January 22nd. It is the anniversary of Roe v Wade which legalized abortion in this country. A horrible decision that has lifelong many ramifications for unborn children,and their mothers and fathers. At what point does the parents rights become more important than the baby’s rights? Is there ever a time that is right to “terminate” a pregnancy. Most important of all does a woman have the “right to choose?” What about a baby with “issues” or handicaps or genetic differences? What about a baby that learn has a fatal condition like Trisomy 18? Should they be “allowed” to be born? Is it more humane to end the pregnancy? After all you don’t really know the baby yet, why put the family through such a thing. Roe v Wade made the decision to terminate a pregnancy legal and so many innocents have been lost to this procedure.
The ability to terminate a pregnancy is now to the point that woman can terminate at any for a reason. This has given rise to the horrific procedure known as partial birth abortions. That a woman who could decide to murder her own baby when it close to being born is just unfathomable to me.
And January 22nd is an anniversary for us too. Andrew Sean Pickett Blasdell was born on this day in 2005 at 25 weeks.. At his 18 week sonogram we found Andrew was going to have birth defects. The sonogram showed a clubbed arm and 2 clubbed feet. The first thing out of the doctor’s mouth at the sonogram was do you want to terminate. Not lets find out more, just do you want to terminate. We opted for an amnio to find out what we were dealing with. Andrew was chromosomally normal. The doctor was surprised he was expecting Trisomy 18.
At the next sonogram at 23 weeks we found out Andrew might have issues with his intestines. Again we were asked are we sure we want to family through this and did we want to terminate. Again we answered no.
Two weeks later at 25 weeks Andrew was born weighing 1 pound 13 ounces. He had so many issues just from being premature. We never found out what the chromosomal misfire was, but they are thinking it was a bilaterallity misfire. The left side of his body had all the issues, fused ribs, missing rib, missing thumb, and an extra toe. His heart had an extra chamber (tri atria to be exact). He was born with a DA. Basically the fetal heart/lung circulation wasn’t shut down after birth. This throws the blood pressure off. This led to a brain hemorrhage (not uncommon in these micropreemies, but the PDA almost ensured it would happen). This caused hydrocephalus (extra fluid on the brain). During all of this we found out he also had an issue with his intestines. We weren’t sure at the time what the issue was, but he could not be fed by mouth. Now the IV feeds, called TPN, used long term cause liver damage. All this was on top of the normal lung issues these micropreemies have.
He had to be transferred to a different hospital because of his brain issues. We were finally we were able to do surgery to find out what was going on with his intestines. Turns out he had a malrotation (where the intestines are backwards) and a jeujunial atresia with an apple peel deformity. Basically his intestines had split high in the small intestine, only one major blood vessel and the intestines wrapped around it like an apple peel or Christmas tree. NOT a good thing. The surgeon repaired it and we held out hope. After another month things still were not looking good so they went back in and found out the intestines had atrophied (died). So he was left with only 4 inches of small intestine. (We need around 25 FEET to survive). This was in March. So we dealt with all of those issues and then the hydrocephalus started to get worse and they were not able to do anything about it because of the intestinal issues.
He then developed an infection that led to meningitis. Things got progressively worse as his liver started to fail from the TPN. He began having more breathing issues and he had to be put back on a ventilator. At that point I knew Andrew was telling me he was tired of fighting. So Richard and I had to make the hardest, yet most loving decision to take Andrew off of life support and see what God would allow to happen.
So on July 5th we went to the hospital for the last time. Held him and told him we love you and watched him pass into heaven. I know he is whole now and in a much better place, but I still have a piece of my heart missing here on Earth. Andrew you are loved and missed greatly.
So people ask if we had known what would happen would he have made the same decision not to terminate. And to the answer to that is yes. While his life here on Earth was short, he touched many lives and proved to be such a fighter many doctors were amazed and shocked at the times he pulled through when they thought he would not. So I am convinced his presence here had a purpose and at sometime we will know what it was.
Having his birthday on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade must have a purpose too. I just need to pray and find out what I need to do.
Andrew in March at about 6 weeks of age just after his 1st surgery
Andrew in June. 1st time Richard held him.
Andrew in late June, before the infection got worse. Best picture of him!
Loved and Missed!