Marie Claire magazine asks, “What would you do?”
A tale of two diagnoses and two outcomes. I am pleasantly surprised at how this was handled although they do seem to go out of their way to highlight the angst the first mother experienced as she carried her baby to term with a trisomy 13 diagnosis. Yet, between the two moms, none of that diminishes the overall sense that the mom who chose not to abort her baby seems more at peace. What do you think?
N.B., for those who may be here because of a trisomy 13 diagnosis, be sure to visit Living with Trisomy 13. For information about trisomy 2, the diagnosis the 2nd mother in the story grappled with, please visit Noah’s Never Ending Rainbow.
The Abortion Debate: What Would You Do?
My first pregnancy was a breeze. I hung out at the beach near our Orange County home and exercised right up to the birth. My biggest complaint? I was too huge to lie on my stomach. Once the baby was 18 months old, my husband, Mike, and I began to plan for another. He was a law student, rising at dawn and not getting home until dinnertime, and I’d given up my full-time job as a preschool teacher to raise our daughter, Elise, and to work part-time as a nanny. Even though we were living paycheck to paycheck, we wanted to expand our family.
I became pregnant in July 2006, and at 18 weeks, I went for my first ultrasound. Mike had organized a celebratory dinner with family and friends for that night. When the first picture of the baby appeared on the screen, Mike, 3-year-old Elise, and I oohed and aahed over the baby’s fingers and toes.
We waited for the technician to tell us the sex. But she was strangely quiet. Then she said, “I’m not getting the right readings.” I told Mike to take Elise out of the room. “Is it something to do with the heart?” I asked. No, she said, the heart was fine—but something was severely wrong, and my OB/GYN would have to diagnose it. Still, I pressed for details. She said, “Your child is sick. I don’t think it’s going to survive.” I broke into tears. I was 26. I was too young, too fit, too healthy for something like this to happen to me. The thought of abortion came to mind immediately, but along with it came a feeling of walking into the ocean and never coming back. continue