DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Haylie Grammer knows her story isn’t what typically comes to mind when people talk about abortion, but she hopes to change that.
Her story started back in late 2015 when she and her husband, Scotty found out they were having a baby.
At the 20-week checkup they learned their little girl, Embree, had a tumor on her tailbone.
“The tumor was the size of a walnut, and it was on the outside,” Haylie said. “The hopes were that it would be like this little bitty thing, you know, when the baby’s born we’ll have surgery get it cut off.”
Through the next several weeks they monitored Embree, but the tumor continued to grow. They sought out specialists and prayed for a miracle, but the tumor ballooned from the size of a walnut to the size of a volleyball.
“It was just growing at such a fast rate and the tumor itself was very vascular,” she said. “So it was just like taking all of this blood from other parts of her body. It was just almost like a vampire on the growing on the outside and on the inside.”
It was a Friday when the Haylie and her husband turned to the NICU team, hoping that if they delivered Embree early the doctors could save her.
The news was shattering. There was nothing they could do.
“They were like ‘why don’t you just wait until she passes and then deliver her afterwards’,” Haylie said.
But she wanted to hold her little girl while she was still alive.
Haylie said her decision to have a C-section, knowing there would be no medical intervention, meant it would be considered an abortion.
The next few days were a whirl of meetings and paperwork required by law.
On Monday, Haylie went into the hospital to deliver Embree.
“The NICU staff was there just in case they were wrong,” she said. “We get roughly like 20 minutes with her before she passes.”
Haylie said she’s grateful she didn’t give up those moments. She’s grateful she didn’t miss out on the opportunity to hold Embree while she was alive.
“So we stayed in the hospital for five days and then we went home, without a baby.”
Some five years later, under the state’s new abortion law, that makes abortion once there is a heartbeat illegal, Haylie may not have been able to make that choice. There’s no exception for cases like Embree’s, where the baby has severe abnormalities.
“There is just this shame that surrounds the word abortion in our culture and in our society,” Haylie said. “We need to look at it for what it is, a medical procedure that is nobody else’s business, and leave it at that. And leave that shame at the door.”
While they still think about the baby girl they lost, they’re thankful for the baby girl they have.
Caroline recently turned 4 years old.
They talk to her about her baby sister, and say when she’s old enough to understand they’ll tell her the entire story.