My Darling Baby:

What a wonderful day. I got to see you for the first time. You are so small yet so perfect. I know it is very early for me to have had the joy of experiencing an ultrasound, however, the doctor offered your daddy and I some choices and our decision led us to today.

Awhile back the doctor informed us of a procedure called integrated prenatal screening. This procedure is a combination of an ultrasound and two blood tests that are used to help determine if there is an increased chance of a baby being born with three specific disabilities. The doctor also informed us that once the results from the screening were in, couples had the option of having an amniocentesis to confirm the results. Your daddy and I immediately informed the doctor that amniocentesis was not an option because in no way were we going to put your life at risk – amniocentesis was too high a risk because often the child inside the mommy is accidently killed by the procedure; we still had the option of the screening which was non-invasive and in no way a risk to you. The doctor also said that depending what the tests showed, we would have to make another decision – whether to keep you or not. We immediately told him that “termination” was not a choice, that we were fully committed to having you.

The doctor gave daddy and I the information and told us to think about it. The answer did not seem difficult; why would we want to do a test that in no way would change our feelings for you and would in no way change the outcome of you joining our family? After talking and praying about it we decided to go ahead with the screening. Let me explain. I know in life there are no guarantees and regardless of what this screening shows us there are still many things that can happen in life: you could be born with a disability that was not part of the screening, the screening could have been inaccurate and one of the disabilities present at birth or you could become disabled at some point during your life. All of these things are possible, but none of them would change how perfect you are, that you are the person God intended you to be and that we love you fully and completely.

As you know each day I have to take medication for a neuropathy I got about a year ago. This medication is a type of seizure medicine and seizure medication can lead to an increase in neural tube defects. I have been diligently doing all that I can to make my body the safest and most welcoming place for you to grow; however, completely removing the medicine has not been a choice. We wanted to find out if the screening showed an increase in the probability of neural tube defects so we could research more and be better prepared to support you and any special needs you may have. It all seemed so clear and easy yet this morning I was a little scared. I wanted to make sure it was the right decision. I never wanted you to doubt our unconditional love and acceptance of you and I didn’t want this screening to scare us. I wanted it to prepare us. You must have known how I was feeling because you sent my body more signals to remind me you were there and as I reached down to touch you I felt peace. For no matter what today brought, no matter what we are faced with in life, today would be the day I saw my baby for the first time. I already feel so much love for you yet seeing you move around on that screen today and watching your tiny heart beat opened a whole new floodgate of love. I am glad I had this opportunity so early on in our pregnancy to see you.