"I feel like my story is somewhat unique but isn’t everyone’s?
I wanted my baby. So much. I planned for her for months. I had a very successful and healthy pregnancy and birth already and knew I wanted more kids, at least one more. I knew I wanted them close together as well since their half siblings are so much older. I had already waited longer than I wanted because I had issues ovulating due to nursing my first born daughter. So as soon as I was able we started trying again. And I was so shocked and ecstatic that I got pregnant again so soon.
I didn’t think twice about it since everything went perfectly the first time. Then I had my 11 week appointment and my DR had issues finding her heartbeat. He did find it but it took just a few seconds too long. He was kind and brushed it off as nothing to worry about and I’d see him again in 4 weeks.
That’s when I started to worry and you see, most women do during the at least the first trimester. Miscarriages are much more common than anyone acknowledges. But everything was fine and on schedule so far. We had already planned and scheduled our appointment at an ultrasound place to determine the gender early. We were so excited and really hoping for a boy this time around but obviously it didn’t matter.
So we went to the appointment. We saw our little girl’s features for the first time and listened to her heart beating. The tech said we couldn’t see everything clearly so she wanted us to come back at a later date to get a better view. Still, nothing raised an alarm. We left and went to dinner thinking we were pretty sure we were having another girl but wouldn’t say anything until we went back and knew for sure.
Then the next day happened. I received the worst phone call of my life. It was my DR office and they needed me to come in immediately. The tech saw something the day before and alerted him something was wrong. That’s all I was told as I made the most terrifying 30 minute drive to the hospital. In that moment I knew my worst fear was coming true.
After what seemed like an eternity at the hospital I was told there was definitely something wrong. They found a cystic hygroma surrounding my baby and it is caused by a genetic abnormality. But at 14 weeks they couldn’t determine what it was so I had to wait. After what felt like an eternity, which in reality was only a month, of tests and scans we were told the devastating news that our daughter had Turners Syndrome.
For a brief moment I was happy because after doing research I knew that wasn’t a horrible thing and we could learn how to care for her. Then the second shoe dropped. She also had fetal hydrops, which are pockets of fluid in her organs which are also preventing them from developing making her incompatible with life.
We were faced with a decision I never thought I would have to make then. Terminate the pregnancy or wait for her to die.
My husband and I struggled for so long with the decision but ultimately decided it would be in everyone’s best interest to be induced early to deliver our daughter, aka terminate the pregnancy. It was not a decision we made lightly and still after the fact is difficult to deal with. She had a less than 1% chance of making it to term and no chance after delivery. Even knowing that I struggled with the decision.
Ending a child’s life, especially one I willingly and knowingly created, will always be the hardest decision of my life. There was no easy way out. I still had to deliver my baby vaginally as I was 22.5 weeks along and there were no other options. I wish there had been an easier way.
I had to wait weeks before I even had the decision to terminate because of the different laws. Two different doctors had to examine me and scan the baby to determine that she wouldn’t survive beyond birth or earlier before I even had a choice. While I am grateful I knew all of the facts and made the right decision based on the facts, if it hadn’t taken so long I wouldn’t have had to go through the physical and emotional pain of a normal delivery.
It was a medically necessary abortion yet when I made the decision I felt like an awful human being. What kind of mother would terminate a wanted pregnancy? A mother who unfortunately knows what is best for all of her children knows best. A mother knows best. A woman knows best." —Carly Ray