The Worst News of Our Lives
by Heather and Jason Kimble
So, we went into our 20 week ultrasound on December 5th, 2013 thinking that we were going to find out the sex of our baby. At that moment, our biggest fear was that we would not be able to determine the gender and we had a party planned for the 15th just a week away to reveal the gender. We had our 2 envelopes ready so the tech could write the gender down. One for us and one for our favorite cupcake baker.
We arrived at the ultrasound on time and waited patiently for our turn in the ultrasound room. We were so anxious to see the baby. Once we got in the room and the tech started, things took a dramatic turn. The tech began scanning and became very quiet. She didn’t point out much of the baby or any of the things that had happened at the prior ultrasound. After a few awkward minutes of her scanning and asking some off-putting questions, she declared “Something is wrong, I need to get the doctor. I am sorry to be the one to tell you this.” We then waited for what seemed like an eternity for the doctor. We were saying to each other, “what could it be?” It is at moments like this that your mind races through the options. When the doctor finally came in, the information she presented to us was not even in the realm of what we had thought. Instead of saying that it was something like a birth defect or a possibility that the baby would have some sort of mental disability, the doctor explained that in here opinion there was essentially no scenario in which our baby would survive beyond birth, at best. We were floored. The shock that set in can not be described at all. At this point the doctor went through a variety of medical explanations and explaining that the best option for us was termination. We just stared at her blankly. After she was done, we went and sat in our car, uncertain of what to do next.
Our OB called shortly after we were in the car. I am not sure how long we had been sitting there. We went in to see the OB that very moment, as her office was in the next building over. We hoped to go in and find out our options and see what could be done. Unfortunately, that was not exactly what happened. When we went in, the doctor said, “So this must be some difficult news.” From there she went on to explain the baby would not make it and that because of this, the best option would be immediate delivery to avoid any potential risks to my health. She wanted us to come in just 4 days later to deliver the baby so that the pregnancy would be terminated. At first, we didn’t even realize what she was offering us. Once it all clicked, I said that I was not comfortable with this option. The doctor continued to try to convince me, and then told me to go home and think about it.
I immediately decided that this option was not for me. It goes against everything I believe in. When we got in the car, that was the first thing I said. But now what do we do next? We went to my parents that night and explained the information we had received. Jason called his mother after the appointment to tell her what we now knew as well. Everyone was as devastated as we were.
Friday, the day after the ultrasound, we went to Jason’s parents house. My mother came with us. We just wanted to be with family and get some support. When we arrived, Jason’s mother said that her friend Judy wanted to come over and talk to us. Judy is a nurse at Einstein Medical and her friend is very high up at Einstein. After speaking with them both, we were referred to CHOP. We made a call at 4 p.m. to see about getting an appointment. By 5:30 pm., we had an appointment for Monday morning. We at least had a little hope at the moment.