A beautiful, thoughtful piece written by a fellow mother in med school and a future neonatologist:
Sometimes I wish I had chosen to continue the pregnancy for purely selfish reasons. Had we not aborted, our son’s birth would have been noted, his death would have been marked, and our deep and long-lasting grief would have been acknowledged and validated. Instead, we chose to give our baby what we felt was the most humane, comfortable, and loving end-of-life experience we felt we could facilitate, a cause that on its face is championed even in the most introductory ethics discussions among new medical students.
Because of the choice we made to end his life, our son never got the chance to gaze up at his parents, to see who it was that had been talking and singing to him all along. He never got the chance to fall asleep in our arms, bundled and cozy, pink lips and fuzzy hair like a duckling, smelling of milk and baby, the very best smell in the world. Neither, however, did he have to suffocate to death at birth, his small body gasping to fill his woefully hypoplastic lungs. He did not have to feel pain shooting throughout his abdomen, grossly distended with urinary ascites. He did not have to experience one minute away from the warmth and love of my body. We chose, instead, for him to be born straight into peace.
While in the NICU this month, I absolutely appreciate the validity of this choice. And I respect and admire the love and bravery of Ms. Danziger, for making this excruciating parenting decision, for surviving this entire endeavor and continuing to mother in the face of profound grief, for sharing this piece of her story.