Another Perspective.

16 years ago, I was newly married to Aaron and pregnant with our first baby.  We were so in love- with each other and with the child we’d created.  Having three kids from my first marriage, I naively assumed that in August, we’d have our newborn.  My biggest worry was whether I was having a boy or a girl.  I’d wanted a baby girl terribly, since I had three sons.

At our 20 week ultrasound, my biggest concern was gender.  I couldn’t wait to shop, especially if I was able to buy girly things!  Unfortunately, the baby was measuring a bit small and in a position where the technician was not only unable to gather the required measurements, but also wasn’t able to determine if there were boy or girl parts.  She sent us on our way with an appointment to come back in a couple weeks.

In the days leading up to my followup scan, I was having some really weird back and chest pain that I’d never experienced in prior pregnancies, but I figured I had an appointment coming, and I’d talk about it then.

On the day of the appointment, the baby was still measuring small- she had barely- if at all- grown in the past weeks.  The fluid was low as well which is a sign of the kidneys not working.  The tech called in the doctor, who immediately took my blood pressure.  It was in the stroke range.

I was immediately admitted, and despite every effort and medication they tried, I was getting worse.  My platelet count was going down, and my liver and kidney functions were decreasing. I began getting severe headaches and my body was shutting down.

Despite the fact I wanted this baby, and would have done anything to have her, I needed to deliver to save my life.  In doing so, she’d be so premature that she would not survive.  Do you know what this process is?  Abortion.

We call it a stillbirth because she was a wanted baby.  But the process and procedure is the same.  If I was unable to obtain the procedure, I would have died.

THIS is why I am pro-choice.  By taking away a woman’s rights to a legal abortion, you are also taking away a procedure that saved my life.  You don’t get to pick and choose.  I get it, I totally understand the stance of those who believe that abortion shouldn’t be used as birth control, and that there are so many people out there who would love to adopt a baby.  Believe me, I get it.  But if we deny one, we deny them all and I don’t think it’s my place to decide if another woman in a situation like mine lives or dies.


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    My brother and his wife were 17 or 18 weeks when they found out that their baby had failed to develop kidneys and another organ (I forget which). Mom and baby were still doing okay, but they were told that without the organs the pregnancy wouldn’t reach full term. So they let her choose to either deliver him early or to wait until she would miscarry. They opted to have him early. The pregnancy was medically started but otherwise it was a normal “delivery”. They didn’t do anything to help him pass. Still, he was not given a birth certificate and medically and legally the procedure was considered an abortion because he was not stillborn and because he was born too early and with too many problems to have any chance of making it.

    I have no idea what I would prefer, if I were to be in their shoes. I think either option, jump starting labor or waiting to miscarry is equally valid. Whatever makes the parents feel best in a situation like that is fine, in my view. I can’t imagine feeling judgement towards someone making that choice, regardless of what call they make.

    I have a really hard time not getting upset when late term abortion is discussed or debated. This past fall during the presidential debates it was brought up and all over Facebook for a few days were these images and infographics depicting people who have late-term abortions as murderers, evil, heartless, etc. In reality, late term abortions are very rare and they are usually due to medical problems of some kind, like your story and like my brother and sister-in-laws.

    One post on Facebook was done by someone I am fairly close with. Close enough where I thought sharing my family’s experience might shift her perspective. Instead she dug her heels in – saying that they “messed with gods plan” and they should have waited to miscarry because that would have given God a chance to perform a miracle.

    It made me regret saying anything. I thought making the story of “late term abortion” more humanized for her that she’d see that it’s not (usually) how it is depicted. It’s not someone deciding a week before birth that they changed their mind. It’s so much more complicated than that in most cases. And it’s terribly heartbreaking. My nephew was born 10 years ago and I still struggle to talk about it without tears. I know my brother and SIL have it so much worse. It’s so hard just to bet he aunt in a story of loss like that. I don’t understand judging people who are in a lose-lose situation.

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    Sad to read that, I hope everything is gonna be alright. Deep prayers you should do it.