It was February 2020 when we were told there was something very wrong with our wanted pregnancy. After months of “everything’s fine”, we were told that our precious baby would not be coming home. As he rolled and wiggled inside my body, we were told that he was showing all of the signs of severe Skeletal Dysplasia – shortened and fractured limbs, little to no bone density, and a chest so narrow that he was unable to develop enough lung capacity to ever breathe on his own.
As we met with specialists and care teams, they were all in agreement. There would be no quality of life for our child. There would never be a time when he would breathe or walk or eat or laugh or exist outside of sedation and life support. There would never be a time when he would be able to join our family in the way our other kids had. There would never be a chance to hold him or snuggle him or celebrate those milestones we had taken for granted with our other kids.
The situation was clear. Our son was going to leave us one way or another.
As cruel as that was, it was made a thousand times worse as the options were presented. We could labour and let him pass away during delivery or suffocate shortly after – as soon as my body no longer supported him – or we could choose a surgical procedure that began with a KCl injection but not get to hold him or see him. Had I been able to have the injection then deliver, that would have been the best of the horrific options but that wasn’t available here. To save him from the pain, we opted for surgery and with it, euthanasia.
I will never forget laying under the bright lights and watching his heart stop on a little screen. I have just as many nightmares of that as I do of the ultrasound view where his arms and legs were bent in all the wrong places, at all the wrong angles.
Almost 2 years later, as I sit here still full to bursting with the pain and grief of losing Jackson and of making the choice to end his life, I would do it again. To spare him what was coming, I would take all this and more. He is safe and whole and lovely wherever he is now and for that, I would be shattered and left to pick up the pieces a thousand times over.”
By Nicole Prieur