This I Believe

Kim - The Hague, Netherlands
Entered on October 12, 2006
Age Group: 30 - 50
Themes: birth
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It is love that led me to my unexpected decision to terminate both my pregnancies. I simply did not want my children to suffer unnecessarily or watch them die.

During pre-natal testing both my son Max and my daughter Maïthé were diagnosed with severe genetic abnormalities. In both cases, life expectancy was unpredictable.

I only had a few days to make my decision and during those days I was searching for answers, hoping someone would make the decision for me. Either way, I feared I wouldn’t be able to live with either one.

I waited for my husband, doctors, parents, geneticists, and friends to tell me what to do. Instead, one doctor told me how bad it would be, while another how it could all be fixed. Some parents, living with the complications my children had inherited, told me how every single day with their child was a blessing, while others told me how their families had been broken. All these, I learned, were versions of my possible future realities and there were many more in between.

One parent had the courage to advise me during those painful days of decision-making, “Kim, you don’t need to prove anything to anyone.” It was all up to me. It had to be my choice because I would have to live with it for the rest of my life no matter how I might be judged by others. So, I went about the nasty business of confronting myself. What lead me to my decision was so close to me I almost didn’t find it. It was the love I had in my heart for my children the moment I understood I had conceived them. That love which initially drew me to protect my children also convinced me to let them go. I believe in that kind of love.