Her name was Hope.
I wish people would ask me about her. I wish people would talk about her. I miss her every single day.
We found out our sweet baby girl had T21 when I was 11.5 weeks along. When the doctors call came I just knew something was wrong. In fact, I kind of knew from day one.
Call it Mama’s intuition maybe. Things just felt off.
When the nurse told me the diagnosis, initially I had been very calm. I called my husband and at that point broke down completely. The little girl I had prayed for since I was just a girl wasn’t OK.
The statistics for T21 are not great. They often need open heart surgery, higher chance of childhood leukaemia, early onset dementia… we had a long road ahead, that was, if she made it.
Many T21 babies don’t make it to term. The hardest thing was the not knowing, and the media portrayals of T21 babies leading normal lives. This isn’t the majority, unfortunately.
My heart was broken.
I don’t know how I kept breathing and stayed alive, as I truly felt as though the situation would kill me.
Having to choose was the hardest thing I’d ever done.
I had had an abortion at 19 and never thought I’d need to ever make a choice like that again, but here I was, and how desperately I wanted to not be here.
After so many tears and sleepless nights, we made the choice to free our sweet daughter from suffering.
At 15 weeks, at the height of covid and the start of partners not being allowed in to the hospital, I walked my sobbing, shaking, heartbroken body to the procedures area. I don’t think I’ll ever forget the pain of that day.
I prayed for signs, for anything, and since she left us, each day, especially when the grief is palpable, I sit in my garden and there appears a cardinal and it sings to me and comforts me so much.
We have started this garden for our girl, “Hope’s Garden” and there we sit, the cardinal and I, in silence, other than its song, and I think of her and how loved she is and how much I miss her. And I hope that one day we will meet again, or that she will return to me, in a healthy body with a long life ahead of her. I truly pray for this day.
This post was submitted anonymously.
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