MY STORY- BRADY ALLEN McCARTHY 8-26-09
I’m a new volunteer and I like the work that MOD does. I want to be able to help other parents who have or will go through what my family had gone through in August of this year. I want others to be aware that what happened to us could happen to them as well. You just never know. No parent should have to go through what we experienced, but it does happen and there really isn’t too much explanation or research out there for others or myself to understand why.
I had received a phone call Tuesday August 11 2009, a week or so after a blood test for neural tube defects. The nurse told me I needed to have an ultra sound done because the test came back positive high risk of neural tube defects. I will be honest, I had no idea what that even meant. She had told me that the baby I was carrying could have spinal bifida. I needed to get the ultra sound done to be sure and find out what is going wrong.
That Thursday was my appointment. I was so nervous and scared. During the ultra sound, the baby was moving and kicking all around like any baby should. That is when we found out he was a boy. The nurse left the room and my family and I discussed names for the baby boy. My daughter Riley Nichole, named him Brady Allen. She was so excited because she got to hear his heart beat and see him in my tummy playing all around. Plus, we told her she was going to be a big sister. She was there at each doctor appointment prior and heard Brady’s heartbeat so she knew something was going on.
A few minutes later after the excitement of knowing Brady was a boy and having a ball in my tummy, the doctor came in and gave us the bad news. Brady’s skull and brain did not develop properly. There would be nothing from his eyes up. The term is called Anencephaly. It is one of the worst birth defects because after birth, the possibilities of a baby living are none to hours. It’s also a possibility of that baby dying while in the womb.
Anencephaly is a condition present at birth that affects the formation of the brain and the skull bones that surround the head. Anencephaly results in only minimal development of the brain. Often, the brain lacks part or all of the cerebrum (the area of the brain that is responsible for thinking, vision, hearing, touch, and movement). There is no bony covering over the back of the head and there may also be missing bones around the front and sides of the head.
Basically, I was told Brady was living through me. I was keeping him alive at the time. The doctor encouraged us to get a second opinion. The next day, we went to Indy and confirmed it was indeed Anencephaly Brady was facing. There were options and my doctor knew I wanted to give birth to Brady and he felt that I should as well and afterwards, spend time with him and tell him good-bye. The doctor wanted to deliver Brady within a couple of weeks but no hospital would do so and if they did, they wanted more money. Basically I was told I had to wait longer to give birth to my son who will not make it or if he did, it will be only for a short period of time.
I grew ill just about the time my doctor really wanted to deliver Brady. I was so ill, I had to be admitted to the hospital who would not deliver Brady. After being in there for 2 days, my doctor came in my room on a Sunday morning and told me he had found a hospital who is so willing to deliver because they understood what was going on and for my health as well. We all knew the outcome but 2 didn’t have to go.
For 4 days, I was in labor with Brady and on August 26, 2009, Brady Allen McCarthy was born at 2:55 in the morning. I was exactly 20 weeks along with my pregnancy. I didn’t have to do a full push and the little guy came out. 7 oz. and 8 in. long. So tiny but yet so amazing at every little feature that he had shown. Our little guy looked like his daddy. When he came out, it’s almost as if he had taken his last 3 breathes because his mouth did move and he smiled one last time. It was a very sad but special moment. We spent our time with him and said our good-byes. It was very hard to let go even though he had already been gone hours prior.
I highly encourage parents to spend what time you can with your children even if it means that they will only live a few hours to none. It does change your perspective on life and time you do spend with your children whom are living if there are any. At first, the thought did sound a little morbid and crazy, but until someone experiences it themselves, they will never know. It was the worst but amazing and wonderful experience I had ever experienced in my life. If I had to do it all over again, as much as I would hate to, I would for my children.