“Incompatible with Life”

March 22, 2022

Doctors told Elisa during her pregnancy that her baby boy was “incompatible with life.” Here she shares her story.

Elisa’s Story

“At 16 weeks of pregnancy, I found out that my baby very likely had Trisomy 18. ‘Don’t google it’ is what my midwife said. Of course, I did look it up, and I was so sad to find out that my baby would likely not survive pregnancy, make it through birth, or live very long after birth. However, I also found out that there are people of all ages living with Trisomy 18. Mostly young children, but also some young adults and adults.

‘Incompatible with life’ is something doctors like to tell parents of Trisomy 18 babies. I had 7 miscarriages, and I knew what ‘incompatible with life’ meant. It meant the pregnancy couldn’t continue for whatever reason.  I looked at my ultrasound and saw my little baby, fully formed with a cute little bent wrist, kicking daily, and I knew that he was very much compatible with life. How long would he live? Only time would tell.

“I found many resources to help me through pregnancy. One of the best resources is a book called From Diagnosis to Delivery. This book is published by the founder of Verity’s Village, a non-profit that helps mothers who have received a life-limiting diagnosis. I found the book easy to read and extremely helpful in planning for our baby. We had to plan for the best-case scenario (baby receives help in NICU) and also for the worst-case scenario (stillbirth, infant loss). I am so thankful that my little Peter Jeremiah is now 4 months old, and though he is still in the hospital, I know he will be home with us later this year. Verity’s Village, especially the book, journal, and online support group have been so helpful to me in this journey, and they continue to be.”

Support Families with an “Incompatible with Life” Diagnosis

When you support Verity’s Village financially, you make it possible for us to provide the support and practical resources Elisa mentioned above! We love mailing welcome packets to families who have just received a prenatal diagnosis. This helps parents process the grief and emotional turmoil surrounding this traumatic event. And the book and journal give them a tangible way to plan and think through the range of options for supporting their precious babies.

One way you can support our ministry is with a direct donation. Another is to join us in our upcoming event, “Run for the Rare,” a virtual race happening in May. You can register now as a participant and invite your community to join in!