I am here to tell you the story of a courageous family and a child whose sacrosanct contract on this planet was never meant to be earthly. On a routine ultrasound, the child of an acquaintance was diagnosed with hydrops, a disease that is generally incompatible with life, particularly when detected so early in pregnancy.
The OB-GYN at the clinic advised her to promptly terminate the pregnancy. She questioned my beliefs. I immediately launched into what I refer to as “great-grandmother wisdom,” describing what her great-grandmother from the cave would have done. No sophisticated technology existed that could have scanned her abdomen to determine her fate. Still, she would have appreciated the feeling of LIFE coursing through her. She would have awakened before ten moons had passed and realized her child’s arrival was premature.
She would have been accompanied by aunts, sisters, and other female relatives who did not fear mortality, the only certainty in life. Instead of succumbing to fear in response to the OB’s insistent advice, she trusted her intuition, allowed her baby to arrive at her own pace, and gave birth to her in the precise location she had originally intended… at home.
Before the surges that would bring her here, she read an article in Cafemom in which a mother in a similar situation described storing her neonate in saline water to simulate the amniotic fluid from which the infant had just emerged. The decomposition process was delayed, and by changing the water every 6 to 8 hours, they were able to observe the development of their child… The skin’s erythema and flaking ceased to exist. She determined that the photographs of these mothers were appropriate for their situation after viewing them.
This was something I had never heard of in my 18 years of birth work, and I could not stop adoring her attractiveness when she showed me photographs of her daughter. My eyes were filled with weeping. What a fantastic option for families who want to spend more time with infants! What a thoughtful gesture to give them their own time to say goodbye. And what a remarkable gift it is to share with you the knowledge that this is possible!