Pregnant women

Pregnant woman

“We could have aborted Davis a few months ago, you know?” The way my husband stated it, indeed, hurt as my baby felt like I lodged his elbow into my left bank further. We might have. We might have. We ought to have had an abortion in many people’s thoughts. 

Especially the physicians who recommended, “You don’t want to do this.” They noted that the baby would likely be ill and I should terminate it. It was hard to conceive that they could recommend an abortion.  

But six years ago, when a doctor advised we terminate a fetus growing incorrectly in my womb, I, the protective mother, instantly sobbed, “No! I want to keep her.” Of course, my spouse wanted to keep her, too. He was sitting next to me as we went excitedly on the ultrasound screen with her 20-week old body kick. Neither of us could fathom an abortion.

It was just that I could say it first on that day. 

Two weeks later, when a cardiologist diagnosed us, I again found my voice to whisper the “no” assured of the suggested choice. The diagnosis was correct. The fetus was growing wrong and it would put both of us in danger. However, I insisted I keep her. I didn’t want the abortion, even if it put me and my child at risk.

A new abortion baby 

I never expected a new baby, period. Much less another baby that “must be terminated.” Then it happened in May 2020. The detailed ultrasound was arranged at the beginning of my pregnancy. You know, in case heart issues may be examined. 

No dads at the appointment were permitted in true 1800s style. So during the heart section, I FaceTimed my spouse where the technology showed us a healthy, complete heart! Little did I know that the doctors would soon be recommending an abortion.

Something more… 

The agitated technician then brought me to a vacant office after the ultrasound. A doctor waited to speak to me from the safe neighborhood of his couch.

“I know your past. I know your history. And why have you come here today? I know what we’ve been seeking. The heart of your infant is sound. But we’ve found another thing.” 

He stopped for a little while. Not too long though. 

“It is spina bifida.” 

Again, silence. I believe it was for him this time. His voice trembled as he continued. 

“I’m telling you, I’m very sorry. It seems like your youngster will never walk from the position of the spinal deformity. We’ll have to learn more. I know, though, that you hear this alone. So this afternoon, I want to chat to you about Zoom and the dad to clarify your choices.” 

I wouldn’t want to hear about it unless there was an option to make it all go away. Something like abortion.

Disclosure of telehealth 

Together, Matt and I logged on from the corner of our bedroom at the telehealth conference. We started a video chat, in which a man we had never met intimated that we were eagerly waiting for the inconceivable. A recommendation for an abortion.

He had a lot to say about my future and what it would entail. Surgeries. Heartache. Dreams broken. Medicines. Appointments. Explanations. Medical language. Lifetime constraints. All of which could be avoided with an abortion.

Deafening ideas waved around in my mind so loudly that I couldn’t hear a known voice say, “No.” 

No. No what? – No, what? I was wondering. I wondered.