Because we strongly believe in fully informed consent and decision-making, if we discover that the resources available are too few or too biased, I often will write my own (usually with assistance from wise and educated professionals who are my friends). This is the case with a bad prenatal diagnosis.
You will probably be asked to make a decision that means life or death for your baby. Yet, how do you do that without the necessary resources and support for making a wise decision? I wrote the book Precious Lives, Painful Choices for this very reason. You can order it quickly from us in our eShop or you can download a copy from www.MemorEmedia.com.
In it you will find compelling accounts from parents who ended the pregnancy and from those who continued. You will hear the raw and honest pros and cons of choosing between the two tough options (we call it being between a rock and a rock.) Both are hard; so the key is to pick the one that is most in line with your views, values, beliefs…the one you will be able to live with easier than the other.
NO ONE else should make this choice for you OR have a major influence in your choice. You live with the consequences either way; they do not.
In the book, you will find guidance and resources for either decision. You will even discover decision-making strategies that you and your partner may use. I dare not give you a short version here as it will be totally inadequate. Please give this deep thought before you decide how to go forward…even if you are being pushed to do it fast because of state laws for termination. There are books that can support you if you continue the pregnancy such as Waiting with Gabriel and A Gift of Time, both by Amy Kuelbeck. At PerinatalHospice.org website you can also learn about palliative hospice organizations and resources which offer support for families during the rest of the pregnancy and then after birth. Centering Corporation has a number of books on terminating the pregnancy. It may be helpful to also know that grief, loss, and goodbye resources will help in the sadness of saying goodbye to this wanted and loved baby. Many of these resources can be found in our eShop, our Resource pages, and on the Perinatal Hospice site.
You are being asked to play God and decide the time of your baby’s death. Many people have regrets that they did not seek out good information and look toward their potential regrets and self-blame prior to making the decision. Do your best to look ahead a bit with help from others who have been there, if need be.
Also, once you have decided (or to give you further stories and information) you may wish to read the book I am co-writing (due out in 2014) with Australian therapist/writer/mommy Stephanie Azri entitled Beyond the Bombshell.
There are books, websites, and resources for continuing a pregnancy and for ending a pregnancy. Visit our Resources to find each category and learn more about getting support after your decision.