The Story of Mary Grace

The Story of Mary Grace

By John and Molly Kurt October 31, 2017 Most children with anencephaly die shortly after birth. Tragically the vast majority of unborn babies who are diagnosed with anencephaly before birth die from abortion.   Molly: I think it is easy to assume that abortion is the best answer because you take care of the  problem which is a profound disability and you move on.   John: We met on a Catholic website. We were both in our mid-thirties. We had just been married  a few months and we were expecting our first child in less than a year after being married.  

Molly: I was at a 20 week doctor visit and had agreed to some blood testing of the baby to see if there were any abnormalities. We already told our OB that no matter what would happen throughout the pregnancy, we would embrace a child no matter what.”  Molly was shocked to find out there was a blood test that showed an abnormality and she got a call from the doctor’s office encouraging her to come quickly for a follow up ultrasound and that raised some alarms. 

Molly: I remember the technician being very quiet and in a very matter of fact way letting us know that there was something seriously wrong with our baby. We had a follow up call with the doctor. In between that I think we saw a maternal fetal specialist who was able to diagnose the precise fetal abnormality which was anencephaly.   John: Actually I remember the doctor coming in and explaining that the brain wouldn’t be fully formed and the child would have a very short life if not die in the womb and encouraged us at that point since the baby wasn’t going to live to have an abortion. 

Molly: It was surprising that we felt such a push to end the baby’s life early. Their language was really to induce delivery at 20 weeks John: It certainly made it very clear that there was only one decision and that was to love our child as we would do with any child just the same. And in this case our daughter would have a very short life but would be loved no less than one that would have a full life.

Molly: We were surrounded by people who embraced our decision and supported and loved us that would be our families. I think all of our family would be sad and disappointed that our child wouldn't live a long life but loving and so supportive of us. We found a doctor who was wonderfully supporting of our decision. He told us that he’d be honored to take care of me and to deliver our baby and instilled in us that confidence that we could do this no matter what because he done it before and he thought our child is was precious as any child that was delivered perfectly healthy 

Molly: I remember driving home from the doctor's appointment and coming up with the name Mary Grace.  

Molly: In those days and weeks before she was born I didn't have the things to do that a lot of expectant moms have. I didn't need to paint the nursery anymore. I didn't need to the shop for diapers and baby clothes. So I wanted something to do and so I decided I was going to make her a gown to be baptized in. I knew it would be about the gown that she would be buried in. 

Molly: I found some beautiful fabric and I spent my free time making her a beautiful dress and a bonnet and some booties. It was my way of doing something for her you know as a mom with a daughter who looked forward to picking out those special dresses for special occasions and I knew I wouldn't get to do the things. I wouldn't get to shop for her wedding dress with her and it was my way of giving her something very special for her to take with her to eternity.

John: When she was born we had her baptized immediately we had a lot of family there. Molly: It was a celebration in many ways we made arrangements for our family members to be there with us and so my parents came in from out of town my brother and sister both came in from out of town a number of John's large family members large family came in to be with us and although they weren't in the room for the delivery they all joined us a few minutes later.  

John: She was with us for about 30 hours born on a late on a Wednesday and passed away early on a Friday in our arms. John: We've had such great peace right from the beginning and that celebration when she was born for those few hours, especially at the beginning, really made the whole experience worth it.  And you know I really feel sorry for people that are talked into a different choice.  Molly: Love that child unconditionally and love that child until the end of that child’s natural life. And you will never regret the love that you gave. You receive so much love from our child and we were so grateful to be able to be with her in person to receive the love that she gave us.  She squeezed my finger and I would stroke her cheek and she smiled at me. She nursed for a while and she loved everybody in that room that met her and your child can be that way as well no matter how profound that child may be affected by a disability.  Molly: We knew that if we could handle that we could handle about anything. We’ve had a few things that have happened since then. John: Just as big. 

Molly: And somehow it prepared us for that and we probably don't sweat the small stuff with our living kids as much as we might have otherwise because we're grateful that they're healthy and that they’re with us today.  

Molly: Looking back I would have never forgiven myself for cutting short our child’s life.  John: And we would have missed out on a really joyous experience.