Amanda, New York

AmandaNY

Wife, daughter, mother to four angels, friend, and teacher

After two years of infertility and miscarriages, my husband and I found ourselves expecting yet again. We were both hesitant to jump for joy because we had been down this road before and it hadn’t ended well. As time went on and we were assured things were “perfect” at our numerous ultrasounds, we allowed ourselves to start celebrating. On January 14th all of that changed.  At our routine anatomy scan, a specialist was brought in and it was explained to us that our baby had a severe heart problem, several markers for Down syndrome, and suspected renal development issues.  I was 19 weeks pregnant, heartbroken, and scared.  Full story.

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Lindsey, Pennsylvania

lindsey

Mother of two boys, researcher, animal lover, born and raised in Texas and always a Texan at heart.

Fifteen weeks pregnant, my bags were packed for my five-night business trip to London. I had just stepped out of the shower, barely covered with a towel, when I got the call: “Unfortunately I have some bad news for you. Your baby has trisomy 21.” My mind was swimming…which one was that? Was that the one where they die right after they are born? Or that other one I think is also fatal? No, it was Down syndrome. I was in a state of shock as I discussed when to do an amniocentesis for confirmation with the genetic counselor. My husband walked up the stairs as I blankly spoke into the phone. He took one look at my face, and said, “The baby?” I nodded. “Downs?” I nodded again. He raised his arms high and then fell to the floor. Tears started streaming down my face. There must have been a mistake. This could not be happening to us.  Full story.

Tara, Virginia

Tara

Mother of two, wife of 10 years, chronically infertile.  A family of my own became my source of constant grief and obsession, overshadowing everything in my life, my marriage, and my career as a graphic designer and interior decorator.

After a harrowing and devastating shock of soul-crushing, intense grief, and the urgency of a lifetime to find out everything we could about our son’s diagnosis, we talked to as many people as we could, and pursued every possible option. We ultimately decided our very much loved, very much wanted son should not live under the medical interventions and lifelong illness that awaited him, and that we had an obligation to our oldest child to not consign him to a lifetime of caregiving, as I had experienced with my own mother.   Full story.

Elizabeth, Virginia

elizabeth

Mom, wife, researcher.  Has always loved reading, winter,  and being outside. Never forgets the son she lost.

I was always pro choice … for OTHER people.  For myself, I always aspired to be a mom.  If anyone had ever offered ME an abortion, I probably would have hit that person with a 2-by-4.

Fast forward to my marriage; birth of my wonderful daughter; pregnancy again; and then slow the tape at the moment in the routine 21-week ultrasound when they said “This doesn’t look good”.  Then: days into weeks of research, sleeplessness, crying, and terrible discussions about “what is quality of life?”

That is how I found myself walking through protesters to obtain a later-term abortion. Full story.

Grace, Michigan

GraceMarried mom of two children.  Writer.  Pearl Jam fan. Administrator of A Heartbreaking Choice.net website and online support forums for women who terminate pregnancies for medical reasons.

The night in February of 2000, when we drove all the way to Detroit in a snowstorm to prepare for the ending of a planned pregnancy gone completely wrong, I told my husband we owed a huge debt of gratitude to the pro-choice movement. Although I had always been pro-choice, I was also careful about birth control, happily married and wanting children. I foolishly, perhaps arrogantly, presumed that I, personally, would never need an abortion. But when I did end up needing one, those rights were there for me.  Full story.

Ayliea, Nevada

AylieaGraphic Artist/Web Designer. Married to the same wonderful man for 25 years. Mom to four fur-kids (three dogs and one cat).  Currently living in Central America. Managing Administrator for the A Heartbreaking Choice forums.  Devote much of my spare time to helping women who have made this difficult choice to deal with their grief by learning ways to cope with the grief and find joy in their lives again.

Due to infertility I thought I was unable to have kids of my own and helped raise my niece and nephew. At age 40, after going thorough treatment for endometriosis, I found out I was pregnant. Our baby was unexpected, but so very loved and wanted!  We had an amnio done because of my “advanced maternal age,” and found out that our daughter had Trisomy 21.  An ultrasound showed signs of digestive issues and congenital heart failure. We were told by three different doctors that the prognosis was not good, and that even if Lillie did make it to term  (which was unlikely in their opinions) she would need immediate heart and digestive surgery, not to mention that she would be mentally disabled. After speaking with our regular OB/GYN and consulting with a doctor at the hospital who was willing to perform a second trimester abortion, we went ahead and scheduled the termination.  Full story.