In the spring of 2017, I found out I was pregnant with my second child. My husband and I were surprised and thrilled to add another member to our family and to give my daughter a little sibling.
Immediately, I did all the testing I thought I should and was constantly asking questions because I felt I was too old to be having a second child. We were delighted to find out that there were no problems.
Fast forward to almost 20 weeks; we went and back to have the full skeletal scan.
The minute the doctor walked in we knew something was really wrong. It was written all over her face. She told us that the baby, from everything she could see, had severe skeletal dysplasia—which meant pretty much nothing to us. The doctor asked us to do further testing, so we made an appointment with a fetal team at a respected hospital. She also asked us not to Google anything—easier said than done.
A few days later, we went to the appointment. It was clear immediately after additional testing and then talking with a very large team of specialists that the baby had no chance at surviving birth.
I have a 5 year old daughter and we couldn’t put her through that. She was so excited to be a big sister. For all of us, but specifically for a 5 year old who couldn’t process it like adults do, the outcome would have been devastating. So for us and that point, the decision was really clear that I couldn’t continue the pregnancy.
Once we realized we needed to terminate the pregnancy, we had to figure out how to go about it. My OBGYN works through at a Catholic hospital, so she referred me to another hospital to do the procedure. Unfortunately the hospital wanted about $10,000 dollars upfront, because my insurance wouldn’t cover it. Of course, it was gut wrenching to find out that I had to come up with $10,000 dollars; which is not what most people have just sitting around.
We were trying to figure out what to and numb from trying to get through each day.
I frantically called all the doctors I had spoken with to come up with a solution. I was lucky enough to talk to one delightful doctor who suggested that I might consider Planned Parenthood. She told me that she worked there one day a week, that it was amazing care, that the facilities were fabulous and Planned Parenthood’s abortion care is affordable.
The whole idea took me aback; I of course had known of Planned Parenthood, but I didn’t consider it as an option. I got off the phone with her and I called my OBGYN and she said absolutely, I think it’s an amazing idea, I think that the folks at Planned Parenthood are phenomenal and I think you are going to be cared for in an amazing way. So I made my appointment.
When I got to Planned Parenthood, I was overwhelmed immediately with how kind and caring everyone was. They took me in. They were supportive. I was shocked - I thought was going to have to explain why I was there and that didn’t ever come up. Everyone just trusted who I was and what my decision was, and there was no explanation need. The compassion that I received was overwhelming and amazing. I am eternally grateful to Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan Washington, DC.
Not everyone is as lucky. And even if you have all the resources you need, sometimes they simply aren’t enough, and you need a place like Planned Parenthood. Just take my story for example.
Planned Parenthood is there for everyone, regardless of socioeconomic status, race, gender, sexuality, or immigration status. I am so grateful for the care I received at PPMW, and I will always remember that they were there for me when I needed it the most.
And to the people who make it their life mission to defund Planned Parenthood or outlaw safe, legal abortion, I hope they never have to make that decision, because it was the hardest decision I’ve ever made. But, I think if they did, it might change their mind. I hope you never, ever have to go through what my family and I went through.