Tuesday, May 5, 2009


I am ashamed. I am ashamed of the way I chose to handle my child's diagnosis. I started off being able to speak what we chose openly, but stumbling on the word for the procedure - I'm never quite sure whether it's a birth, a death, an abortion or a termination. Usually I just settle for 'that day'. Now, I am ashamed.

I chose to end my pregnancy, when faced with unsurvivable abnormalities in my child.

My baby died when she was born.

I called my baby to come early, so she could die quicker, and hopefully more gently.

I terminated my baby girl because I was scared that if I waited until she was big, my uterus could be damaged so much that I would never be able to have another baby.

I rejected her because she wasn't perfect.

I killed her because it was inconvenient to keep a complicated pregnancy with no expectation of a living child.

I was the only person between my daughter's life and death, and I let other people choose to take her life.

I am god. I chose my baby's death-day.

I have no right to mourn my child, because I killed her.

All any unborn child asks is for a mother to care enough about her child to provide a safe, nurturing place to become a dependant, but independent child. I refused my daughter that when I expelled her from my body.

I had an abortion to ease the burden on my husband, of watching me wait for her to die.

I had an abortion because she might not have made it to full term anyway.

I had an abortion, because my baby was not a viable candidate for transplant surgery. She was not a viable candidate because they thought there was more wrong with her than I did. They thought she had a 'syndrome'. She might have done, but really it was just her spine that triggered the CDH and heart problems. They didn't believe me about the rest until they cut her open. But they would never have known until she was born anyway, and then it was too late.

My dad wanted me to terminate, because one possible diagnosis included facial abnormalities. He didn't want me to have a baby without a face. He didn't want to feed his grandchild through a tube direct to the gut. He needn't have worried, her face was perfect, and although her intestines were in the wrong place, they would have worked fine if they had been put in the right place. Her heart would have still stopped beating though.

I killed my baby because we didn't want to watch her struggle, be cut open and kept alive by machines, if she would die like that, could never live past childhood.

My husband and I disagree on 'quality of life'. To him, a wheelchair is unnacceptable. To me, a person in a wheelchair can have friends, intellect, a family, successes, mistakes, dignity. A person who cannot speak, cannot eat, cannot control movement and wears a nappy is probably suffering, but can't communicate. To me, that isn't fair.

She should be here now.

I am a bad parent because there was no place for her in our home when she was born.

I am a bad parent because I let her spend her last night in her body, locked in the morgue, refrigerated. We should have brought her home to sleep in the cot that we never bought, in the nursery we never decorated, before her cremation. We should not have left her there alone.

We should have let her be, and not tried to take so many measurements, and castings.

I should have known what was happening during her birth, I should not have taken so much for the pain, and I should not have had a general when they removed my placenta.

We should have waited, and had a proper funeral.

We should have waited, and not had her at christmas.

I should have more photos of my belly. I didn't want them because I thought it was stupid, knowing she would die.

I wish the hospital staff were more helpful when preparing and planning for a death that hasn't happened yet. Other people have a birth plan, I wanted to have a death plan.

I wish I had known more about labour. It seemed to be expected that I knew how it works, but I haven't had any other children. I only read my pregnancy manuals as far as five months.

I wish the politicians would stop comparing women and doctors who terminate for 'medical' reasons to nazi scientists. It isn't nice, but don't take medicare funding away, give more to help us please.

I wanted my baby to live, to be smart, healthy and alive. I didn't want to kill my baby.


  1. Wishing you strength, Michelle x

  2. I just found you through Bir and I wanted to say how very sorry I am that you had to make this brave, kind, terrible choice for Olidea.

    Wishing you peace on your journey.


  3. on my god...I'm so sorry that you feel this huge, horrible guilt. Having to face such a difficult decision is bad enough, and I can only begin to imagine the pain you're carrying inside you.

    In my opinion, from what I have read, you are not a bad parent, but you had to make difficult choices about a terrible situation. No one can judge you unless they have been in the same place. You are NOT a bad parent.

    I too have many regrets. Not keeping her baby clothes, even though they were stained with blood. I realised my mistake 2 days later but it was too late. The hospital had already "discarded" them.

    I'm so sorry mate.

  4. Michelle, I didn't get to read this post till now.

    So many things I want to say to you. Firstly the guilt... it wouldn't matter what decision you made you would still feel guilty. It took me many months to realise that.

    Secondly. My little girl was born with severe brain damage, (not known about till birth). She was fed through a tube in her stomach. She had no control over her body, she would have been in a wheelchair for like. My little girl couldn't even swallow. We had to suck the spit out of mouth and nose constantly... And yet in her own way she was able to communicate. Her eyes were intelligent. She could cry and smile and frown. (though the smiles were rare.)

    But it wasn't enough and she was suffering. I am pregnant now and facing my 19 week ultrasound. If the docs told me what they told you, I would make exactly the same decision you made. Living with Jordan suffering was harder than living with her death.

    I loved my little girl so much, but I would have spared her the pain had I known what she would go through.

    Thinking of you. Please email me if you ever need to talk about this.