Option 1 - Operate to prolong life.

This operation (after birth) would have put a stent into Luna’s tiny pulmonary artery to ‘encourage’ blood flow to the lungs and would have needed to be repeated each time her heart grew. This option was provided to us with a caveat- it could only be an option should they find that Luna’s pulmonary artery had shown some growth by the 8th May.

Surely it’s option 1, let’s give our baby the chance at life, let’s opt for surgery, multiple major heart surgeries could give her a chance at life, surely some life is better than no life? But what if her little body can’t take it and we’ve put her through all that instead of letting her go peacefully? What if it works the first time but not the 10th? What kind of life would it be to be in and out of hospital? What about her brother and sister? How would it affect them losing a sister, a twin, before she gets to 5 or 10 or maximum 20? The not knowing when, could they take it? Could my marriage take it? Could I take it? Could Luna take it? Would she be angry that we put her through the agony of not knowing when her heart or other organs may just stop working? But at least she’ll be alive. She’d see the sky and hear the birds. But what if her pulmonary artery doesn’t grow in these 3.5 weeks? Surgery would not be an option and our hearts would be shattered again. But I want her to have a life, I want her to take a breath, to open her eyes, to feel the warmth of a cuddle. I want her to see me, I want to see her see me, I want to have twins, two babies to hold, two mouths to feed, TWO. Two babies. My babies. Yes, maybe option 1 is best. Or is it? Or is it just best for me and not for Luna? Am I being selfish here? I want her to live but is that living? Is there a better option?

Option 1 - Palliative Care.

Allowing our baby to pass away naturally after birth with no medical intervention whilst keeping her as comfortable as possible.

Ok, then option 2, palliative care. That’s got to be it, surely it’s the kindest option. And safe for her twin of course. Must remember there are two babies to think about here. Yep, option 2 must be best. Not putting her through multiple major heart surgery throughout her life, not putting her siblings through the pain of watching their sister deteriorate. This way I get to see her and hold her warm body against mine. I’ll have my twins. She can take her first breath... or can she?! Her body would be starved of oxygen. She can be born alive and we can have each other for...for how long?! How long will her body be able to hold on for? 2 minutes, 2 days, 2 weeks, 2 months, the doctors couldn’t say. We’d have to wait and see.

How do we make a decision with such uncertain outcomes? How can we know if this is the right thing? How can we give Halle the joyful start in life she deserves whilst waiting for Luna to die? Would she be in pain while her little body tried to stay alive? They did say she would be very ‘uncomfortable’ and they really didn’t want to encourage this option. Because she would suffer. She’d suffer for what? So that I could hold her? So that I could feel her warmth. So that I could have my twins for a precious moment. My daughter, my beautiful daughter, my third child. And what would she get from her short little life? A struggle. Pain. Lack of oxygen. Heavy painkillers. Could we knowingly choose this for her? Is this what we want our baby’s experience in this world to be? Could I hold my baby whilst she died in pain? No. At least one option could be removed from our confused minds. I think.

Option 3 - The Worst Option.

Termination for medical reasons (TFMR). This would be an intrusive medical intervention to terminate (hate that word) the pregnancy of ‘twin 2’ at the ‘safest’ moment for twin 1 at 32 weeks.

Option 3, TFMR. The worst option in my mind when first confronted with it. The option that made me feel instantly nauseous, the option that I shoved to the back of my mind as if it hadn’t even been mentioned, the option that could surely only bring feelings of shame, of guilt, and way too many ‘what ifs’. I definitely didn’t want this, surely we didn’t want this? This is giving up, this is not giving my baby a chance. Who could possibly choose to end the life of their own baby? And not at 20 but 32 weeks- at a time that is ‘safest’ for twin 1. Surely no mother can allow a baby to grow and kick her knowing that she would be ending her life before it’s barely begun? Who’s cold enough for that? Or maybe it’s a question of who’s strong enough. What if this is the only option that ensures my baby doesn’t suffer? All she would know is the warm safe home of her mummy’s tummy. She would be entwined and growing with her sister. Waking each other up, sleeping together, wriggling together, kicking together, being twins. She would get her oxygen from me through her placenta. Painlessly. She would never be starved of it. She would build the rest of her body perfectly and at the same rate as her twin. She’d never need to feel pain. She wouldn’t be living just to wait to die. No major surgery, no mental and physical strain from the uncertainty of option 1. No struggle to breathe and rapid organ failure of option 2. She would be free. She would give the gift of life to her sister. She would live her whole life in the safety and warmth of my tummy, with Halle. She’d be protected for eternity. Perhaps this is the option. The biggest u-turn of my life. I think. Well let’s see if option 1 is an option first.

Option 3 brings only cold cuddles with my Luna. But this isn’t about me is it?

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