2nd Trimester Abortion

by Kelcey

June 7, 2021

I had a 2nd trimester abortion of a baby that I wanted. At our 20 week anatomy scan, my husband and I found out our son had multiple abnormalities and that he would likely not survive. If he did make it to term, he would be disabled with a very low quality of life. After some testing that took a couple of weeks, we were told it was due to Trisomy 18. At first I couldn’t fathom terminating the pregnancy, but the more I learned about his condition and the life we would all face, it was clear to my husband and I that we did not want to continue the pregnancy. I couldn’t handle continuing the pregnancy. I was hoping everyday that he would die inside me. I would have had to go 4 more months wishing for death everyday. I would have had to endure all the congratulations and belly pats and knowing smiles from strangers. It would have prolonged the grief and trauma. His life mattered. He was valuable to me. But in a situation so horribly wrong, there is no right choice. There is only what you can bear. It was the hardest decision I have ever had to make. I thought abortions were only for people who didn’t want their babies. I had no idea about all the different reasons people have them. I had always been pro-choice but I never dreamed I would need an abortion.

On Christmas Day we drove 8 hours out of state to the nearest clinic. We had to move quickly since I was already so late in the pregnancy. The procedure began the next day. That night was one of the worst in my whole life. I couldn’t sleep more than 20 minutes at a time. I was vomiting the whole night so couldn’t keep down medication to help with the cramps. Looking back, I’m glad I didn’t sleep because I know I was present with my baby as he died. I paid entirely out of pocket as health insurance wouldn’t cover it. I paid for his cremation; only in-state residents were given free cremations for babies. I paid travel expenses, except my mom bought our hotel room. My sister and my husband went with me. The doctors and staff who performed the D&E were so kind and compassionate. I’m so thankful for them and their strength. I was put under conscious sedation and I remember the procedure. The pain was dulled, but it still hurt. One of the assistants held my hand through the whole thing. I went in the door that morning 24 weeks pregnant, and left a few hours later no longer pregnant, and with no baby in my arms.

The next few months were very dark. The day my milk came in was a hard day. So much nourishment just wasted. I should have donated it, but I wasn’t able to think clearly enough to reach the people who might need it. Only our immediate family and a few close friends knew what had actually happened. To everyone else, we “lost the baby.” It’s traumatic enough to have to end your baby’s life. I still feel guilt and shame for the choice that I made. Having to go out of state and stay in a strange place, having so little support and the stigma attached has made it so much worse.

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