Sarah, Ohio


Spouse, college instructor, gardener, swing dancer, geek, bird lover, diabetic and insulin pump user.

A year ago my husband and I were expecting our first baby. Our baby would have been the first grandchild in either of our families and everyone was so excited for us. The first inkling we had that anything was wrong was an elevated NT measurement at 12 weeks. We had more testing done for chromosomal abnormalities and, when those results came back negative, we let ourselves start to get excited about becoming parents. Seven weeks later all of those expectations were smashed to bits. Full story.

Carole, Texas

caroleMother of two girls–one on earth, and one in heaven. Native Texan.

No one ever thinks that they are going to be faced with the decision of terminating a much-wanted pregnancy.  My spouse and I were faced with exactly that decision.  On December 1, 2008, I discovered that I was pregnant with my first child.   Four months later, we went in for our ultrasound at 20 weeks and were ecstatic to discover that we were having a girl.

Unfortunately, that moment was cut short when the OB also told us that our daughter had a terminal condition, Hydrops Fetalis.   We decided to have my labor induced.  Full story.

Samantha, United Kingdom

samanthaMarried mother of four daughters, including one with special needs.  Diabetic.  Manager of support group for families who have suffered the loss of a baby. Advocate for people with disabilities and mental illness. Volunteer fundraiser for local hospital’s Special Care Baby Unit. Newsletter columnist.

At only 19 weeks and 3 days gestation, my amniotic sac unexpectedly ruptured at home. I was rushed to the hospital, where I was informed that because I was under 24 weeks gestation, they would not intervene to try to stop my labor or save my baby. I was encouraged by the hospital staff to terminate, due to the risk of infection and threat to my own life. I refused.  An ultrasound revealed a very low level of amniotic fluid.  I was told that without substantial fluid, my baby’s lungs could not develop. I held out hope for a miracle. A subsequent ultrasound revealed no amniotic fluid at all. My miracle would never arrive.  Full story.

Grace, Michigan

GraceMarried mom of two children.  Writer.  Pearl Jam fan. Administrator of A Heartbreaking 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.

Julie, Maryland

JulieBI’m a mom to three, a psychologist that specializes in Reproductive  Health issues, a wife, and an upstanding member of my community.  I’ve  also had two abortions due to severe brain malformations.

I have always been pro-choice, but when I got married, thought I would never have an abortion. This feeling intensified after having my first child. Little did I know what the future held for me, and how grateful I am that I was able to exercise a choice when the most dire circumstances presented themselves. 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.

Christie, Virginia

Mom of three girls (two on earth and one in heaven).  Married for 20 years to a fiscal conservative. Raised Catholic.  Suburban, former stay-at-home mom.  Recreational runner. Coffee lover.  Novice gardener.  Advocate for reproductive choice. Former owner of pregnancy termination-related support boards on Editor of “Our Heartbreaking Choices.”

In 2003, I was joyously expecting my second baby.  The pregnancy progressed smoothly through the first five months.  As we went in for our routine anatomy scan at 20 weeks, we were prepared (and anxious) to find out the baby’s gender.  What we weren’t prepared for was to hear bad news.  After a high resolution ultrasound, my husband and I were told that our baby’s lungs weren’t developed, and due to extra organs in her chest, would never have a chance to develop.  We were faced with a choice–to carry our baby girl for another four months and watch her likely suffocate to death at birth, or to let her go early.  We heartbreakingly decided to end the pregnancy at 21 weeks gestation via an induced labor. I never, EVER thought I would need an abortion.  Full story.