In March of 2023, my husband John and I were overjoyed to find out we were pregnant. We had been trying for over a year, experienced an early miscarriage in March of 2022, and were in the process of preparing for our first IUI with our fertility clinic so seeing that positive test was a shock. I was able to have my first ultrasound at 6 weeks where we saw our tiny baby and a heartbeat. It was the happiest day of my life.

Unfortunately, our happiness was short-lived. We received the news that my NIPT (Noninvasive Prenatal Testing) bloodwork had come back consistent with a chromosome abnormality, Trisomy 18. Trisomy 18, or Edward’s Syndrome, is a lethal anomaly. We were told that our baby would either be stillborn or would only live a few days or even hours due to the myriad of birth defects the abnormality causes. For numbers people, only 50% of babies with Trisomy 18 live longer than one week and between 5% and 10% make it to their first birthday. We were devastated.

At 11 weeks, I underwent additional testing with a CVS (Chorionic Villus Sampling) test and at 16 weeks, the results of the NIPT bloodwork and our biggest fears were confirmed. The scenarios at that point were:

  1. Continue with the pregnancy with the likelihood that the baby would be stillborn
  2. Continue with the pregnancy and give birth to a baby that would suffer in its very short life
  3. Terminate the pregnancy for medical reasons (TFMR)

We could not imagine putting ourselves mentally (and me physically) through continuing the pregnancy knowing we would not be bringing our baby home. The thought of people seeing my pregnant belly and asking about the due date or the sex of the baby was heartbreaking. I felt like I was walking around with a bomb knowing it would detonate but not knowing when. We ultimately made the  difficult decision to terminate the pregnancy to prevent our baby from suffering and try to salvage our mental health as much as possible.

At 16 weeks, we experienced the difficulties that Georgia’s restrictive laws create for pregnant women seeking this type of healthcare after 6 weeks. My OB’s hands were tied and because these laws are fairly new, she did not have much information on a safe place to refer us. I am fortunate to have an incredible support system of family and friends who offered to make calls for me and help find information on where to go for the procedure. Thanks to the help of these friends, at 18 weeks I was able to have the procedure here in Atlanta under the care of an incredibly empathetic doctor and recover in the comfort of my own home. I know that a lot of women do not have access to safe healthcare in their home states and I am forever grateful for that privilege.

On the night before the procedure, John and I gave our baby boy a name and cried together mourning him and the life we had been imagining and wanting for so long. It has been two months since we said goodbye to William. My heart is shattered into a million pieces. I am still figuring out how to navigate this grief, still figuring out how to catch my breath when the pain sucks every last bit of air from my lungs. I try to find comfort knowing we did what was best for him with the choices we had. It feels wrong to say we had a choice because if we truly had a choice, we would be bringing our baby home in November.

We wanted to share our story to honor William, to tell people that he is so loved and so wanted. He was “bigger than the whole sky, more than just a short time”. I hope that in sharing our story, we can take away some of the stigma that is associated with this type of pregnancy loss. I also hope that I can pay forward the incredible support we received and provide a safe space to support others experiencing pregnancy loss. Carly, thank you for providing this platform for us to share and giving me the courage to do so.

If you or someone you know is going through something similar and is looking for support, please email