Skip to comments.A difficult choice and the follow-through [2nd trimester abortion]
Posted on 07/12/2006 1:00:02 PM PDT by madprof98
We don't feel capable of raising a severely disabled child. It would be different if we didn't have a choice, but we do.
A tear creeps down my cheek when she says it's a girl. I don't know why that makes me cry.
I'd really rather not know. She assumes that like most expectant parents we want to know.
But as its turning out, we aren't like most expectant parents.
We could be, though. In many ways my 45-year-old husband and I could be perfect parents. We're professionals, with university degrees, own our own house, it's even paid off (we're financially careful yuppies). We're also fit -- we do Ironman events, marathons, play golf, travel and help support my parents. But being healthy, and looking 10 years younger isn't enough to fool the gods that govern genetics. It turns out my 40-year-old eggs don't give a hoot that I'm physically fit.
And now our unexpected late-life gift, our 19-week-old miracle is turning out to be tragically flawed. A dreaded extra chromosome -- a triple X -- has robbed us of a healthy baby, the geneticist quietly tells us our child will be significantly lower functioning than other children. Definitely not the treasured only child, the little athlete, we had only so recently and so tentatively allowed ourselves to dream about.
We leave the office in a fog. Instead of celebrating our seventh wedding anniversary this weekend, we now have to make a literally life-changing decision, one too sensitive to share with family or friends. No one has actually said the word, they don't have to. We know what our options: To continue the pregnancy or not?
I cry myself to sleep. My husband researches triple X on the computer. We have to decide quickly because it's already 19 weeks into the pregnancy. We don't feel capable of raising a severely disabled child. It would be different if we didn't have a choice, but we do. Isn't it more cruel to bring a child burdened with so many disadvantages into the world?
The geneticist's carefully chosen words describe the best-case scenario. What's the worst? my husband asks. Doctors won't speculate, but say if we decide to keep the child, they'd like to be "involved." (Ouch!)
We spend a tense weekend, each worried about the other's emotional state. We had already decided if it was a Down syndrome baby (one in 30 chance for a mother over 40) we wouldn't continue. I thought even my church-going mother (who goes door-to-door collecting money for those who are anti-abortion, and their pro-life campaign) could forgive that. But what about this situation; it's not quite Down syndrome, but it's close.
I already know we won't tell our parents.
My husband drives me to the non-descript house in a downtown Toronto neighbourhood. The security guard checks my name off her list and refuses to let my husband in (standard policy). I wait in the ominously quiet but cozy waiting room. I'm curious to see who else is here. A miserable-looking Asian woman, older and more visibly pregnant than I am studies her hands in her lap. I'm guessing she, too, has found something unbearable in her fetus. Two young women, with tattoos and a Queen Street vibe, seem nervous, but not grieving (I assume) unwanted pregnancies. I meet a lovely 47-year-old women from out of town. She has two children and a heart condition. She can't take birth control pills because of her age and health, and this unexpected pregnancy could be fatal. She's angry it took her doctor so long to figure out she was pregnant.
She had to drive two hours to get here.
The procedure is deceptively simple. Doctors call it a D & E , dilation and evacuate, better known as an abortion. The doctor inserts fragile slivers of seaweed into my cervix then waits for the porous pieces to swell and enlarge the opening. It takes two days. It's uncomfortable, but no worse that being pregnant. On the third day, when the cervix has dilated, the doctor clears out the uterus: the evacuation.
A nurse holds my hand throughout. It's oddly comforting. I keep my eyes shut, I don't want to see or hear anything. Afterward, I fight the urge to cry. Two women throw up -- a reaction to the medication. The nurse says they have 20 patients a day. I feel sorry for all of them.
Why can't we just go to the nearest hospital? I hate the sanctimonious people who have made this more difficult than it has to be. No one begrudges couples thwarting God's plan by spending tens of thousands of dollars on fertility drugs, in vitro treatments, donor eggs, sperm, and surrogate mothers -- they get sympathy. But if you don't want to keep a seriously flawed baby, you bundle your pain in guilt and shame.
The other woman waits for me to say goodbye. She whispers "Good luck, try again," and brings me to tears. My husband picks me up.
His work sends flowers to me: his wife who had a miscarriage.
That's what we tell our friends and parents as well.
C. Smyth lives in Toronto.
That's correct, adoption.
I just found out a 14 year old friend of my son has died and then read this. Made me so sad.
My wife and I were told our daughter had trisomy 18 (or 21, I can't remember, but it was a death sentence and/or severe problems).
Pushed for tests, abortion, etc.
Months later, a perfectly healthy baby girl was born. No genetic problems.
How evil. Adoptive parents are available for children with much more severe disabilities than this condition.
By telling their stories, people like this are building support for the pro-life cause. The pro-abortion cause can't hide behind their "13-year-old victim of incestuous rape" scenario, when their followers are coming out with tales like this.
She didn't have a miscarriage. She murdered her baby.
this makes me seriously ill!
not a perfect child? oh let's just toss it and
try again! um, aren't we all a tad imperfect???
Well, I'm sure at least some of her family and/or friends who have read this article have figured out the truth now. If this was the right choice, why is she lying to her family and friends. Deep down, she knows she committed a deeply selfish act.
I have a disabled child (brain damage) who is a delight!!!!! She has lots of difficulties, but her special traits far outweigh her problems.
Yesterday, she was upset about going to speech therapy. She asked if she didn't get the brain damage when she was sick, then she wouldn't have to go to speech therapy.
I told her that's right. Then she thought some more and said but then "I wouldn't be me". I told her that was correct, and that she had a lot to offer, and I like her just the way she is.
Well, good for you. You can soothe your conscience with a lie. It's just too bad for the precious little girl that God gave you that she wasn't quite perfect enough.
Some couples, like myself and my wife, aren't able to have any more children even though we desperately want to. We would have paid you to adopt your "defective" little girl. But you didn't even give anyone the chance to relieve you of the burden of your actions.
I can't imagine the pain this decision will bring you throughout your life and in the next.
This is disgusting. Why does the Left pride themselves on being pro-murder?
"I told her that was correct, and that she had a lot to offer, and I like her just the way she is."
That's because she's exactly as God wanted her to be.
We are souls with bodies, not bodies with souls.
They sound like they're talking about a make and model of a car..
Because they want to play God, more than anything.
I guess she thinks that by publishing this sap, she makes her choice less morally offensive. Self-absorbed twits...