The curve of his nose. If i was a doctor essay could even see his small leg floating slowly through my uterus. My doctor came in a moment later, slid the ultrasound sensor around my growing, round belly and put her hand on my shoulder.
She turned her back to me and started taking notes. I looked at the wall, breathing deeply, trying not to cry. I can make it through this, I thought. I didn’t know I was about to become a pariah.
I was 19 weeks pregnant, strong, fit and happy, imagining our fourth child, the newest member of our family. He would have dark hair and bright eyes. He’d be intelligent and strong — really strong, judging by his early kicks. I didn’t realize that pressures well beyond my uterus, beyond the too bright, too-loud, too-small ultrasound room, extending all the way to boardrooms of hospitals, administrative sessions at medical schools and committee hearings in Congress, were going to deepen and expand my sorrow and pain. The law, which faces vigorous challenges, is the most significant change to the nation’s abortion laws since the U.
Supreme Court ruled abortion legal in Roe v. One of the unintended consequences of this new law is that it put people in my position, with a fetus that is already dead, in a technical limbo. Legally, a doctor can still surgically take a dead body out of a pregnant woman. At the same time, fewer medical schools are training doctors to do these procedures. After all, why spend time training for a surgery that’s likely to be made illegal? At this point, 74 percent of obstetrics and gynecology residency programs do not train all residents in abortion procedures, according to reproductive health researchers at the National Abortion Federation.
C, the 15-minute uterine scraping used for abortions of fetuses under 13 weeks old. Es, the procedure used on fetuses from about 13 to 19 weeks. Almost all the doctors doing them are over 50 years old. Ron Fitzsimmons, executive director of the National Coalition of Abortion Providers. She told me that because dilation and evacuation is rarely offered in my community, I could opt instead to chemically induce labor over several days and then deliver the little body at my local maternity ward. Es are safer than labor and delivery.
Es were far less likely to have bleeding requiring transfusion, infection requiring intravenous antibiotics, organ injuries requiring additional surgery or cervical laceration requiring repair and hospital readmission. If the body were intact, doctors might be able to more easily figure out why my baby died in the womb. I run, swim and bike. I’m 37 years old and optimistic. Good things happen to me.
I didn’t want to rule out having more kids, but I did want to know what went wrong before I tried again. We told our doctor we had chosen a dilation and evacuation. I trained at a Catholic hospital. My doctor recommended a specialist in a neighboring county, but when I called for an appointment, they said they couldn’t see me for almost a week. I could feel my baby’s dead body inside of mine. This baby had thrilled me with kicks and flutters, those first soft tickles of life bringing a smile to my face and my hand to my rounding belly.
Now this baby floated, limp and heavy, from one side to the other, as I rolled in my bed. And within a day, I started to bleed. My body, with or without a doctor’s help, was starting to expel the fetus. Technically, I was threatening a spontaneous abortion, the least safe of the available options. I did what any pregnant patient would do. And she advised me to wait. I lay in my bed, not sleeping day or night, trying not to lose this little baby’s body that my own womb was working to expel.
Let a doctor take this out. Was it going to fall out of my body when I rose, in the middle of the night, to check on my toddler? Would it come apart on its own and double me over, knock me to the floor, as I stood at the stove scrambling eggs for my boys? On my fourth morning, with the bleeding and cramping increasing, I couldn’t wait any more. I called my doctor and was told that since I wasn’t hemorrhaging, I should not come in. Her partner, on call, pedantically explained that women can safely lose a lot of blood, even during a routine period. I began calling labor and delivery units at the top five medical centers in my area.
I told them I had been 19 weeks along. E in a few days. If I come in right now, what could you do for me, I asked. Don’t come in, they told me again and again.
Go to your emergency room if you are hemorrhaging to avoid bleeding to death. E today, and unless you’re really in active labor you’re safer to wait. More than 66,000 women each year in the U. 13 and 20 weeks, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC doesn’t specify the physical circumstances of the women or their fetuses. Other CDC data shows that 4,000 women miscarry in their second trimester. Again, the data doesn’t clarify whether those 4,000 women have to go through surgery.