Thursday, October 6, 2011: We walked into the specialist's office and waited for the nurse to call our name. Instead of meeting the doctor first, we were introduced to the Genetic Counselor, Katie. She spoke to us for several minutes, preparing us for the worst if the sonogram confirms Dr. Williams' suspicions.
We left her office and went in for the confirmation sonogram. The radiologist came in and confirmed Dr. Williams' suspicions. The specialist doctor came in and also confirmed that Caroline Grace has anencephaly.
We cried...harder this time.
He explained to us again what this meant for Caroline Grace. He then asked us, hesitatingly, if we wanted to terminate the pregnancy. Emily and I both said abortion is not an option. He seemed somewhat relieved. Then, he discussed what the next several months would be like for us and that he will closely monitor Caroline's growth to ensure she remains as healthy as possible until delivery. The doctor recommended that it was not safe to get pregnant again until at least 6 months have passed after Caroline's delivery.
After he left the room, Emily and I spent several minutes crying together and trying to cope with the recent news. I didn't know what to feel. I was angry. I was sad. I knew abortion was not the answer. But I also knew carrying Caroline to full term was only prolonging the inevitable, barring a miracle. In some ways, terminating the pregnancy seemed like a good idea. It would allow us to start the healing process sooner. We would not have to watch Emily's belly grow larger or feel Caroline kick every day as a reminder that we could not keep her. Then, I was angry at myself for thinking about abortion. So, I moved on to thinking about ways we could expedite pre-term labor...maybe Emily needed to lift heavy objects and strain to end it all or...
Then, I realized that indirect, yet pre-meditated, actions were no better than directly aborting. Then, I realized what a wretch I really am. How would God ever forgive me of thinking like this!?!
When we left the sonogram room, we met with Katie again to discuss even the grimmest alternatives we will face during the upcoming months and years. Because Caroline has anencephaly, Emily will be considered a high-risk pregnancy for every pregnancy after this one. And barring a miracle, there is no need for a baby stroller, a nursery, a car seat, any more diapers, or any baby showers. We will most likely never even bring Caroline home with us once she is born. We will have to file for her Certificate of Birth at the same time that we file for her Certificate of Death. I will have to plan her funeral and bury little Caroline. How will I ever have the strength to endure all of this?
After we arrived back at home, we began making phone calls to our families. We ended up crying the whole evening, wrenching in pain for our baby girl.