I have readers I’ve come to think of as family. Men and women who reach out for all sort of reasons. Some have concerns, others a missed diagnosis, some have lost a child or fear they will. And some are seeking forgiveness.
I will tell you, before you read on: this will make you uncomfortable. You might feel anger. You may want to write and say horrible things. You may feel sorrow, or pain, or maybe you even relate to the situation. Whatever you feel, please remember I am not just writing here- I am also moderating. While I allow attacks against myself, I will not allow them against other people who write or are featured here, nor against my child. What is ahead is hard to read. It is hard to comprehend as a parent. But I’ve never been where this woman has. Adelaide’s diagnosis came weeks after her birth. Weeks after I knew her sweet face, smelled her breath, nursed her and rocked her to sleep for endless hours.
For all of the moments I publish about general life, family, the going-ons of the Martinka family… that is to show you that even though we have a slew of appointments, tests and therapies- they do not rule our lives… I will also never stop educating and pushing to further public awareness of dwarfism. There are fatal forms, there are complications, but there are also beautiful days, moments that make me so full of happiness I feel I may explode, and most of all, times that are simply humbling to a parent.
Please remember that all decisions we make are done with the most care for our children, and made with all of the information we have at the time. I do not judge a parent for doing their best for their child. I only pass judgment on myself, and hope that my readers will as well. Understanding the plight of a parent in distress is something that we can only speculate reaction to. This is raw emotion.
This reader reached out to me from Greece. At 25 weeks, at the advisement of her doctor, OBGYN and multiple pediatricians, she terminated her pregnancy due to an in utero diagnosis of achondroplasia. She asked me to share this letter (sic) for other parents who may think this is their only option.*
A month ago I terminated my pregnancy because my baby was diagnosed with achondroplasia. And now, I regret it every second of my miserable day. The reason I write this letter is to inform women who have all these questions like I had and no time to decide what is the right thing to do. In my case, everything happened so quickly. I don’t really know what happens in your country. Where I am, every doctor and medical expert keep telling me that termination was the right thing to do.
What if it is not? And I think, as a mother that it was not! So keep in mind some things and then decide. You are pregnant to a baby who will be a smart, intelligent human being. Yes it will be small and perhaps will have some health problems that you will have to handle but who can guarantee that this won’t happen to your other absolutely normal babies? You are the mother! You will have the strength and the ability to keep this baby healthy and happy and if you still can’t decide just think of me. I am a miserable person who dies every day. I hate myself just because I was badly informed and weak to decide what I thought it would be the hard road! Believe me… this is the hard road… the road I chose. Just remember that every baby has the right to live. I should have known better…
While this mother is still very hard on herself and feels she should be punished, I left her with this thought, and I leave it with you too, Reader: