Saturday, October 20, 2012

You Might Have Been Wondering...

We finally shared our diagnosis on Facebook a few days ago - we took a little over a week just to process what we needed to process and to allow friends and family time to find out and process as well.

I've decided today that I will go ahead and share this blog with friends and family. With that decision, I thought it might be nice to go ahead and provide some of the answers to questions that I know exist but that many would never ask us. (This post seemed appropriate today since it should be the one that appears at the top of the blog when someone visits.)

*Why are you blogging about something that is obviously so painful and personal?*
  It's a good question and probably one I would've been asking too until I found myself in this position.  First and foremost, this blog is a therapy for me as I tell the story of our third baby - like a journal.  When I put together a post, my focus is really on whatever I've been thinking about for that day and putting my feelings into actual words has already been a nice outlet. Second, I have found so much comfort these last few weeks in the words that others have written about their own journeys with anencephaly and how they have managed to cope with such devastating news.  If even one mother reads the words I have written and finds some bit of comfort in them, then I am confident that choosing to share this was the right decision.  (I've even had the privilege of connecting with another mother who received their diagnosis just the day before we did - it is so helpful and so healing to have someone walking beside us, experiencing the same emotions at almost exactly the same time, although I truly wish neither of us had to cope with this.)  Third, this seemed like an okay way to let friends and family stay up-to-date on what has been going on with us, even if we don't speak with them often.  

*Why have you chosen to carry this baby to term?*
  If there is an easy answer to this one, it is simply because "this was the only decision that felt right." As I've mentioned in earlier posts, this was one of the very first discussions that Chris and I had and it was actually one of the simpler decisions to reach.  We briefly considered each of our other options and ultimately settled on carrying to term.  We also plan to pursue organ/tissue donation if possible, but are waiting on a discussion with our doctors to see what current state law and policy will allow. Carrying this baby will also allow us as much time as possible with our third child, however brief that might be, and we have decided that this will outweigh all the pain and challenges we will be facing in the next few months.  I know that feeling this baby kick, hiccup and punch will cause me to tear up all too often and I know that the questions of well-meaning strangers will be painful,  but ultimately this will be time that we get to spend getting to know our child for the short time that he or she is with us. (As a total side note, we found out later that our state doesn't actually allow termination of pregnancy after 20 weeks in most situations.)

*What will you be doing about arrangements after the baby is born?*
  Honestly, we don't know yet...and this is the one decision we haven't been able to settle on.  It isn't that we disagree on how to handle it; it's that each time we think we have reached a decision, we think of some new angle and begin questioning ourselves.  We've decided to wait a few weeks, then talk with our priest and the funeral home to discuss it further.  I'm relatively certain I'll be posting about all of that when the time comes.

I'm sure those aren't the only questions that have been on the minds of our loved ones, but in my mind, they seem like the most difficult ones to actually ask. Those "why" questions are always tricky because there can be so much implied judgement in that one tiny word and I appreciate the efforts of those who are trying to be sensitive and supportive. 


  1. Thank you for sharing this, Katie. My heart is breaking for you, Chris, and the girls but it is inspiring to know how well you and Chris complement each other and that your bond is stronger than ever. You all must do whatever is right for your family and anyone that says otherwise does not matter. You are such a strong woman and a compassionate, loving mother. I am here if you need absolutely anything.

  2. Courtney - you are one of the best friends I could ever ask for and it means the world to know I have you on my side. Love ya friend! :)