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Two Years Later

by Anonymous

October 4, 2018

I really wanted a second child. I craved having another baby. As the oldest of 6 children, I entertained grand fantasies about giving my daughter siblings.

 

My first pregnancy after my daughter resulted in a molar pregnancy, but I wasn’t discouraged. When I got pregnant again about a year later, I was excited to learn that I could get genetic testing done at 10 weeks due to that pregnancy—I was ecstatic. To me, this only meant that I could learn the baby’s gender early. When the results were returned, I learned I was having a boy who had a 99% chance of having Trisomy 21.

 

I was devastated. My husband and I spent two weeks while we underwent CVS testing trying to decide what to do if the CVS confirmed the results. We read books, we talked about it with our family and close friends, we researched support groups. Ultimately, though, when the CVS confirmed the genetic testing, we decided to terminate the pregnancy. We considered the impact having a child with extreme special needs would have on our family, on our health as caregivers, on our daughter. We asked ourselves questions such as: Do we have the financial resources to support this child’s health? What would happen to him when he is an adult, and we die?

 

I opted to go to Planned Parenthood because I worked for a Catholic school at the time, which didn’t permit abortions on their health insurance. A protestor stood outside the door holding a poster that read “Murder” as I walked in. The Planned Parenthood staff was lovely to me. The nurse practitioner asked if I wanted to see the baby one last time on an ultrasound, which I declined, and she must have detected the quiver in my voice because she put the ultrasound wand down and gave me a hug, telling me, “It will be okay.” The nurse who prepped me for the procedure saw I was having a hard time, and gave me a private waiting room. The doctor who performed my abortion held my hand afterwards as I sobbed. I threw up on the ride home.

 

When I told my OB that I felt guilt and shame about having an abortion, she asked me, “Why? Only you can know what is best for your family.” A few months later, my best friend gave me the book Shrill by Lindy West. Reflecting on my OB’s words and reading the chapter about the #shoutyourabortion movement helped me to overcome my negative feelings about my abortion.

 

It was the worst day of my life. It was the most difficult decision I ever had to make. But I do not regret it. October 25 will be the two year anniversary of my abortion. Not a day goes by where I do not think about it.

 

My next pregnancy ended in a miscarriage, and then I got pregnant with my second daughter, who is now five months old. I fulfilled my dream of giving my older daughter a sibling, however painful the journey was.

 

Thinking about my abortion still hurts—but I am immensely grateful that I had the privilege to make that choice and shape the family I have today.

 

Remember that our stories are ours to tell. We’d love to hear your story too!