My husband, Scott, and I fell in love quickly and started talking about the future. We got engaged at our one-year anniversary. We married six months later. If all that wasn't fast enough, I got pregnant on our honeymoon in Spain.
We were so excited! It had happened SO quickly, but I was 34 and felt like I didn't have any time to waste. At our first appointment, we got bad news. My hcg levels weren't doubling. The doctor said we should prepare for a miscarriage.
So, we tried to "prepare," but we also never saw any signs. Weeks went by and we started to relax. We thought if we could make it past the first trimester, we would be in the clear. Unfortunately, the doctor kept telling me I was going to miscarry. My friend advised me to wait – this was a very wanted pregnancy. I switched doctors so I wouldn't have to hear any more about my imminent miscarriage.
My new doctor's practice was amazing compared to the first doctor! The practice has doctors and midwives and they encourage low-intervention pregnancies and natural childbirth. We finally had another ultrasound at 19 weeks. My Mom came into town for the event and the three of us (my Mom, me and Scott) smiled and laughed at the image of what we learned was our little girl. But the ultrasound technician said she couldn't see everything she needed to see because the "baby wasn't cooperating." Before we left, we were told we would have a follow-up ultrasound in two weeks at a specialist who had "better equipment."
I was concerned. At almost 21 weeks, Scott and I went to our appointment with the specialist. The sonogram operator asked us to be quiet, immediately changing the mood of the room. She said she wanted to be honest with us – there were many severe issues with our baby. The brain was not developed appropriately, the heart had multiple defects, and none of the organs were in the correct place.
Scott and I were in shock. We had two choices: we could end the pregnancy now or wait for the fetus to miscarry/die. There was no way the pregnancy would end in a live, healthy baby. Scott and I had discussed our feelings on abortion early on in our relationship and we both looked at each other and knew we wanted to end the pregnancy.
The state of Texas required two doctors sign off on our medical need for a termination. I had to sign paperwork with medical inaccuracies about how an abortion would increase my risk of breast cancer and other nonsense. I was in a fog of disbelief.
We had to decide if I was going to go to an abortion clinic for a two-part process to end the pregnancy or if I would deliver at the hospital under my doctor's care. I decided I wanted to go to the hospital, in large part because I didn't want to have to walk through a line of protesters at the clinic on "abortion day" when I was visibly pregnant.
In case you're curious, we found out our fetus had triploidy. This is an extremely rare chromosome disorder where every chromosome is tripled. Two out of three of these cases are believed to miscarry in the first trimester.
We have a very happy ending to our story. Luckily, I got pregnant again quickly. The pregnancy was totally normal and we now have a smart, funny, cuddlebug of a toddler and we are hoping for a second little one soon. I can't imagine how my story would be different if I had to go through my experience with an abortion ban in law. I was past 20 weeks.
I'm lucky – if anything had gotten in my way when it came to ending my pregnancy, I would have had the money, support, and gumption to travel wherever I needed to in order to get the medical help I needed. Not every woman does – or should have to.