Arya’s Story

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May is Anencephaly Awareness month. At Sufficient Grace Ministries, we wanted to share a couple stories of perinatal hospice families who have given birth to precious babies with this life-limiting condition. Comfort Doula, Kelly Gerken and Remembrance Photographer, Brittany Yankowski had the honor of walking with Brittany Lacourse and her family through their time waiting to meet her sweet daughter, Arya. They were able to help with birth planning, attending meetings with Brittany, providing support and encouragement along the journey, creating lasting and tangible memories of her time with Arya, and capturing some of the images of their time together. SGM continues to support and encourage Brittany and her family as they navigate life with their baby girl in heaven. We are inspired by Brittany’s courage to choose a lifetime filled with love for her baby girl, and by the amazing family and friends who walked alongside her on this beautifully broken path.

 

From the heart of Brittany (Arya’s Mommy):

On November 12,2017 my baby girl , Arya, was born silently into the world. She was absolutely perfect. Arya suffered from a fatal defect called anencephaly. When her condition was confirmed at 13 weeks, we were told termination was our best option. In the words of the doctor we saw, Arya would be gruesome to look at and she was incompatible with life. At that time I was working for a life affirming organization and had never thought in a million years I would be told to terminate my child, but here I was in that place. In that appointment it was drilled into my head all of the reasons I should end my pregnancy and not give her the chance to live.

I stood my ground and said no! My choice is life. I won’t lie. At that point I started to feel alone in my decision and wondered if I was doing the right thing because of all the pressure I had to abort. Thankfully I had my amazing coworkers, family, and an amazing ministry, Sufficient Grace, who stood behind me and helped to celebrate my girl.

When I first told my son about his sister’s condition, he was so upset. But, eventually he understood and had peace in knowing she would be with the Lord. Throughout my pregnancy, Arya continued to fight and was so strong. I would lay in bed and tell her how much she was loved and wanted. I would pray over her and just ask God to please allow me more time with my little one. Then at 27 weeks I stopped feeling her move.

I went to the hospital just to make sure she was okay but they told me she no longer had a heartbeat. I was devastated but thankful God had given me that long to bond with her. Her delivery was so peaceful and I got to spend three days in the hospital with her thanks to the Cuddle Cot that was borrowed from Sufficient Grace Ministries. Thanks to them I was able to make memories with my daughter as well as be a mama to her in the ways I knew how even though she had gone to be with God. Had I not had the support that I did through her journey I don’t know that I would be in the same place I am today. They helped get me to a peaceful and hopeful state despite my hurt and heartache. I don’t regret my decision for life. To show my daughter unconditional love and to show my son that all life is important no matter the diagnosis. I hope Arya’s story can help someone else facing this heartbreaking time to know they aren’t alone and that choosing life leaves no regret.

 

Creating precious memories with your baby, pouring a lifetime of love into moments, can be a healing process both in the moments and for years to come. Every baby is worthy of celebration. Brittany and her friends and family made the most of the time they were given, filling the time with prayer, capturing prints and images, and so much love.

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For support and/or resources if you are carrying a baby with a life-limiting condition, please visit the SGM Perinatal Hospice Link.

For more information about anencephaly, please visit: Anencephaly Info.  

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