Thursday, 17 March 2011

What is the 'right' thing?

I have been following closely the new guidelines about whether to sustain babies born before 24 weeks and/or lower than 500gm (viable weight)
This dilemma was one that my DH and I were faced with and talked all night about when we knew that there was little hope left for the pregnancy.  

My considerations were the thought of whether it was selfish to push my tiny baby into this world and then artificially sustain and grow him?  I don't think I could have lived with myself if I had insisted that Vincenzo had been born at a non-viable weight with a massive risk of disability.  To live knowing that he would have to live being deaf, blind or both or worse.  

I know because I have friend's whose daughter is deaf, blind and retarded due to very low birth weight and a premature birth.  The risks are so high for the price of wanting a child.  Technology is so advanced that it is no longer a question of 'Can we do it?' but more a question of 'Should we do it?'

My DH and I decided that we would not, this was after a night of length discussions between us.  In our case Nature made that choice for us so we never ended up making the call but nonetheless we had been presented the choices and clearly explained the consequences but the Consultants.  

This coupled with a stunningly reassuring Bereavement Midwife has resulted in us being able to live with ourselves.  We can live with the decisions and choices that we made, as well as understand that some events were well beyond anyone's control.  All this as well as the tragic outcome.  This was a direct result of the honest and frank discussions that took place during and reassuring solid support that happened afterwards and really does outline how important it is to provide the right training and have the right people to make sure that you can get yourself out of bed in the days, weeks, months and years after the tragedy has taken place.

I wonder what support this lady was offered ?  I have never met her but when I saw the report on the news this evening and heard her speak I can completely understand.  Plus I never saw either of my boys alive and don't know what that would have done to change my mind, no mother wants to witness their baby suffer, the natural reaction would be to cry for help.  

But to live with herself, I sincerely hope that she can learn to do that and forgive all those whose decisions she couldn't affect that day. 


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