To my baby,
As a little girl, I would play house and dolls, and I would think about what I would one day name you.
My whole life, I not only wanted to be a mom, but I wanted to be a great mom, like my mother.
My mother, your grandmother, is my absolute best friend. She lives her whole life for her children’s happiness. My parents got divorced before I turned two. Your grandmother went back to school and earned a master’s in teaching so she could support my sister and me. Her whole life has revolved around making sure that my sister and I feel happy and loved. She is entirely selfless.
That’s the type of mom I always wanted to be.
As soon as your father and I decided to get engaged, we started trying for you. But after six months, we went to a fertility specialist who told us we had unexplained infertility. We went through two cycles of a procedure called IUI (Intrauterine insemination) to help me get pregnant, but it didn’t work. Then, around Valentine’s Day of this year, after a year and a half of trying to get pregnant, I was at my mom’s house, and I took a test at 7:30 am. Sure enough, I got a plus sign.
I was pregnant with you – my baby. Immediately, I Facetimed your father to share the news. I could not believe it. We were both very excited about you.
Since we had a hard time getting pregnant, we decided to wait 18 weeks to tell people. We went through all the initial tests. We found out you were a boy, and we heard your heartbeat. Everything was going well. So, I started painting your room, buying accessories for your nursery, and following all of these baby clothes accounts on Instagram.
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Then, at 19 weeks, just after we shared the news with our close friends and family, we had an anatomy scan. We saw your two arms, your two legs, different parts of your brain, and even the four chambers of your heart. It was amazing. But I noticed the ultrasound tech wrote in her notes, “UC?”
I didn’t know what that meant, and she didn’t tell us much. Soon after, I got a phone call from the doctor telling me I needed to see a high-risk prenatal specialist. There was something on the Umbilical Cord. At this point, I wasn’t sure of the seriousness of the situation.
At five months pregnant, we went to a specialist. I saw the doctors listening to your heartbeat over and over and over again. We waited for what felt like hours and hours before they sat us down in a room and told us they thought there was a blood clot inside of the umbilical cord, and the blood clot was inside of a cyst.
This scenario is so rare, I have yet to find one similar case. Our doctor told us he had seen blood clots and cysts, but never the two together. And each independently presented their own risks. The blood clot could at any point cut off supply to you, which would kill you. And it was highly likely that the cyst would lead to severe life-threatening conditions and anomalies, including missing limbs, a major heart abnormality, or other very serious issues. In all likelihood, if you made it full term, you’d live a painful and uncomfortable life, and you could die soon after birth.
In New York, you can terminate a pregnancy up to 24 weeks. When I realized an abortion would protect you from a short life filled with pain, I had a mental breakdown. I didn’t want to lose you, but I knew it wasn’t fair to keep you. I didn’t want to set you up for a horrible life of suffering. And so, on June 10th, 15 days before my wedding, I had an abortion.
It was the most traumatic experience of my life.
Most women experience the worst pain of their lives to be met with a beautiful, healthy baby placed on their chest. I experienced the worst pain of my life and went home with a $12,000 bill and the heaviest heart I have ever felt.
But I do not regret my decision. See, I want you to know that while I won’t be giving you the life that I planned, I tried to be a great mom by giving you the peace you deserve.
You’ll always have a place in my heart. I love you.
Check out my podcast, Unexpecting