Site Creator’s Note: This story was contributed by an anonymous mother who bravely shared her experience of a very rare situation in which her baby needed to be delivered at a clinic. This story, and this website, in no way endorses elective abortion.
Because this situation is so very rare, there is little information–and little compassion–given to mothers going through this experience. Please read this story with compassion and awe at the bravery of a loving mother.
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On July 5, 2010 my husband and I excitedly arrived for our appointment at the scanning
center to find out the sex of our 2nd baby. We had waited weeks to tell our daughter if she was going to have a little brother or sister and our excitement was mounting.
I was about five and a half months pregnant and after non evasive testing, had been told that the baby was normal. As the doctor started the scan he showed us the different parts of the baby.
He then stated to us, “that this does not look good.” He saw that the baby’s feet were clubbed, and he saw a white spot that was unidentifiable to him on the baby’s spine. He told us that it was very possible the baby had spina bifida, but was unsure. He
said that he baby’s measurements were lagging behind as well. We of course were in shock. He recommended an amnio to see if there was anything genetically wrong with the baby, and we complied with the test. And this is how our story begins.
For an amnio test it takes approximately two weeks to get the test back. I had one with my daughter as I was just reaching that magic age of 35 years old, when the medical profession puts the fear of God in you that if you try to conceive, because of your “oldness” there will be problems. I received the FISH test results back which came back that the baby was genetically normal.
Of course I was relieved. My husband and I met with my OBGYN who told me that he did not believe things were as bad as the scanning doctor had made them out to be. He advised us that “club feet” were nothing to fear and they were able to be fixed upon birth. He said that the unidentifiable spot on the bottom of the spine was just that..an
unidentifiable spot. He said that they see them all the time on the scan and they turn out to be nothing. He gave us the best advice so far….Don’t worry until there’s something to worry about.
We received the full amnio test results back two weeks later. A healthy baby boy. No one can imagine the weight that was lifted off our shoulders. God had answered our prayers.
After seeing our OBGYN again it was determined that we simply had a small baby with club feet. No spina bifida, no genetic defects. I was finally able to relax. Two weeks later I went back to the scanning doctor’s office so they could see the growth of the baby. I was just entering the last trimester of my pregnancy and preparing for my son’s arrival.
This time, we saw a different doctor at the scanning facility. (I believe this was the 3rd one,
we never had the same doctor twice) As we watched the baby on the screen she said she was unable to take the baby’s measurements exactly, as the baby was bobbing up and down…….not characteristic of a healthy baby. She also said that
the baby’s arms and feet were turned in, and she believed his measurements were
several months behind. We were told very frankly that it was very unlikely the baby would survive to birth and if he did, would die soon after birth.
Our scanning doctor, whom we just met fifteen minutes earlier, advised us, to terminate our baby. Her candidness and lack of compassion was not met kindly by either my husband nor I and we let her know…….loudly.
We marched downstairs to my OBGYN’s office to speak to him and to tell him what the
scanning doctor had told us. Of course, he was not in, and our poor nurse and the office assistants who stood nearby to overhear the agony we were experiencing soaked up our story. And I thank them everyday for being the one’s who listened and cared.
The next day found us sitting in my OBGYN’s office after his consultation with the scanning doctor. He told us he was sorry, what he thought was a small baby with club feet was wrong. He said he believed since the baby was genetically normal, a virus had crossed the placenta and caused the malformations on the baby. He told us a baby such as ours, likely would not survive to be born and if he did, would die soon after birth. If a baby like ours would survive, it would have to be institutionalized due to possible brain damage and severe defects. We would have to make the decision that no parent wants to make for their child. My OBGYN advised us we could either terminate or I would come in weekly until the heartbeat of the baby stopped, and I would then deliver. For my health reasons, the doctor recommended termination.
Our decision was to terminate.
Mine was not exactly a choice, my baby was dying, and I was told that this could be detrimental to me if he was not delivered when he was. It was hard sitting through
this part. I suspect they legally have to do it.
Because I was so far along in my pregnancy, I was unable to respond to a clinic in my state, I was given 2 alternatives of clinics in the country; one in Colorado and the other in Georgia. I selected one, and was given their information from my scanning doctor, simply the name of the clinic and a phone number. They initially advised that they would assist
me in setting up the procedure, however I received no assistance whatsoever. The last scanning doctor that I spoke with said that we could come in her office and speak with her,
however, her rudeness had really turned our stomachs towards her. We had no assistance. I am unable to say the word abortion in our situation, as it is too painful for me.
I set up the appointment on the phone myself.
That Monday, we set out to our destination, angry, scared and heartbroken. It was a long trip.
My initial appointment was on Tuesday morning.
I was only allowed one visitor to come with me.
Mine was considered a late term abortion and would take three days.
Make sure you voice why you are there if it is a case like mine.
My husband and I had to sit through a video about the procedure, reproduction and birth control. It was to us…….humiliating. We sat down with the doctor again who listened to our situation.
I will try my best to refrain from talking about the personality of the doctor as I know his
traits can be found in other physicians as well. We’ll say…..we did not mesh well.
The procedure was very painful and lasted three days. They did not tell me about the pain.
Seaweed laminaria were inserted into the cervix as these were supposed to dilate the cervix naturally.
I cannot say enough how there is nothing natural about this process, and, it’s extremely painful.
On the second day, he put several shots into my cervix to deaden it as he was going to insert even more laminaria. The shots were extremely painful…they were like stinging in your body.
More of the seaweed laminaria were then inserted which were very uncomfortable. We then left. I was able to walk around, but at times I had to sit down because I was in pain.
The third day was when the actual procedure was done, when my baby was born.
I was extremely sore where as I did not want anyone to touch me.
They performed an ultrasound, and then they started an IV with Pitocin which would induce labor. I then played the waiting game for approximately 3-4 hours until I started dilating to around 4-5 cenimeters. The nurses would check me periodically. I was then given some type of drug to relax me and taken back into the room (the drug didn’t work well). The doctor then put more shots into my cervix, of course almost unbearable for me at that time. It was supposed to deaden my cervix but did not do the job. The doctor then delivered my baby using forceps.
This process was very painful as well.
I felt it all. My husband was not allowed to come in with me.
I was alone, with strangers, and in unbearable pain.
After the delivery they used a suction to clean out the afterbirth. I am thankful I had a nurse in with me to hold my hand.
When we initially met with the doctor, we had asked to hold the baby after delivery. They told us they would try to meet these wishes of ours. After delivery, I was told by a nurse that it would not be a good idea to view the baby. They said they could place the baby in a basket and put a blanket over him.
At this time I agreed. My husband and I were placed back in a room where the nurse brought us our baby in the basket. We asked to be alone in which they complied. At that point we took off the blanket and were able to meet our baby.
We had approximately fifteen minutes with our baby which were very personal and private.
The hardest thing was giving him back….as his place was with us.
I went through the normal stages after birth, just as if I had a normal healthy baby. It was a long trip home.
Through our process, it seemed as if my husband and I were brushed to the side and had to deal with things ourselves.
My suggestions are to see a professional counselor if you have had to go through a
situation like mine. An instance like mine is very rare and people just don’t want to talk about it.
I hope this helps another mother…it was hard but I got it out.
It almost seems like a dream sometimes.
Time is a healer, however after a year I still have a broken heart and am very fearful of having a child for fear of finding myself back in the same place.