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Macy Ann

 

My name is Jaymi. In February of 2011 I found out that my husband and I were expecting our second baby. As our first was a boy we named Mason, I prayed for a little girl. My wish came true but little did I know I was in for a world of heartache.

Everything was going just fine in my pregnancy, until I was 14 weeks along. We had just moved to a new area, picked out a new doctor, and gone to my first appointment. They sent me for an ultrasound since they could not hear a heartbeat. A nervous wreck, I waited as patiently as I could through the exam. Then I heard the words I prayed for, "I see a heartbeat". Knowing all was well I returned to check in with my doctor quick before going home. She sat down and said she had bad news. My heart sank into my lap. "Something looks abnormal on the ultrasound" she said. She never told me exactly what seemed wrong, but decided to send me to a nearby hospital with higher resolution ultrasound technology. I found out my appointment was 6 WEEKS LATER! For those 6 weeks I was a nervous wreck going back and forth from trying to prepare myself for the worst, and telling myself not to worry.

The appointment finally came! I was now 20 weeks along. As their doing the ultrasound about 4 different doctors come in and out of the room to look at the pictures. Then, everyone left except one doctor. She told my husband and me that our baby had anencephaly and it was not compatible with life. I broke out in tears, and did the best I could to take in all the information they spit out at me as fast as they could. I was told that because I was so far along, my options were limited. I could carry to term, be induced, or have a "D & C". Not to play the dumb card, but at 21 years old, being from a small rural town I didn't know a lot about how these procedures worked. All I was told is that it would be done in a hospital, I would be put under anesthesia and go home the same day. Only having 3 DAYS to decide, my husband and I opted for the procedure. We make the plans, travel to a BIG city, and go in for the appointment. I find out it takes two days to dilate your cervix, so I go through with the first part of the procedure. By the time we get to the hotel I am in excruciating pain! I cannot sleep at all that night. The next day, after a long talk with my husband we realize that this was a HUGE mistake. When I get there I tell them I'm no longer going through with the procedure. We turned around, went home, and never looked back.

At this point my cervix is dilated to 1cm, due to the first part of the procedure. I wake up one morning, a week later and feel a trickling. We go to the hospital to see what's going on, and sure enough my water has broken. We drove 3 hours to our hometown, where my nurse midwife who delivered my first child is waiting for me. She decides to induce me to speed up the process of labor. After almost 24 hours, our baby was born. My prayer was answered, it was my little girl! She was born at 21 weeks, only 10in long and 11oz. She was absolutely beautiful, everything I had hoped for and MORE! Despite her having anencephaly, she was perfect, born without any other defects. As we had always wanted we named her Macy Ann. Her little heart kept beating for nearly 30 minutes after birth. Although I never got to see her take her first breath, cry, or move, I held her for almost an hour before I handed her to the nurses. They kept her in my room, took tons of pictures, and made some keepsakes of her handprints, footprints, and made casts of her hands and feet.

Now that our little girl was here, it seemed like a mistake that she was not coming home with us. I didn't want to leave the hospital; I didn't want to face leaving without my little girl in my arms. I felt like it was all a dream and I would wake up soon and it would all be ok. However, it was reality. My little girl was a true angel, in heaven. My husband kept saying, "God wants her in heaven, she's too beautiful to be on earth, she would make too many people jealous". I realize now that even though we had to face every parentĺs worst nightmare, everything had worked out perfectly. We got to meet our precious angel, hold her, and make memories with her.

As a stay at home mom, I now dedicate my time to bringing awareness to women in my area how to prevent anencephaly and similar birth defects, and inform parents with babies diagnosed with anencephaly about their options so they can make an educated decision about the life or death or their child. It may seem impossible to carry a baby to term that you know will not survive, but the moments you can spend holding them, getting pictures with them, and seeing their beautiful little faces is more than worth it. Those moments are irreplaceable, don't let anyone, not even yourself, take those moments away from you and your family.

Jaymi

 

Last updated June 27, 2016