Anson and I have received the last of the results from all the tests that are available to help us.  As much information as we’ve received, nothing has helped me as much as the people around me, and the ones far away from me, who continue to rain down love.  The comments I’ve gotten online over these past few weeks, and the emails I’ve received privately have given me more assistance than any lab results or medical advice. 


We’ve decided that we cannot bring this child to full term.  We are heartbroken, to be sure, and haven’t quite figured out how to talk to Roan about it.  But I’d like to share a glimpse of the shelter I have been given daily, via email.  No one’s identity is revealed here – I hope these words are ok to share:


“Really thinking of you and with you right now and always…”


“Life sends us exactly what will strengthen our spirits.”


“I understand you may be having some issues with your impending baby, and that makes me sad. I wish there was something I could do, and if there is just let me know.”


“My 3 healthy children come courtesy of 5 confirmed pregnancies.  While none of this helps when you are in the midst of the pain, I can assure you that the joy of our family is greater for the depths we’ve endured in the past.  Sweet isn’t sweet unless you’ve known sour.”


“I have no experience or really words to offer, but have always loved seeing your happy/friendly face in the neighborhood, so just wanted you to know my heart goes out to you. No one wants to be faced with any of what you’re going through, but whatever happens it’ll be the right choice for you and your gorgeous family.”


“I learned that many more pregnancies than I ever realized have complications and many more people that I had thought had to make similar decisions.  What was especially hard was to be so far along (I think it was 18 weeks– the details that were once so immediate are a blur now) and to have imagined so many tomorrows…”


“Trust what’s in your gut and know that the path you choose will be the right path for your family, and you’ll find the strength to move forward with love and grace because that’s just how you roll. “


“If you want to talk, have a coffee, want a hug or all three, please know that I am here.  I know you have many friends but know that you have me too.”


“I’m sure a full frontal lobotomy sounds like a four-star resort right about now. “


“You guys are loved and whatever decision you make, whatever journey you go on over the next few days and months and years, you are loved. Always.”


“…It was the single worst day in my life when we found out about his heart.  I remember standing there in the office alone (my husband was at work) feeling so close to my son and so far away from everyone else on earth.  I withdrew directly after the delivery and then slowly I made it back to my life.”


“My heart is breaking for you.  But here’s what I know:  you will, you absolutely will, make the right decision.  There’s no wrong decision, but there is a right one.  And you’ll make it.  And you’ll live with it, and you’ll find a way to be stronger because of it and it will rock you to your core but you will be ok. “


“Of course, I have no answers for you. All I have is my own experience. And you are right. When it comes right down to it, the doctors can only tell you so much. They are just humans working with the best technology they have today. But they don’t have to live your life. And so you and Anson are left with this incredible load to carry – this decision that seems like no person should ever have to make. Technology has made things both more wonderful and more terrifying at the same time.”


“My greatest challenge and deepest pain has become my reigning strength and joy.”


And also, this picture was emailed to me from a friend who worked lunch at Roan’s school.  She sent it at a time when I was a teary mess, and it brought me my first smile of that day.  Funny how remembering what you DO have trumps everything. 

75 thoughts on “Shelter

  1. We don’t know each other but I’ve been reading your blog for a while & for all that we don’t know each other I’m sure that you’re making a decision that’s right just based on the amount of pain you’ve gone through just to make it. Peace.

  2. It’s amazing how my heart can break for someone I have never met. Why is that the hardest decisions that bring the most pain are ultimately the “rightest” and the most strengthening. You and your family will get through this. You will come out better and stronger on the other side. And you will be ok. In the meantime, please be sure to take good good care of yourself.

  3. I’m so sorry. This is such a sad decision to make. But you are letting your beloved little boy who hasn’t even seen the sun yet go to an even more beautiful, peaceful, loving place than this world. You’re freeing him from a life of suffering. Even so, I’m sorry you have to let him go.

  4. Wow. I am so sorry you’ve been faced with this decision. It’s a reality, and something we all hope never happens. I’m sorry for your family’s loss.

  5. I can’t imagine how hard it must have been to come to this decision. I admire your strength – even though you may not feel strong. I admire your courage – even though it’s all but gone. Everyone at CCfB is praying for you, loving you, and supporting you. May you have peace in the difficult days to come…

  6. thanks for sharing all of this. everything you’re going through is really really shitty (crappy just doesn’t cut it, this time). i admire the strength you have to share it. sending strong positive vibes your way from new jersey.

  7. The comments people have made are so heartfelt that it brought tears to my heart. So thoughtful and comforting and I’m not going through your pain. Best to you, Anson and Roan. Life isn’t always comfortable. Mary

  8. I am so very, very sorry you and your family are having to go through this. I pray for all of you the strength to bear such a difficult and painful experience, and to come through it to peace on the other side.

  9. You have made a compassionate and loving choice. Your challenge now (one among many) is to never look back, and I’m confident from what I’ve read here over the years that you and Anson can meet it, and help Roan to meet it as well. This is absolutely the right decision. is a lovely community of babylost mothers, if you look for companions who know your grief. They are beautiful writers and beautiful mothers all, who find solace in each other. Some can give you advice on how to tell an older sibling in a compassionate way, and help him navigate grief. Maybe that’s your thing, maybe not, but I wanted you to know they’re there.

  10. I wish you grace and peace to continue having to walk through this heart break. There’s no good way to say it. A hug would work better (not that I’m crazy or in the habit of hugging random people). Just wanted to send you a little support.

  11. You and the fam are in my thoughts and prayers. I’ve been where you are. You made the decision that is right for you and yours. Don’t listen to angry wacky people who critisize- learn to fart and walk away. My heart is just breaking for you but I feel confident that you will come out ok after what will be a period of hell. Hold on to Anson and your wonderful boy Roan. I got through it with this mantra “this too shall pass” it does. That mantra- and vodka baby!! I’m sending you all good thoughts and strength.

  12. The lobotomy comment made me laugh and the picture of Roan made me cry. Happy tears, of course. Big hugs to all of you from Texas. Because, you know, everything’s bigger in Texas.

  13. You are so very strong and brave. I am one of the (i’m sure) hordes of anonymous readers who did not want to intrude on your very personal journey in this, but I had to say that. Our prayers are with you.

  14. The strength you express through the words you share here is remarkable. My heart is breaking for you, and please know thoughts and prayers are coming to you daily from afar.

  15. My heart aches for you and your family. You have suffered more than enough grief in the last year and I was holding out hope for a last minute miracle. I am sorry that did not prove to be the case. I hope you do not and will not feel that you have failed, as you suggested you would in a previous post. You and Anson have made this decision out of love and that makes it the right one. I’ll continue to send positive thoughts your way in the coming weeks as I know you will have some difficult times ahead, but looking at that wonderful picture of Roan is a fabulous reminder that there is also much joy still to come.

  16. Your writing is so rich and personal, I feel as if I am sitting next to you on the couch, having a chat. But then I realize I can’t hug you(at least not physically), and I am reminded that New York is far away from Colorado. Jodi, I will continue to pray for you and your family, but I know that with your attitude, focusing on what you DO have is going to get you through. I am so sorry, I send my love.

  17. I have enjoyed reading your blog immensely.

    I feel i have got to know you in person although we have never met.

    Your articles bring delight and sorry and yet i cannot seem to find the words to express my sympathy for you.

  18. I haven’t commented before, but I enjoy your blog so much. I wanted to say that you posts about this pregnancy (before the devastating news) brought me so many smiles and warm feelings as I’ve been finding my way back to good after four miscarriages. (I have two beautiful, healthy children already–including a boy just a little younger than Roan.) Thank you so much for sharing–the good and the bad. I’m sending all kinds of good thoughts your way–hang in there!

  19. Jodi, may you and your family have peace. I’m thinking of you all. This is an extremely difficult time, and you are showing the strength of woman and a mother.

  20. I’m so sorry. I know how hard the choices are. Even 30 years later I look back and wonder and miss the one I couldn’t keep. Embrace the one you have and the ones you will have. They will give you solace.

  21. I don’t know you or Anson, but I have a good feeling that Roan will be a better person for having experienced this life challenge at his tender age. Wishing you and your family peace.


  22. The pain you experience now will strengthen you for the future; now you do not have to be strong, you have arms around you (real and virtual) to give you support.

  23. I am just one more lurker coming out for a moment. Over the past few weeks i’ve found myself juming on and thinking , “I need to see what’s going on at P&P.”

    Only you know what’s right for you, and what you can handle. Lots of love and blessings for all 3 of you…and may all go smoothly.

  24. I am sorry that you were faced with this horrible decision, but I am sure that you and Anson have made the right choice based on your families needs. Always thinking about you, and sending positive vibes from the Hudson Valley to where you are!

  25. so sorry for your pain, so sorry that this sadness has come to you – there are no words to comfort you – but time will help. please know that you and anson are being sent best wishes and warm thoughts.

  26. i agree that actions speaks louder than words.But you know what,may be that is a bit wrong too.Words do speak as loud as actions.Never give up.I have across some hard situations in my life,one of them being affected by panic attacks.I just cannot imagine what i went through that period.Lots of personal problems still exist in my life but i do not care.I will try everyday to solve them,will never lose hope and go on what ever happens.cheers.

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