Elijah is my second child, I already have a little girl aged three.
I found out I was pregnant the day I missed my period, I knew he was here even before any medical tests could detect and confirm.
I was ecstatic, for me, for my daughter, for the possibilities, for life, for love (the list goes on). This little bud growing inside me was my hope. I knew I had to give him the best chance at life.
My partner and I had tested for sickle-cell and found we were both carriers, but we had our daughter who hadn't inherited the disease or the carrier gene. We knew our odds but hoped we could beat them just as we had done with our first child. We knew what it meant to have sickle-cell disease and hoped for our child to be healthy. I had my amniocentesis set at 16 weeks and two agonising weeks after, the results came in, and our boy had inherited sickle-cell disease.
Although my partner and I both made the difficult decision to terminate, I went through with the process on my own. I was booked into the hospital for a termination on August 31, 2018.
That will remain the darkest day of my life. Elijah was moving 110 miles an hour, I felt he was putting up a fight and that shredded my heart into a million pieces. It felt like I was deliberately choosing to hurt my son instead of fighting for him. The pain this caused me will forever be etched in my heart.
I checked into the hospital alone, the midwife asked, "Who are you with today?", and with tears down my face, I said, "Elijah and I". She felt the sadness in my heart and didn't ask another question but showed me to my room.
Heading there, I went past excited and hopeful couples, some in active labour and others only there for a routine check-up. I wonder why we all have to sit in the same maternity ward, even for us whose children are dying.
My son was dying inside me and I too died with him that summer day. The termination process started with a tiny tablet to soften my cervix, but to spare you all the details, I naturally delivered my son the same day I checked into the hospital.
I had no one to hold my hand, I thought I wanted it that way but in hindsight, I should have done otherwise. I didn't get to see Elijah although the midwife endeavoured to explain how beautiful he looked, I didn't trust I would be able to hand him back after saying my goodbyes.
I didn't want to say goodbye. My beautiful son Elijah survived for 50 minutes after delivery, and the number 50 is now a number I dread to hear. I was left to grieve the night before I was discharged, and giving me his footprints was the most adorable gesture from the bereavement midwifery team at the hospital. I got his birth and death certificate, two weeks later and these are the only reminders of my baby boy. I miss you Elijah and I hope I made the right decision for you.
Soar with the angels!
Love, your mom..