When I was 20 weeks pregnant with my 5th child, a daughter, she was diagnosed with anencephaly, which means that her skull and brain were not fully formed or developing in the right way. I was told that she would either be a stillborn or would pass away shortly after birth. The exact words doctors told me was that “she will not be compatible with life.” And there is nothing they can do for her. This is probably the most difficult thing I've ever had to go through in my life, not just physically, but emotionally. Texas’s new abortion laws don’t allow me to have control over my own body, or my own pregnancy.
My wish would have been to have an abortion and let her rest in peace sooner rather than later, but that decision and that right was taken from me by the state where I grew up and live. I couldn’t get the care I needed in Texas, and I don’t have the money or the time away from work or my other children to travel to another state that would allow me the dignity to make what I think is the best choice for me and my family and my future.
So I continue to carry her, 7 months and counting, and to feel her kick and grow, and to continue to say my hellos and goodbyes – all at the same time – as I wait in Texas for her to arrive and then expire. My new wish is to donate her organs to others in need after I deliver her.
Ultimately, I will have to pay to bury or cremate her, which I also don’t have the money for. The only other choice I can make is about how she is laid to rest. I would love to be able to give her a proper burial with a headstone, but I don’t have the means for such a funeral. I would so appreciate any love that could be shown to the daughter I am carrying in this way, in Texas.