Thursday, July 2, 2015

The Fatal Diagnosis

Driving to our baby’s 20 week anatomy scan was not exciting for me. I remember telling my husband, “I just want to hear the baby’s heartbeat.” I remember being terrified to lose the baby as soon as I found out I was pregnant, so I just became fixated on just wanting to hear her heartbeat.  I had no idea there was this world of an in-between called fatal diagnosis in utero. I thought babies were either miscarried, very few were stillborn, most were born alive and healthy, or some had special needs (like down syndrome for example).

Sitting in the room as the nurse started to scan was awkward. Something was just off and the silence was deafening. She pointed out very few features of our baby and as I looked I knew something didn’t look quite right. But then again what did I know? I might have been just looking at it wrong. I saw and hear our baby’s heartbeat so everything must be ok. The nurse scanned a little more then asked us the worst question we could hear, “Did you have genetic testing done?”  I quickly told her no we didn’t. She said she needed to get the Doctor and has she left the room she said, “I’m very sorry.” I immediately started keeping upset; why was she sorry?! I remember telling my husband and praying our baby would just have special needs because we were both ok with that outcome. Special needs didn’t diminish our baby’s value.

The doctor came in and proceeded to do the ultrasound herself. After a few minutes she stopped and turned to us. I can’t remember everything she said, but I remember enough of it. “We want to give you the best baby possible.” This is my baby regardless of what’s wrong; she’s the best to me! “Even if your baby survives to birth as soon as the umbilical cord is cut your baby will die, because of her underdeveloped lungs.” So my baby isn’t worth fighting for? Isn’t worth spending time with her? “Your baby most likely has Turner Syndrome.” What’s Turner Syndrome? I had never heard of it. There must be something that can be done. Also, I can’t remember if you used the word baby or fetus. I think she might have used both. I hate the word fetus because of how it’s used.

I was in complete shock. My husband and I went to the car and I just cried. It didn’t feel real. It couldn’t be real. This can’t be happening, not to me; not to our baby. I was helpless and left with nothing. I had no idea what the next step was. I was given no resources.

My protective instincts grew enormously. I had to protect her. Terminating her was not an option.

I knew I would carry her with love.

~ ~ ~
Heather Kimble lives in the Philadelphia area. She is married to her best friend, Jason and is mommy to Hannah Sue Kimble. Hannah is her only child. Heather carried Hannah after receiving a fatal diagnosis and was told to terminate. Heather was told to terminate based on the serious risk to her own personal health. She doesn't believe in termination and chose to carry Hannah with love. Hannah passed away and was born sleeping on December 23rd, 2013. Heather and Jason treasure every moment they had with Hannah during pregnancy and after delivery. Hannah has inspired a nonprofit started by her parents to help others and to help break the silence by sharing their journey of baby loss.
Heather is the Co-Founder and President of the 501(c)(3) non-profit Hannah’s Heart and Love. Hannah’s Heart and Love was inspired by their daughter Hannah to help others and to help break the silence of baby loss.
twitter @hannahheartlove
instagram @hannahsheartnlove


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