A Much Different Pregnancy

February 1, 2022

Despite already having five children of her own and also raising two nephews, Rose knew her family story wasn’t quite over. In November of 2020, she saw a familiar pink line on a pregnancy test, the faintest one she had ever seen. Now she believes that was possibly the first sign that this pregnancy would be much different than the others.

Other “little” signs came. Measuring small. Difficulty finding a heartbeat. Not as much movement. The routine ultrasound felt “off.”

Finally, Rose’s midwife called to break the news. This baby was too tiny and “not viable.” At her MFM appointment the next day, Rose listened to the “incompatible with life and termination speech.” She says, “I was told the best case was I would have a vegetable of a child.” At this point the doctors suspected either trisomy 13 or 18, and so Rose began to research.

“I wanted to plan and prepare. I joined groups and saw these babies lived. I personally am against abortion, and what really stopped me was making a doctor do that. I didn’t want to be responsible for them doing that. The MFM…was explaining my options and giving support to my choice. I caved and got the NIPT test. I got a call from my midwife over the weekend. It wasn’t either trisomy, it was worse but not a clear result. We were suspecting triploidy. So again I had consultation with genetic doctors and learned all I could. It wasn’t enough to be left in the unknown. I decided for peace of mind and for preparation to get an amniocentesis. I was past 20 weeks. I wrestled with if this would cause the baby to pass would I forgive myself? I learned knowledge is power. I needed to know.”

A Rare Miracle

The test results showed the reason for this much different pregnancy–an extremely rare diagnosis of full triploidy. This means the baby had an extra copy of every single chromosome. (For comparison, Trisomy 21, or Down syndrome, has an extra 21st chromosome; Trisomy 18, or Edwards syndrome, has an extra 18th.) The fact that Rose’s baby survived in utero past the first two trimesters was in itself a miracle.

After many discussions with her medical team, Rose chose to induce labor to give her baby girl every chance possible to be born alive. The team prepared for full medical intervention. Unfortunately, the baby was breech, and Rose endured a long and difficult labor. Sadly, after over 28 hours, baby Julianna Grace was stillborn.

“She will always be mine.”

Rose writes, “What did come from this whole ordeal and process was a new me. While I was and am very broken, I have learned so much and been so blessed. Would I take any of it back? NO. NO, I would not. I gave her life inside me. She matters. Her life matters. She is perfect. God taught me and changed me. I’m not mad at God. I have learned that this baby who was born to me is still mine. She will always be mine….She never knew sin or heartache. She never knew the evil of this world….

While I struggle daily and I miss her so deeply, I learned that sometimes the faith is not that God will heal the child and save them but that I can still see the goodness of God. The miracles he performed were not all on my baby but on me. He saved me, and he changed me for the better. I know my baby is happy with my choices and decisions to give her life and I know she got to choose, and she chose to go home to heaven. I don’t know everything, but I know I love her and I wanted her and we are better because of her life.”