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You had waited for him/her to arrive. For five long years. Five years of tears, of making excuses to questioning relatives, of praying, of series of tests, of wondering. And now finally, there’s something growing there. You are overjoyed and so is your spouse. Finally, you can start a family. However, baby is choosing to arrive at a funny time. Your husband had just been laid off work and you are wondering how this new family is going to thrive in the face of this. You were sure though that things would work out.
When you were going to the antenatal clinic for the first time, you went together. After all, you were both responsible for this new life you had created together. The doctors ordered tests again, including a scan which you did with alacrity. Anything that would help to protect this baby. You told friends and relatives about this miracle child God had given you. The doctor’s face was grave when you went to the antenatal clinic the second time and he read the scan report.
You knew something was very wrong. He then told you that your baby had no brain or a lack of a functioning cerebrum. Anencephaly he called it. He said your baby would be born blind and deaf. Your miracle child would never live a normal life. He said that the pregnancy was likely to self-terminate but you had the option of terminating the pregnancy in the second trimester. You rejected his diagnosis. God wouldn’t have made you wait five years to give you such s child..
It was too much information for you to bear. You went home to tell your husband.
After he held you and cried with you a little, he said that you had to reach a decision.
“It’s going to be very painful honey, but I guess we have to face what is ahead of us. We have to give up this child and prepare for another one.”
You couldn’t believe the words that were coming out of his mouth. How could he give up just like that, after waiting five years? He patiently explained to you that there was no way you could cater for the baby. Especially now that the family was not financially buoyant. You listen. He sounds logical but your mind cannot accept it. You waited so long to have this baby. You were not going to give up that easily. You were surprised he wasn’t willing to fight with you and you told him so. This led to a quarrel and you didn’t talk to each other the rest of the night.
You decided to do some research and the more you found out, the more your heart sank. The longest any anencephalic baby had survived was two years in a critical care unit. You did a second ultrasound and went to another doctor and he gave the same diagnosis. He counseled again that it was best to terminate the pregnancy. It looks as if no one was on your side. You had always spoken against abortion, you were pro-life. You couldn’t take the life of your own baby. Your husband still wasn’t talking to you because you still wanted to hold on this baby. Your marriage had reached an impasse.
You are at a crossroads. Confused. Why would you wait five years for this to happen? Perhaps the doctors were wrong. Perhaps this was a test of your faith. Perhaps your baby would be the exception. How would you know that if you went on to terminate the pregnancy? And if you didn’t, what would happen to your marriage?