Sisterhood of Angel Mama’s Magazine | Issue 03
The Loss of Blakely Sue
Written and Photos by Kendra Wilson
My daughter, Blakely Sue Coffman died on September 30, 2021. We found out that we were having a girl through a NIPS/gender test and everything was normal. Our first baby girl!
On September 20th, we were getting ready for our 20 week ultrasound and to confirm that our sweet baby was indeed a girl. We arrived at our appointment and the tech was looking at our baby, she immediately leaves the room to get another tech and they look at our baby for a bit and leaves the room again. They come back into the room to finish the ultrasound and explained to us that the positioning seemed weird and there were swelling and fluid in her scalp. I knew something was wrong.
We waited in a hotel room for the results to come in online. I Google EVERY WORD. My partner and I cried, we were scared. On September 21st, we went for a follow up and they couldn’t tell us much so they sent us home and we await a phone call. 15 minutes after leaving the doctor’s office, we received a phone call, I knew it was serious, they scheduled another appointment for September 23rd. We sat through three ultrasounds and awaited for our daughter’s diagnosis. The doctor and the genetic counselor came in to tell us,“Unfortunately your pregnancy is a terminal pregnancy.” I INSTANTLY break into tears. While waiting my partner and I had talked about modifying the house for a wheel chair,
“She may have lived with one or two of the abnormalities, but with all of them combined like this, there’s just really is no chance.”
My daughter had Arthrogryposis, Spina Bifida, fluid in her scalp, face, and neck, scoliosis, clubbed feet, a 90 degree hyperextended neck, cleft pallet, stunted growth, an underdeveloped cerebellum, micrognathia, clenched arms and legs, liver calcifications and underdeveloped lungs, she wasn’t moving, an opened mouth that would not close, and honestly we are still getting more back with placenta testing. We were given a very short time frame to choose whether we terminate the pregnancy or go full term.
Due to the abortion laws (cases like these are no exception) I had to do it all before 22 weeks. We weighed every option over and over and over. However, the ending result was that our baby will die in my womb (knowing nothing but warmth and love) or my baby suffocates to death (if she doesn’t pass away in my womb) because of her undeveloped lungs. Now, I NEVER thought about having an abortion but it was the one that caused her less pain and I’d do anything for my baby especially if it means less pain for her. We only had about four days to make a decision and we made one.
On September 25th, we took our maternity pictures and two days later we had a consultation, in order to have an abortion/TFMR (Terminate for Medical Reasoning) you have to have a consult at least 24 hours before. So I legally had to sit and listen about how we had options like adoption and etc (ain’t that a kick in the heart).
On September 29th, the hospital messed with our paperwork (don’t want to get into it and I’m not sure why), we had to be rushed because I was on the last day to legally get a TFMR. So, due to the hospitals mess up, I had to get a painful injection in my stomach to stop her heart. I took a pill to soften my cervix and had to wait through the night to be induced the following morning. The next day at 9:30am, we arrived at the hospital for the induction. I went through labor to have our baby girl. All the meds had wore off, so I felt all the shakes and all the contractions,I felt the cold, raw and harshness of labor. My baby girl was born at 7:53pm weighing 11.6oz and 9.75 in. Finally, on October 9th, we had our beautiful baby girl’s funeral.
Please don’t hate me or any parent for choosing TFMR. We chose it so that our daughter didn’t have to suffer. We couldn’t bare watching her suffocate to death. I’d lay my life down for my children. I feel guilt.I feel grief. I feel sorrow.
I am a mother who had to choose when her daughter died and I question myself everyday for that.
A friend once told me that she read something that stated, “When your child dies, everything hurts- every part of your mind, your body, your heart, and your soul- every cell in your body aches from the tips of your hair to the tips of your toes. It’s as if every tiny molecule within you is screaming in protest, “No, no, no, this can’t be true!”
I wish I held the secret on how to grieve. I wish there was one way to solve how to end the pain, but there isn’t. Everyday is a roll of dice. I never know how I will feel, how many times I’ll cry, or what triggers I’ll face. I try to keep my mind busy and I talk. I say my daughter’s name, I share her story in any way I can, and I share my emotions with the world. The loss of a child is painful, agonizing and harsh, but it doesn’t have to be lonely. One of the first things I did was reach out to other bereaved mothers and with doing so, I found a lot of peace and loving support.
This is a club no one should ever be apart of and one that no one wants to be in. Unfortunately, there are woman who are unlucky enough to be apart of it. My advice to old and new bereaved parents, find support through groups, read a book, learn a new hobby, do anything to find your way to cope. Life without your child can be so cold and horrible. I pray someday soon I can find peace and live a little easier, until then, I’ll try to find the strength to get out of bed.