Perinatal Hospice: A Gift of Time
Perinatal hospice is for families who wish to continue their pregnancies with babies who likely will die before or shortly after birth because of a terminal prenatal diagnosis.
[excerpted from Perinatal Hospice website:]
If you are here because of a prenatal diagnosis that indicates your baby likely will die before or after birth, we are so sorry.
Perhaps you are considering continuing your pregnancy and embracing whatever time you may be able to have with your baby, even if that time is only before birth, while your baby is cradled safely inside of you.
Please know that support is available (see the links on this site) and that you are not alone.
Parents who have traveled this path before you have found that it can be a beautiful, profoundly meaningful, and healing journey.
"You matter to the last moment of your life, and we will do all we can not only to help you die peacefully, but also to live until you die.”
-Cicely Saunders, founder of the modern hospice movement
“Waiting with Gabriel: A Story of Cherishing a Baby’s Brief Life,” by Amy Kuebelbeck is a first-person account of continuing a pregnancy with a terminal diagnosis.
Many hospitals and pregnancy clinics are now recommending this book for patients in this situation, and it may be useful for physicians as well as for their patients. http://waitingwithgabriel.com
[excerpted from the Maternal-Fetal Medicine website:]
Maternal-Fetal Medicine (MFM) is a subspecialty of Obstetrics and Gynecology dealing with all matters that can affect the health of a mother or fetus from before conception to the postpartum period. Physicians who practice Maternal-Fetal Medicine are obstetrician/gynecologists who have received additional training, and performed research, in the care and management of pregnant women and fetuses…
Many MFM physicians are also involved in planning and executing research in a wide variety of areas affecting the health of mothers and fetuses. In so doing, they are steadily contributing to a body of knowledge that is improving the outcome of pregnancy for mothers and infants throughout the world.
Regrettably, many MFM physicians support, or even participate in, feticide through the provision of induced abortion.
As pro-life Maternal-Fetal Medicine physicians we believe that this is diametrically opposed to the entire ethos of our medical specialty, which developed specifically to provide care for maternal and fetal patients. Accordingly, we have joined together to declare our responsibility for the full protection and care of mother and fetus in every pregnancy…
…Pro-Life Maternal-Fetal Medicine is a Special Focus Group of the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine. We are maternal-fetal medicine physicians dedicated to respect for, and preservation of, both mother and fetus in each pregnancy. We are of like mind with the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists, a Special Interest Group of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
Prenatal Partners For Life
support for parents of babies with severe problems
Troubling Pre-Natal Diagnosis?
Every year in the United States, approximately 133,000 pregnant mothers will walk into their doctors’ offices for a routine pre-natal test and walk out with a broken heart because they receive what is called “poor pre-natal diagnosis,” or PPD.
This means that their infant is afflicted with a chromosomal abnormality or a serious defect in a vital organ.
More than 90 percent of those pregnancies end in abortion.
There is a place where parents can receive emotional support and encouragement when they are confronted with a devastating diagnosis.
Like all human beings, these children are precious gifts, but any parent needs extra support, information, resources and encouragement in order to say “yes” to love in the face of fear and tremendous pressure to
terminate. For more information visit www.prenatalpartnersforlife.org or call (763) 772 – 3868.
Another wonderful site for support is at www.livingwithtrisomy13.org
This is an amazing site where families, through their own grief and pain, reach out to help others who have had children with Trisomy 13.
All these families have lived and are living with a Trisomy 13 diagnosis and the reality of how it changes lives. With grace and hope they continue on and share what they have experienced.
[Vine & Branches, July 2007]
Rachel's Vineyard is on the web at: www.rachelsvineyard.org, (877) HOPE-4-ME.
From happiness to suffering is a step;
From suffering to happiness is an eternity
[excerpts from Testimony by Dr. James Thorp:]
The first fetal surgery is credited to Sir Albert William Liley in 1963. He developed the technique for diagnosing and treating fetuses suffering from anemia as a result of Rh disease. He is known as “the father of fetology”, and was an advocate for the rights of the child within the womb. Dr. Liley said, “As a doctor I regard the unborn child as my patient and protect and respect his life as I would the life of any other patient. From my clinical experience I am convinced that unborn children are individuals and human beings who are capable of receiving and responding to medical care and who should have legal protection.”
It is extremely difficult not to see the fetus as a child before birth with the same value as a child after birth, especially after one sees her smiling, grimacing, moving, sleeping, yawning, stretching, sucking a thumb, as well as responding to pain from needle sticks. When a fetus is suspected of having severe anemia the operating team and I use an ultrasound to guide a needle through the mother’s abdomen into one of the baby’s blood vessels. If severe fetal anemia is confirmed by immediate blood testing in the operating room, I will transfuse the baby with donor blood. Without such a transfusion, the fetus will die. I have done this as early as 19 weeks gestation with perfect outcomes.
As endoscopic and laser technology increased, the surgical correction of twin-to-twin fetal transfusion syndrome is now being performed. The NIH is currently funding the MOMS trial, which is investigating the repair of spina bifida within the womb. Another technique that is currently under investigation includes repair of diaphragmatic hernia, removal of fetal tumors, and even balloon angioplasty of valves within the fetal heart. Near scar free repair of cleft palate/lip may also be possible.
Thomas Jefferson said, “The care of human life, and not its destruction is the first, and only legitimate object of good government”. The United States is the world leader in advanced medical study and this includes research for the youngest and most innocent of our patients, those still within the womb. I believe nations, societies and governments will ultimately be judged by the way that they treat their weakest, their most vulnerable and their most innocent, including the child within the womb. [http://www.prolifemfm.org/thorp.htm]
I Know I Am Loved by Dolores Mize and photographer Angela Talentino is “one of the most touching publications available celebrating the birth of a new baby”. This 48-page book which includes and involves the father of the baby, lovingly depicts “the joy of welcoming a new baby into the family”. There are also places to record the baby’s birthday & stats, and a page for parents to write their own thoughts to the newborn. Contact Life Cycle Books, www.lifecyclebooks.com/item_detail.asp?PRODUCT_ID=2229P. [Life Issues Inst., 7/07, lifeissues.org]
Locating Pro-Life Physicians in Your Area
It is not always easy to locate pro-life physicians in some areas of the country. The most direct approach is to get on the phone and talk to them personally. Of course, we all realize how difficult this would be. However, if enough physicians heard directly from potential patients looking for truly pro-life physicians, perhaps those on the fence would move to the pro-life field…
Another approach is to contact pro-life groups in your area, such as pregnancy resource centers or pregnancy help centers, for their suggestions. You can locate these centers in the Yellow Pages under "Abortion Alternatives", or by visiting www.pregnancycenters.org.
Each miscarried baby is a loss and each family grieves differently. Proper burial of our miscarried babies in a little casket was very important to us. Even after diligently searching, we were not able to find a little baby casket or tiny coffin for any of our miscarried babies. Heaven's Gain is our attempt to aid parents in finding a small baby caskets sized appropriately for their baby who died less than full term…We hope our tiny baby burial caskets and other miscarriage burial products will acknowledge and uphold the dignity of each miscarried baby and bring comfort and closure to each grieving mother, father, and family. [from this website]