Incompatible With Life

We learned that while one baby continues to develop normally, the other one has been diagnosed with alobar holoprosencephaly. This is what ultimately led to the demise of the first triplet. We just learned that it will most certainly lead to the demise of the second. My sweet girl (they’re all girls! Yay!) has severe intracranial and facial deformities that leave her “incompatible with life”. What a strange phrase. It makes my mind go in so many different directions. It’s intriguing in it’s starkness. While the news was tough to swallow, I’m still very proud of her. She’s such a fighter, and while my ultimate goal is to hold this sweet little one alongside her sister for a few minutes in this life, I’m prepared in case it doesn’t happen. Prepare for the worst and hope for the best. It has become our family motto over the past few years, and I have never regretted doing just that.

As you can perhaps imagine, I’ve struggled with writing for the past month. It’s difficult to focus on a project when my mind keeps wandering away to other things. Suddenly my priorities have become very clear, and it’s remarkably refreshing. I unplugged the phone. I stepped back from activities that take me from my family. I’ve learned how to say no when no must be said.

I also realized that writing is how I cope. As I’m contemplating our changing family, and our changing expectations and dreams, I discovered that I was thinking of this whole situation in essay form. I was carefully choosing my words in my head, trying to find the right phrase so I could accurately express what I’m feeling. “I’m sad,” doesn’t cut it. But the essay I wrote in my mind, the one about the conflicting emotions that come with looking at new strollers for one child while looking at infant caskets for the other…well, that is how I think. It’s how my brain works. I find much more comfort in that than I do in anything else. When I put the words down, it is neat and clear and lines up nicely. It swirls in my brain, but it makes sense on paper. It’s a comfort, and it’s a joy.

I hope that you can read this essay one day. While it’s sometimes difficult to accept the road that life sometimes takes us on, there is always happiness among the sorrow. How truly fortunate are we that we were not only blessed with one, but three children? Losing one was terribly difficult, and losing two will be worse. But how wonderful is it that there is a third, this miracle baby who is completely untouched by the anomaly that felled her sisters? I’m very aware of how there is beauty and joy amid the sorrow and loss.

I typed the words “incompatible with life” into my search engine. I was astounded by how many hits came up, how many pictures and stories. That, too, was comforting. Sometimes it seems that we’re the only ones going through whatever situation it might be, but I’m learning that is never the case. There is an army of us out there.

15 Comments on “Incompatible With Life”

  1. Oh honey. I don’t know what to say. Nothing I say will sound right to me or make it get better, but just know that I am praying and thinking about you and your family and your girls. Bless you for being so strong. Your child will know great love.


  2. This is one of those situations where many who read this will be touched beyond words and yet struggle with which ones to choose because “i’m sorry” seems like it just isnt enough. I marvel at your strength, sweet lady. Erica is right. Your children are all loved greatly. Your little girl already knows you love her. And no matter what happens, you already *are* holding her.

  3. Mercedes, Pauline is right. You are holding your daughter, so close to your heart, in a manner that you will never ever be able to hold either daughter again once they are born. That is the beauty of pregnancy. We hold our children in a special and even sacred way.

    I understand loss of a child and the grief that goes with it. There are dreams that go away with that loss too. I say to let yourself feel the loss but focus on the child that will be here. How lucky you are to have a child who will be with you so that you can parent her along with your other children with that fierce mother love that you have. She will be so lucky.

    In the meantime both girls are lucky because they are held close by a mother tiger who loves them with all her heart and does not chose one over the other. What a beautiful gift that is!

    Deep Peace,


  4. Thanks for sharing your story with us. My thoughts are with you and I’m so sorry for the pain that you and your family are enduring. God bless you and ALL of your children…

  5. Oh Sadie, you and your family are so very strong. I am sending hugs and kisses your way:) Love you!

  6. I too am so sorry. I liked the picture you chose for this post. To me the stars represent the sweet spirits of your daughters, all of them, who do not die when their bodies are “incompatible with life”. May God keep them close until you are with them again.

  7. Mercedes, you are butterflies and battleaxes.

    I’m very glad our lives intersected, and doubly glad that they not only intersected, but intertwined.

    love and blessings to your !!entire!! family.


  8. It is times like these that I find my capability to twist and form sentences put to its’ utmost limit – there is, in truth, little I can say to help, save to let you know that I am thinking of you at the moment. It is hard enough to deal with a pregnancy as the demands of other things make impacts on your life, but to deal with so much (and in so dignified a fashion) is truly remarkable.

    I wish you well, and hope you can have some time with your children together.

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