen “Mommy’s baby,” we all smiled, except the tech.

She abruptly stopped the ultrasound and excused herself because, “She saw something concerning with the baby’s head.”

My husband and I just stared at each other in shock.

See, we were trying to adopt a child with special needs for awhile now, so we both thought, nothing could be bad enough that we wouldn’t be ready. We wanted a child with special needs through adoption. We were just having our own. 

The doctor came back in, “I’m so sorry. Your baby’s brain did not fully develop. It’s called Anencephaly. We are going to send you up to high risk to get another opinion.”

And just like that, they stepped out to call the doctor upstairs and we were left there, in tears.

10 minutes later, we were in another room with a high risk doctor examining our baby. It didn’t take long.

“We see the same thing. This is considered a lethal pregnancy which means incompatable with life, or no chance of survival.”

The tears began to flow.

He went on to say how he’s only had one baby survive for 3 hours with extensive medical intervention.

We were sent with a list of medical websites to do research, and on our way. The trap door fell open and we stepped right into it. 

We both called into work and went home.

My husband and I didn’t talk to each other. We cried. We cried telling family who were waiting to hear the news. We cried lying to friends who kept teasing us about revealing the gender. My husband did the research while I cried about the baby kicking me constantly. 

Our family supported us no matter what we chose.

My husband found no hope for survival in his research.

I found other women’s stories who carried to term. The thing they all had in common was begging their babies to just give up because they suffered from seizures and cardiovascular attacks until their hearts give out.

Baby’s with anencephaly are also blind, deaf, and cannot feel. How could I comfort my child through their suffering?! 

My first labor with my two year old, I bled out after delivering her. I lost that first night with her. If that were to happen again, I wouldn’t get the moments with my baby if he/she was alive, because I’d be out of it. 

We choose to terminate, for our child.

A week later, we were in another city because with new state laws, we had to travel.

They did an ultrasound. The heartbeat was the absolute hardest thing to see, beating at 144.

7 doctors lined our room giving us another opinion that it was the same.

No brain, no skin, nothing above the eyebrows.

With the severity of the symptoms, we couldn’t be guaranteed 5 minutes once she was out of the womb.

I pulled the plug on pregnancy at 21 weeks 6 days.

After my D&E I bled out. I was admitted to a mother/baby ward for the night.

We found out I delivered my angel girl. We named her Faith Mackenzie Walker.

We were handed prints and impressions as her body was sent for cremation. 

anencephaly termination for medical reasons

I terminated my pregnancy, so my beautiful perfect daughter would never have to suffer.

She passed peacefully inside my womb, warm and completely surrounded by love!! 

anencephaly termination for medical reasons

This story was submitted by Megan Walker, in remembrance of her sweet angel, Faith Mackenzie Walker.

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