My name is Liz and my
husband's name is Todd. We've been married 7 years
and have 2 daughters, Samantha who is 6 and Sarah who
is 3. We live in Texas. I am a stay-at-home mom,
and Todd is a 1-A high school baseball coach.
At 16 weeks and 4 days we got
the horrible news. I had a triple screen test normally
done around 15 weeks to screen for neural tube and other
defects. My materal-serum alpha-fetoprotein was high
so I had an increased risk of having a baby with a neural
tube defect, a 1/161 chance according to my specific
levels. The most common type of neural tube defect is
spina bifida. My OB sent us to a maternal-fetal specialist
who did a level 2 (more accurate) sonogram. I had had
a regular sonogram done early to date the pregnancy.
According to the dates alone I was (at the 1st sonogram)
10 weeks. The sonogram, however, showed that I was more
like 7 weeks along. A confusion in the dates could give
a high reading in the triple screen like I had and my
OB and the MF specialist thought that was most likely
So, on July 12, 2001 we went
in for the level 2 sonogram. The doctor hardly spoke,
she pointed out a perfectly forming leg bone and that
was it. After a very long time, during which I wasn't
at all nervous (not normal for me, I'm a worry-wart),
she turned the machine off and said there was a problem
with baby's brain. Of course, I started to cry, not
yet realizing how bad it REALLY was. She walked us into
her office and told us that our baby had anencephaly
and there was no hope. He would die before or shortly
after birth. She also told us that most women in this
situation end the pregnancy. My family has never believed
in abortion, so it was hard for me to think of doing
that even in the state of shock I was in at the time.
Through a pro-life anencephaly
online support group, I came across the Catholic doctorine
I needed to know that what I felt in my heart was right.
(even though many people told me that it would not be
considered abortion because the baby had no chance of
life, I still thought it was wrong) It's the "Moral
Principles Concerning Infants with Anencephaly"
published by the Vatican, You can find it at: www.petersnet.com.
It states that it is morally
wrong to abort a baby no matter what kind of defect
he/she has, including something as severe as anencephaly!
Every person has the right to be born and to die naturally
and you become a person with that right at conception!!
My thoughts exactly!!!!
William was alive inside me
and he died naturally when God chose him to! Everything
else about the pregnancy was normal until the end. I
felt him kicking, stretching, and tumbling!! (A LOT)
:) He had a strong heartbeat and had every toe
and finger in place. I was his life support, as some
After anencephalic babies are
born and they live (50%), they can nurse, suck, grasp
your finger with their hands and be loved!!! Some babies
can live several days or just several minutes. A very
rare few live months or years.
In October while driving in
my little town a crazy lady T-boned the side of my car.
It would have been a minor accident until she decided
she would flee the scene. I had to chase her down and
force her to stop. She actually crashed up on a curb
because she had been looking at me. Well, to make a
long story short, I was taken to the local hospital
by ambulance with contractions coming every 3 minutes.
I was given an injection to stop or slow contractions.
Which it did, but only to every 9 minutes. I was then
taken to San Antonio by ambulance mainly to be monitored.
Nothing else happened. I was fine and released the next
day. 3 days before this accident we had 2 tornados also.
But thank God we didn't have any damage done! I was
about 33 weeks pregnant then.
William was due December 23,
2001, we had planned to induce labor on December 19th.
But, at my last doctor's appt. (Dec. 6th) my doc sent
me up for an "emergency" sonogram because
of how huge my belly had gotten. The sonogram confirmed
her diagnosis of polyhydramnios, too much amniotic fluid.
Way to much, I had over 32 cm and the average should
have been 5 to 10cm for the stage I was in. She said
I needed to deliver by the following week. I was in
a lot of pain in my abdomen, back, and legs, A LOT!
And it was all caused by the polyhydramnios. We scheduled
an appt. to be induced on Sunday the 9th at 7:30. The
reality of everything was slowly hitting me.
Dr. Gallaghar literally put
a tiny pin prick in my bag of water to let the amniotic
fliud come out slowly. Well, It gushed out but, thank
God not fast enough for all the complications to occur.
The complications were a cord prolapse and placental
abruption, both of which would cut of oxygen to Will.
For me the risk was post partum hemorrhaging. But like
I said none of that happened! Thank you, God! I was
dialating alright, but Dr. G. decided to give me alittle
Pitocin to move things along. The Pitocin worked very
fast and so I got my epidural shortly after that.
William was born December 9th,
2001 at 11:58 am. I was scared at first, I thought he
was already gone, but then he gasped for air and stretched
his arms and legs. My mom performed an emergency baptism
which is recongnized by the Catholic church. He
weighed only 4 pounds and 6 ounces, but he ws a good
17 and 3/4 inches long. He would blow bubbles and coo.
Oh the sound of his sweet little voice, I love it and
remember it well!!
He held my finger tight and
was so warm and beautiful to us! Everyone held him,
even Samantha and Sarah. We dressed him in his cute
little outfit and Todd put on his little baseball socks.
I had given Todd the socks when I 1st found out I was
pregnant in May, 2001. I left them in a giftbag in his
Jeep as a "surprise". He came home with a
huge smile on his face! We buried William in them.
William died in my arms at
3:01 pm the same day. I kept Will with me the rest of
the day and that night. The following day we cherished
the few hours we had with Will before Mr. Dawson came
from Dawson Funeral Directors to pick William up from
my hospital room. That was so hard!! The girls cried
alot and of course so did Todd and I. Samantha asked
why Jesus didn't share and said this was all unfair.
We told her that Jesus did share with us, we had Will
for 3 precious hours and inside me for 9 months! And
Our goal in life is to be united with Jesus and the
Blessed Virgin, Will accomplished that!!! William never
commited one sin and was washed from original sin through
baptism, He's a little saint!!!
We celebrated the Mass of the
Angels on Tuesday, December 11, 2001 at 7:00 at St.
John the Evangelist Catholic Church in Hondo, TX. It
was so beautiful!!!! Todd read a beautiful poem that
I will put up soon. Our friend Troy Langfeld read
the 1st reading. Todd's mom and dad read the 2nd &
3rd readings. And my parents and brother and sister
carried the bread and wine. There were so many people
there! One thing that broke my heart was to see Todd's
big football and baseball players actually sobbing!
I hope this experience helps those kids to think twice
about how precious life is. One friend pointed out that
Will's initials are W.J.C. With Jesus Christ!
We had a graveside funeral
at San Fernando Catholic Cemetary #2 in San Antonio,
TX. Again it was beautiful but definitely the hardest
part for me!!! I found it so hard to leave my angel.
I had to keep reminding myself and the girls that it
was only Will's body that was buried there, he was already
in Heaven with God!!!
You know, William's short life
here has changed a lot of people's lives for the better!
I have seen people re-examine their faith and relationships.
Family members have been brought together and frienships
have strengthened, all because of William Jasper Craft!
If I had to do it ALL again I would. I wouldn't change
my decisions. And I don't regret them in any way!! I
am glad to have given birth to William full term and
thankful that we at least had three hours with him.
Please remember to say "I
love you" and "I forgive you", don't
wait for a tragedy to remember who's most important!
And always keep God 1st!
to Anencephaly Stories
-The support, information and encouragement provided by the PPFL parents is not meant to take the place of medical advice by a medical professional. Any specific questions about care should be directed to a health care professional familiar with the situation.