Wednesday, September 20, 2006

"I was told my baby would not live"

I recently graduated from Augustana College, in Sioux Falls. When I was a sophomore there I got pregnant. My boyfriend and I broke up before I even knew I was pregnant.
After months of struggling through denial and feeling terrified about the thought of having an abortion, I finally realized that I had to take responsibility for the situation I was in.
When I was about 6 months pregnant I finally went to the doctor and told my family and all my friends. The day of my first ultrasound I was sent straight to a specialist and was given an amniocentesis. The doctors recommended that I terminate the pregnancy, and informed me that if I went into labor they would do nothing to stop it because I was at the point of viability.
I chose not to have an abortion because I had already done the hardest part and that was admitting that what was growing and living inside me was a baby, my baby. I went the next three months knowing that at any second my baby could die inside me and that I would probably never see her alive.
Her cerebral cortex never formed and her condition was termed "incompatible with life." The doctors said that she wouldn't make it through labor and that if she did she would only live for a couple hours, maybe a few days at most.
My daughter was born May 26, 2004 and her name was Lily Kay Rieman. That day I watched her take her first breath and 32 days later I held her as she took her last. Lily was a fighter and surpassed all the doctors’ expectations. She was a complete blessing and I would not trade anything in the world for what I received from not having aborted terminated my pregnancy. I got to hold her and love her, she was real to me and I have memories of her that can never be taken from me even though she is now gone.
I can live with myself knowing that I gave my daughter a chance. My daughter wasn't perfect; no child is. But she deserved the same chance as any other child to live and be loved. We can not be the ones to choose who gets that chance and who doesn't. Every life is special no matter how long or short it is.


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