I called my husband and got the words out somehow. He kept telling me it was ok. She was going to be ok.
It wasn’t ok. In the weeks to come we did the amniocentesis. We found out that April Rey had full trisomy 13. All of her cells were affected.
Her tiny body started showing signs on the ultrasounds. She wasn’t going to live.
We couldn’t bear the thought of carrying her to term and making her go through surgery after surgery. We couldn’t bear the thought of her struggling to breathe, or having a life (however short), full of pain.
We knew that before 24 weeks gestation, babies don’t feel pain. She’d most likely pass during an induction.
And so, at 19.5 weeks, we chose to spare her pain. We induced the pregnancy early and let her go peacefully.
She was alive when she was born. She had a slight smile on her face, and I put her tiny hand around my finger. She squeezed as if to say everything was alright.
April Rey was alive for 11 minutes. She was happy and calm and peaceful. We held her and read to her and said our hellos and goodbyes.
August 8, 2019 – It [was] what would have been her second birthday.
We are going to do what we did last year. We are going to bake her cake, blow out her candles and remember her. We are going to read her the story that we read in the hospital “Wherever You Are, My Love Will Find You” by Nancy Tillman.
And we are going to raise money for the Perinatal Palliative Care team at Johns Hopkins, that helped us have the best possible experience in such a heart wrenching time.
We are going to carry her with us every day for the rest of our lives.
April Rey is so missed. Our daughter, Caroline, talks about her every day. She wants to show her everything she didn’t get to see. And so we will. We’ll do it all, and we’ll take April with us.