Julia Pulver, registered nurse, laid out the emotionally devastating reality of caring for new parents whose newborns would survive for only hours after birth in a viral response to Trump’s bizarre and horrific lie about baby executions. At a rally in Wisconsin Saturday, Donald Trump somehow had the audacity to claim that after babies are born, the mother and doctor have a frank discussion about whether to just straight up kill the kid.
This is why we are having so much more clinic violence. This. “Trump on abortion: After birth, baby is ‘wrapped in a blanket’ and mother, doctor ‘decide whether to execute the baby.’” https://t.co/B7yOuoBPuB
— Robin Marty (@robinmarty) April 28, 2019
To be clear, nothing even close to what Trump suggested has ever taken place. What does happen is that sometimes pregnant women and their doctors discover that something went wrong in the development of the fetus and once born, the baby will not be able to survive for long. Sometimes this happens after the period in which the mother could legally have an abortion and therefore has to go through the terrible experience of giving birth to a child who won’t live and watching them die.
Nurses who work in maternity wards may have to witness this kind of tragedy repeatedly and do everything they can to comfort the devastated parents. In a viral thread, Pulver describes this process.
And parents of babies who, after they were born, and wouldn’t have their moms body keeping them alive, would die rather quickly. As these small bodies were failing, it was our job to be there with the parents at every step, give them support, and do our best to make some …/2
— Julia Pulver, RN (@VotePulver) April 28, 2019
“As these small bodies were failing, it was our job to be there with the parents at every step, give them support, and do our best to make some [m]emories of their precious babies that could help easy their impending and overwhelming grief. When heroic measures failed or a baby without a brain or working lungs or heart was born, we knew the end was near, and we encouraged the parents to be present in these finals moments. We placed the babies skin to skin with mom and placed a blanket over them both. We lowered the lights and quieted the room. We had as much or as little family and the parents wanted in the room. We sang songs, we prayed, we hugged, we swayed… and we all cried.”
Pulver recalls crying “until my throat burned” for these families and making memory boxes for them consisting of photos, hair clippings, and footprints.
It’s no wonder she takes issue with Trump claiming that plots about baby executions take place as a way to rile up his largely pro-life base.
“But no one, absolutely NO ONE ever, in any hospital, nor any mother who has just given birth, is conspiring with a doctor on whether or not to commit infanticide,” Pulver concludes. “This is perhaps one of the sickest accusations levied by this deranged dictator yet. Don’t believe a word he says about anything important.”
Twitter users responded to this simultaneously heartbreaking and enraging thread with thanks and their own stories about one of the worse things a human being can go through.
Julia, this thread hit me hard. Thank you for your service.
— Charlotte Clymer?️? (@cmclymer) April 28, 2019
Thank you for helping people in their most vulnerable time and thank you for telling the truth in the face of a dangerous deceiver and pathological liar.
— Patricia Arquette (@PattyArquette) April 28, 2019
He called me after the second death, sincerely questioning if he was cut out for pastoral work. The love and grief he had experienced that day overwhelmed him. Thank you for what you do for the parents.
— NayHasQuestions??♀️ (@renfriday) April 28, 2019
Julia, the World we live in, is a much better place because You & the rest of your "Bereavement Team" walk among us. We need to remind ourselves that for every act of evil, there are far more acts of grace & goodness – and that love & compassion are strengths, not weaknesses. TY.
— Miss Myrtle (@MissMyrtle2) April 28, 2019
I have no words. The bereavement teams are beyond amazing. While I don’t know you personally, I am grateful for yous. I thank you. I love you. As a family, we would be lost without the many yous in our world. I’m heartbroken of the rhetoric our leader is spreading. Shameful.
— me ?️?? (@justmecass123) April 28, 2019
My twin brother was stillborn. My mom wasn’t allowed to hold him, name him, or bury him. Everyone told her to focus on the baby she had. She couldn’t, of course. I think our lives and relationship could have been very different if she had had someone like you.
— Filthy Hort (@FilthyHort) April 28, 2019
I have family members and dear friends who have suffered this tragedy and received such loving care. To hear our President spout such absurd , hateful, despicable lies breaks my heart but not my will to resist him and see the @WhiteHouse cleansed of his stench.
— Frank Jannuzi (@FrankJannuzi) April 28, 2019
Thank you for what you do! 60 years ago my mom lost my brother during childbirth. When they realized there was an issue my mom was sedated. The funeral was held while she was still in the hospital. She was heartbroken that she never got to hold him just for even 1 minute.
— Mary (@MarySkulich) April 28, 2019
Thank you for helping these distraught parents. I can’t even imagine the pain. Shame on @realDonaldTrump and every person who cheers at his horrific lies. He hurts every parent who has gone through this with his words. This is one of the most awful things he’s said.
— Beth Cone Kramer (@bck27) April 28, 2019
I have older sisters I will never know who I only had photos and footprints of bc of nurses like you. His words mock your work, and what my parents went through, but thank you ?
— Kati “Call Your Senators” McFarland ? (@katimcf) April 28, 2019
Born at 29 weeks last June, 70 days in the NICU. These people are heroes. pic.twitter.com/67mbBf87no
— OriginalFlavorCMH (@TheOriginalCMH) April 28, 2019
Thank you for all you do. Trump is a sick man, sadly there are people who believe that. My niece has 2 kids born very premature, survived, but have CP. Every day while in the NICU, saw babies die due to genetic or birth issues. The nurses were wonderful.
— Lin Hodkinson (@piptiegirl) April 28, 2019
Thank you for sharing how you support families at their most despairing times. What the dictator said tonight demonstrates how very soulless he is. Thank God for you and your Bereavement Team.
— JanetGorman ? (@jcgfrippout) April 28, 2019
It takes incredibly strong, compassionate individuals to be able to do this kind of work. The world is lucky to have women and men like you who do. And it take a strong, special person to stand up for what’s right. Thank you, sincerely.
— Sammi (@mad_ecologist) April 28, 2019
What.THE. F?!No.Just no. As a practicing OB/GYN for over 20 years, no. This man is a danger, espousing inflammatory falsehoods putting all of us in danger and rallying the ignorant and uninformed into a frenzy.2020 can’t get here fast enough unless he is impeached and removed.
— phirshman (@phirshman) April 28, 2019
Seriously, can we impeach him now?