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My husband and I finally decided to expand our family after our daughter turned four.

After more than a year of trying, I was finally pregnant! At our 20 week ultrasound, the doctor noticed a few cysts on the baby’s kidneys and sent us to a specialist at a different hospital. That ultrasound took forever and as we waited, I knew something was wrong. When the specialist finally came in, he destroyed us. The baby that we’d waited so long for was dying. Huge cystic kidneys, a large hole in his heart, multiple extra digits on both hands and both feet, very little amniotic fluid. We were devastated. The odds of the baby making it to term were slim and he would be severely handicapped if he did. We made the heart-breaking decision to end the pregnancy. It wasn’t fair to my baby and it wasn’t fair to my family.

A few months later, I was pregnant again! Because of our history, we were sent directly to a large hospital several hours away for in-depth testing. In the end, this baby would have the same genetic defects as the first. We made the same choice a second time, and terminated the pregnancy.

Even though I had a young, healthy daughter at home, I wasn’t able to have any more healthy children. She was my miracle. Even though I’m devastated over those decisions, I don’t regret them. I’m glad I had the options I had.

Everyone should be able to decide if, when, how, and with whom they start or grow a family.

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