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Peter

Peter, baby with anencephaly

My name is Tina and I’m 33 years old. This is my story of our 5th child Peter.

On August 28th , 2008, my husband and I went to the first ultrasound. I was 12 weeks pregnant and was feeling well. In my first pregnancy with our only girl, I didn’t had any nausea, but with my 3 boys I did, so I thought this was going to be a pregnancy similar to my first pregnancy. But it also made me insecure, “what if something was wrong with our baby?” But why should something be wrong? I just wanted to see that everything was alright with the baby…

Before I got pregnant, we had a lot of thoughts about having a 5th child. I prayed to God, “were we going to have another child?” I opened the bible and put my finger at a random place: “and she gave birth to a son”. Okay, could this be an answer? I put my finger at a random place again and the first name was Peter…
I got pregnant within a month, and now we were going to the first ultrasound.

I had butterflies in my tummy, it’s always amazing to see your child the first time. A nurse came to do the ultrasound. We looked at the baby on the screen, the baby was not moving a lot. I asked, if he was sleeping, just to talk about him. “Perhaps”, the nurse said, “you can see the heart is beating.” She didn’t measure the arms, legs, stomach and head. They usually do this, but she didn’t and didn’t say much about anything. Then she pointed out a black spot on his head, where the brain is and she told us that a doctor would take another ultrasound. We should wait for 30-45 min. We went outside to get some fresh air.

“This isn’t good, this is bad”, I said to my husband. “There is a black hole in the head, where the brain is, this is very bad. If he says something about abortion, I will break down, this isn’t good!”
“It doesn’t have to be that bad, wait to see what the doctor says, everything is going to be alright”, my husband replied. “If something is wrong, we will take care of the baby anyway.”

We met the doctor, and my heart was beating like 100 km an hour.
We didn’t say anything, the room was silent.
“You have to sit down, before I say anything”, said the doctor.
It was like in a bad B-movie. When they tell you to sit at a chair, it means it’s the end.

“This baby is incompatible with life, he is going to die outside the womb and the pregnancy can be very bad for you. The best thing for you will be an abortion.”

He said the word I didn’t want to hear. We talked about the situation and I cried, I walked out of the room and my husband stayed to get a new appointment.

When we got home, we told our children about the situation. That our baby missed something of his head and would die after birth. But we said, we would pray that Jesus would heal our baby.
We were all very sad. But we didn’t want to hide the situation. They would feel something was wrong and if our baby would die, they shouldn’t know it only at the end.

My own doctor called me and said that I shouldn’t have a bad conscience about having an abortion. The baby had no brain, and it was not really a child.

Well I wouldn’t have an abortion.

But I will be honest. For a second I thought that if I got an abortion, we could try again. I felt bad about this thought and I knew in my heart that I couldn’t get an abortion. This child would live inside me as long as God made it possible…

The pregnancy went as normal as the other pregnancies. The baby kicked a lot and it felt like his body moved beside mine. This was different from the other children.

I told him that I loved him and prayed a lot that Jesus would heal him.

At 19 week, our ultrasound doctor told us it was a boy, I was very happy, because of the word in the Bible. My 4th son and his was name Peter.

The doctor told us in the beginning, that he also had spina bifida, an opening in the back, but he didn’t.

Every time we went for an ultrasound, we hoped for a miracle, but it didn’t happen. Nevertheless, we were happy to see him, maybe this would be our only possibility to see him alive. He was sweet and my heart loved him even more when I saw him on ultrasound screen. We even got a 4D ultrasound and it was a blessing to see his face and body.

Our church, friends and family supported us a lot during that time. I talked a lot about Peter and about giving birth.

When we were told that our baby would die on 28th of August 2008, they didn’t give us the name of the condition. I read a book a friend gave me, The Shaming of the strong by Sarah C. Williams, the author wrote about how she had talked with some people who lost their child to anencephaly, missing a brain, and I thought, this condition is the same as our baby. I sat down and wrote the word anencephaly on the computer and a child came on the screen and I thought, oh no! This was a bad picture.

I searched a lot more and found this site. When I read the stories, my heart was bleeding, this were stories about love and pain, not about monsters. This were honoured children by their parents and family.
I looked under the caps of the children (private page), and it felt good. They were children.
This helped me a lot. To find someone in the same situation, who has been through this, and how they got through.

The time was coming to give birth and now I wanted to see him and hold him.
The doctor told me that he believed Peter would live outside the womb (how long he couldn’t say), if the birth was good and uncomplicated.

I was going to be induced on February 16th, 2009, but my body wasn’t ready at all to give birth. The doctor said it would be better to wait one more week.

We went back to the hospital on February 23rd. For two days I got pills to start the birth and a balloon catheter, which fell out even though it should have stayed there for 12 hours.

On February 25th, they broke the water at 8.45 a.m..
At 10 a.m. I got an IV and the contractions started.
At 16.15 p.m. I was told to push, I tried spontaneous and I tried for about one hour, but it was very difficult. I gave all I got, but I didn’t do anything…

I could only think of getting a c-section, and asked the midwife.
I got afraid my stomach would break. This didn’t happen, but something happened inside me psychologically…

I got a spinal anaesthetic and I had peace for 2 hours. Then the midwife called a doctor. The doctor tried to make me push in a bad way for several hours, but it didn’t do anything good. Peter’s heart was still beating during the night. But when at 00.30 a.m. the 26th of February Peter was born by a c-section, I asked if he was alive, they said “no he is dead”.
I had asked, because of the silence…

He weighed 2950g and was 46 cm long.

My husband was with Peter and he was very tired. I was drugged and held Peter the first time 4 hours after his birth. I cried when I held him, he was my son. He was dead, but just as soft as any other baby. His skin was so dark and other places so pale, but it didn’t matter to me, I loved him.

Later our family and some friends came to see Peter, but this is kind of a blur to me. It hurt to see our children so sad when they met Peter, but I’m glad they got to touch and see him. He was their brother.

Our youngest son asked “when will he awake?”

Peter was blessed and got an ointment by a priest from our church, this I can’t remember… But I told them I wanted him to get an ointment…

He was beside me in his bed and it was all very unreal. I looked at him and held him and couldn’t believe our son was dead.

The 27th, my husband and I said goodbye to Peter. I kissed his little hand and my lips were cold for several seconds after. It felt good, a feeling of returning something back.

We went home, and I went to be alone for 4 days in my bed crying. I cried and felt so much grief and pain. I was also very angry at God, why didn’t he heal him? I don’t know the answer… But I know Peters is with Jesus now, and we will see him again.

The children talk a lot about Peter being in heaven with Jesus, and how we are going to meet him again one day. We talk about how Peter’s head and body are perfect now and how Jesus takes care of him and all the other children in heaven.

We had a funeral service for Peter on March 4th. It was a beautiful funeral.

We talk a lot with the children about Peter. We had told them not to keep questions inside themselves, and if they want to say something, then just to say it.

“Peter is my friend, he is sweet, he is my brother, and he is heaven with Jesus”… This, my youngest son said one night and I hugged him and said, “yes, that’s true honey”… My heart felt love and pain.

A therapist from church talked to me during pregnancy and after Peter’s death and that has been such a blessing.

God has been there all the way. He allowed me to be angry and confused, but still he gives peace and love through people who were and still are there for me and us as a family.
Peter will always have a special place in my heart. He is my special boy, he is for all of our family.

This is a journey of pain and love.

The grief comes in waves, sometimes for a day, sometimes I get sad because of a sentence, a picture, a movie. I’m much more sensitive…

Now I understand pain and I understand other people in crises and I believe this is good for me.

If I had had an abortion, I would never have met him or felt him or held him in my arms…. Our beautiful boy.

Jesus has a lot of children in heaven. Peter joined the children, who started life on earth like he did. They blessed us and left their love, and they will meet us in heaven.

I look forward to feel Peter’s soft skin again. His cheek next to my cheek, ever so soft.

“But didn’t I tell you that you will see a wonderful miracle from God if you believe?”
John. 11.40


Now I am a mummy for 5 children and every one has a special place in my heart.

 

Last updated March 23, 2011