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Anna Joy


We found out at 13 weeks 3 days our baby had anacephaly, and we were told we had to make a decision and act within 48 hours if we decided to terminate the pregnancy. We scrambled to find information and make our decision, but were so overwhelmed we followed the doctor's advice and terminated the pregnancy at 13 weeks 6 days.

I took the cytotec the night before the procedure and actually delivered the baby naturally the following morning before ever getting checked in for the procedure. As a result, what at the time didn't even seem completely real became shockingly real as I held my tiny baby in my hands. The doctor's were correct in their diagnosis, but seeing her (too early to tell for sure, I feel in my heart it was a girl) I realized that no matter how early it was, no matter how final the diagnosis, this was still a (tiny) baby, my baby, and I instantly regretted our decision.

I have continued to struggle with that decision ever since, and I pray that other moms can find all the support they need to make the decision that's best for their family.

I wish I had let my baby have all the time possible in my womb. I wish she had made it far enough that we could have had a proper burial for her, that we could publicly acknowledge that Anna Joy Garrett is our child and always will be, even without a gravesite/birth certificate/death certificate.

I was scared – scared to acknoweldge that it was a living baby because I didn't want to feel that loss. Scared to see the baby for fear of what it would look like. But I've learned that no matter how long you carry the baby or how it ends, you still grieve deeply and painfully. I saw my baby and held her in my hands (she was about the length of my palm), and except for her cranium, she was perfect. Even more, no matter what the appearance of her physically, she was my child, and I loved her unconditionally.




Last updated March 19, 2019