I was just told my baby has a brain tumor...
Not personally, but I have a friend whose son was born with a brain tumor that was immediately removed, removing part of his brain. He is 13 now and friends with my kids. He is a little quirky, but a great kid. He is at grade level in all subjects and has friends. He does have some of challenges in life -- I thought he had high functioning autism before I got to know his mom. But overall, doing really, really well.
My thoughts are with you.
Our experience was not with a brain tumor, but we did have a poor prenatal diagnosis when I was pregnant with our son, who recently turned 8.
My son had a cystic hygroma (a fluid filled mass behind the neck) in utero. It was discovered during an early ultrasound for size and dating. We were told that the baby had a 50% chance of surviving to birth and a strong chance of disability if the baby did survive. Obviously we were devastated by this news. We did not consider termination because it is against our religious beliefs. Most parents pray for a healthy child. We prayed for a living child and the strength to handle whatever else may come.
The pregnancy was closely monitored with a series of Level 2 ultrasounds. The cystic hygroma resolved during the 2nd trimester, but we were still classified as high risk. Our son was born at 41.5 weeks and weighed almost 8 lbs. He was declared healthy at birth.
My son had developmental difficulties from early on. He had feeding issues (was unable to breastfeed), was high needs, and was late on reaching his milestones. When he was 2, we learned that he has mild vision impairments (due to albinism, a pigment disorder). A week after he turned 3, he was diagnosed with autism. When he was 6 we learned that he has a microdeletion on the 19th chromosome. This chromosome anomaly is so rare that the doctors cannot tell us the clinical significance of it.
It's been 8 years and we still don't know if the cystic hygroma is related to these other conditions. We have asked every specialist we know and they all say that the research just hasn't been done. But my husband and I both feel that there is connection, at least spiritually, is not scientifically. After all, we asked God to let our child live and told Him that we would accept a child with disabilities if that was His will. God, in his infinite love and mercy, has held us to that bargain and we are thankful for that everyday. Our son is the light of our lives. He has many challenges, but he also has several gifts.
When I was pregnant, I found much strength in the stories at this website: http://www.benotafraid.net/ This website is dedicated to families that have continued a pregnancy with a poor prenatal diagnosis. They are truly inspirational.
Hugs and prayers for you and your family.
Best wishes for you and your family.
I'm guessing the doctor tells you about pregnancy termination options as part of his/her duty to inform you of *all* your options (and the time limits of those options), not because he/she thinks that's what you should do.
It doesn't sound like there's enough definitive information to know exactly what's going on with your baby, and I know of at least one friend who got scary news at the 20 week ultrasound - they watched and waited and the scary-looking thing resolved within a few weeks and her baby was born healthy.
And, my baby had a brain tumor at age 6 months and I can tell you there are incredible things they can do for kids with brain tumors these days. Medical care can't solve every problem, and can't save every life, and treatment for brain tumors can definitely lead to lifelong disabilities - but: it isn't necessarily a doomsday scenario.
Again, best wishes for you and your family!