Our Journey: Fatal Prenatal Diagnosis

Photo taken by Brad Walters Photography as part of the Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep organization.

Steven and I decided on a name for a boy when I was 12 weeks pregnant. We were in bed, lights out, drifting off to sleep when we came up with the name. We agreed so easily, I wondered if we had decided too quickly. We chose the name Samuel because we liked it. We chose the name Evan for a family name. The next morning, I looked up the meaning. Samuel means “God has heard.” Evan has several meanings, but the Welsh meaning stood out to me: “God is good.”

At our 20 week ultrasound, we saw that Sam had several lethal anomalies. The doctors talked about Trisomy 13 and Trisomy 18, but we later learned that what Sam had was much more rare. He had a chromosomal abnormality called Triploidy. When talking about chromosomal abnormalities, most people think of Down’s Syndrome, which is Trisomy 21 (an extra 21st chromosome). Sam had an extra copy of every single chromosome. We were advised to terminate the pregnancy, as his anomalies were “not compatible with life.” We chose to give Sam every single heartbeat we could, for as long as God allowed his body to be compatible with life. We chose not to terminate. It was the easiest, hardest, and most rewarding decision I have ever made.

Triploidy occurs in about 1-2% of all conceptions. Most babies with Triploidy are miscarried in the first trimester. Rarely do they make it to the second trimester. Sam made it to his third, born to heaven on February 18, 2010. All babies are miracles, and Sam is a miracle who touched more hearts in utero than some grown men touch in a lifetime. He lived an important life.

Sam was a spiritually and emotionally sensitive little boy, even from the womb. I will always hold on to the memory of taking communion and feeling Sam jump for joy before the bread even made it down my throat. It was like a party in my womb, a celebration of redemption, understood by the tender heart of an unborn baby. Hardened hearts doubt such a tiny person could fathom and respond as Sam did, but the faithful know to listen.

1 Corinthians 1:27-30 says, Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him. It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. My hope is that as I tell Sam’s story, many will come to know redemption because of his small but important life.

I continue to write about my journey of grief with the intent of lighting the way for other bereaved parents, whether they walk beside me or years behind me. Click here to read about that journey, beginning in October of 2009.

Sam's Name Gallery


12 thoughts on “Our Journey: Fatal Prenatal Diagnosis

  1. Precious. Our hearts overflow with the joy of seeing Sam. And one day–maybe soon–we will hold him. We are so glad for the picture of this tiny little boy who captured our hearts and the hearts of so many. Yes, may many be redeemed because he pointed them to the Savior. We love you.

  2. I love this portrait. Thank you so much for sharing. I cannot wait to see more, when you are ready to share.
    It does this Aunties heart good to see him. Love you both!

  3. I cannot tell you how honored I was and still am to be a small part of Samuel’s life. Steven and Megan, the two of you are inspiring. Your strength, your love, and your faith is what Sam has taken with him to our Lord’s house. He will be waiting for you with perfect arms waiting to embrace his loving mom and dad.
    In Christ our only hope,

  4. This is more than lovely, oh, so tender. I love how you love, deeply and well. I’m seeing Steven’s hand and Sam’s head. He so tiny to have touched so many lives. Thank you, thank you, I needed to see this. Thank you Brad for your gift to all of us who love Megan, Steven and Sam.

  5. Hi Megan. I left you a note long ago… I am one of your sister-in-law’s friends. I have a son with Mosaic Trisomy 16. I have followed Sam’s story through her, made the button she had before he was born, and have sent many prayers your way. I am also part of the Be Not Afraid Network. I just wanted to let you know that I have taken the button you have for Sam and it’ll be on my blog (Special Families page) and that you may not feel strong, but you and Steven are wonderful strong parents. Sam was given to you for a reason.

  6. The picture of you, Steven and little Samuel is so precious. We were so glad we were able to go to Abiline and be there for you. Love you both. Grandma B

  7. The photo of the three of you is full of so much love. Thanks for sharing your story now and in the future as it will continue to impact many lives.

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