One of the first things you have to do when you get a fatal diagnosis for your baby is decide what you want to do. I was lucky that I had doctors that told me about all my options, not everyone is. There are a few options for you to choose from, all of which seem scary and hard in different ways. It is not an easy choice at all, you not only have to think about yourself, but of the baby and if you are married or have living kids they must be taken into consideration as well.
Carrying to term used to be the most controversial one but in the past few years it is becoming more of the norm as more doctors are letting women know it is an option. Now of course this is more of an option for those people who will not have any serious medical issues with continuing the pregnancy. On that note I just want to say that if your doctor tells you it wouldn't be safe for you to continue on with the pregnancy or that there is a chance of serious side effects, or that your baby is suffering from it PLEASE do so research on that before you decide. I have heard stories of woman who are pregnant with a baby with anencephaly that had doctors tell them it wasn't safe when in fact the most serious side effect is the extra fluid which doesn't happen in every anencephalic pregnancy Many have also been told the baby is suffering which is also not true in most cases.
There is also the option of early induction. They will induce the labor and you will deliver the baby like normal. Both this option and carrying to term are the only choices for a chance for your baby being born alive, though in some cases like with anencephaly that is only about a 50% chance.
For some people insurance companies will not cover an early induction because it isn't medically necessary so they decide to go another route. I do not know the medical term for this so I will just describe it. It is where you take a pill or get an injection that stops the babies heart beat then the insurance will cover the early induction.
For carrying to term or an early induction if your baby is born alive after 20 weeks, the weeks may vary by state from what I have heard, you will get a birth certificate. If your baby doesn't survive the pregnancy, birth or your decide to go the 3rd way then you will get a stillbirth certificate. I know this may sound weird but those certificates mean a lot to the babyloss community. It reaffirms that our babies were here!
The last option is abortion. In cases like these even people who swore they would never get an abortion choose to go that route. There are laws in each state though that say how far along you can be to get one so you have to take that into consideration too. Usually most states allow for later abortions with a fatal diagnosis for the baby.
No matter what choice you make it will be hard. For carry to term you are constantly having to explain to people, if you don't explain while you are pregnant then you have to explain why you don't have the baby home with you. For some people this can be hard, especially at first, for others it can be used as a way to educate people on the defect or gives you a chance to talk about your baby which can be a comfort. If you are far enough along then you will have to go through some of that too no matter what choice you make. There are so many things to take into consideration. Do you want to hold your baby, do you want pictures to remember them by and to share with others, do you want the chance for them to be born alive and get some time with them, there are many questions you have to as yourself.
If your life isn't in immediate danger then take some time to think about it, to pray about it, talk with your spouse or significant other about it. Until you feel sure about a choice don't make one.The fact that you are unsure means it might not be the right choice for you. You have to live with the choice for the rest of your life, you need to be comfortable with it. Four years later there are still days I feel guilty for my choice of inducing at 33 weeks because of extra fluid causing my asthma to act up. Most days I am okay with it but wish I had taken a little more time to think about it. And again please do research about it because some doctors are still back in the dark ages when it comes to some birth defects. You don't want to abort then come to find out the doctor lied or mislead you and you actually had other options. I know women in those shoes, they wish they had had google and all the other sites out there that technology gives now to research easier on our own. Most of them say they probably would have made a different choice.
No matter the choice you make don't let anyone make you feel bad for picking that. You have to do what is best for you and your family. No matter the choice we all grieve, we all have the heartache. We all end up at home at some point with a broken heart and empty arms.