I had an abortion on June 10th, 2021.
This is not a story I ever intended to share, but given the circumstances in Texas, I feel it’s important.
My husband and I tried conceiving for over a year and a half. We went through multiple rounds of failed fertility treatments. We finally found out I was pregnant in February of this year, due on October 27th. We were elated, we couldn’t believe it. From as far back as I could remember, all I wanted was to be a mom, and now I was finally getting that chance.
You’re “not supposed to” share your pregnancy until after 12 weeks, after all of the initial testing is done and it’s deemed a viable pregnancy. We were so hesitant because of how difficult it was for us to get pregnant that we waited even longer, until 18 weeks, to tell our friends and family.
Everything was going well. I got through the first trimester and the morning sickness. We found out we were having a boy! We painted his room and picked out his name.
At 19 weeks, I had my first anatomy scan. They saw something on that scan that would end up changing our lives forever.
Over the next week and a half, we experienced true trauma. We went back and forth into the city to a Children’s Hospital – a place no one ever wants to be in. We were given the diagnosis by two high-risk prenatal doctors. There was a blood clot inside of a cyst on the umbilical cord. This is so rare that we could barely even find information about our diagnosis online. Our doctors had seen UC blood clots and cysts independently, but never together. The chance of just having a blood clot alone is 0.0025%. I was basically patient 0.
We didn’t know what this meant, only that it wasn’t good. At any point the blood clot could cut off the supply from the umbilical cord to our baby, which would kill him. In addition, we were told that there would be an over 85% chance that our child would have significant, life-altering abnormalities.
All we wanted was our baby boy. But, we knew we couldn’t be selfish. We could not live with ourselves if we brought a child into this world who was set up for a difficult, painful, unhappy life.
On June 10th, I had an abortion. It was the worst, most traumatic, most painful experience of my life.
Because I was so far along at 20 weeks (5 months), the “easier” options were not available to me. I had to have 5, 2-inch sticks inserted into my cervix to start the dilation. I was given medication to induce labor and contractions. I’ve never felt pain the way I did on that day.
Most women experience the worst pain of their life to then be met with their beautiful, healthy baby being placed on their chest. I experienced the worst pain of my life and then went home empty-handed, except for a $12,000 bill and the heaviest heart I’ve ever felt.
I do not regret my decision. In my mind, there was no decision. I would not have considered myself a “good mom”, but rather a “selfish mom” if I had brought my son into the world under those circumstances.
His room is empty. On October 27th, there will be no picking out his first outfit. There will be no pictures of my husband cutting the cord or smiling proudly at his newborn son.
This is just my story. And I consider myself unbelievably lucky that I live in New York, where this was even an option. I cannot imagine what our lives would be like, physically, mentally, and financially, if we were forced to have an unhealthy child.
This Texas abortion ban is devastating, horrifying, and dangerous. This is not a pro-life decision, it is an anti-human one. One which shows no compassion, no empathy, and no care to women’s and families’ stories and circumstances.
Today, as I continue grieving over my unborn son, I also grieve for the helpless women who won’t get the opportunity that I had.
Ashley lives in Westchester, NY with her new husband, her 12-year-old stepson, and her 14-year-old pup. She can’t wait to be a mom to a healthy, happy baby soon!