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I was 19 weeks pregnant.

It was my first pregnancy. I spent my life up to that point making sure I was ready for children and did everything I could to ensure I never was pregnant until then. I was married for five years and my husband and I had a steady income. We were looking to buy a house. What could go wrong? This was the next step in our lives. I was healthy. I was being followed by midwives. Then at our first ultrasound, we received the heartbreaking news.

First we were told our baby had club feet, then the tech said the baby couldn’t move his legs at all. In addition to the club feet, my baby’s legs were criss-cross and his 3rd and 4th fingers were also bent at 90 degrees. I started crying immediately as the tech went to get the doctor. I thought of all the things this child would never be able to do and all the suffering he would probably endure.

The doctor had no diagnosis for what our son had, and she was a specialist in genetics. We went home in shock to comprehend the info we just received. What were we to do? The next day we had a second opinion ultrasound. The baby’s legs and fingers were exactly as they were in the first ultrasound. It was true, our baby couldn’t move his legs. Because I was already at 19 weeks and I live in a state where women are required to have an abortion at 20 weeks, we had just a few days to make the decision. We heartbreakingly chose to terminate our wanted pregnancy. I loved my baby, but I had to let him go.

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

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