We had to end a failed pregnancy

Kyle Maxwell

I never imagined that my journey to fatherhood would begin with the termination of a wanted pregnancy.

Just months after getting married in the majestic beauty of the mountains east of Albuquerque, my wife and I were standing in the bathroom waiting for the results of our first pregnancy test. The tiny digital display showed one word: pregnant.

We waited anxiously for our visits to the doctor to begin. On the first ultrasound we only saw a blinking dot of a heartbeat. Just weeks later, we saw our baby, now the size of a lime, with recognizable arms and legs reassuringly rocking back and forth on the screen.

My joy quickly turned to fear. The fetus had more than normal fluid behind the neck, which correlates with a number of genetic disorders. A week later, chorionic villus sampling (CVS) confirmed a whole chromosome genetic disorder that often results in pregnancy losses but can be treated with a reasonable quality of life if the baby makes it to term.

Having to endure my wife’s terrible morning sickness, we decided to give our little girl a chance and see if she would survive.

As early as possible we went for a full anatomical ultrasound to see if the internal organs are forming properly. They were not. The medical technician listed half a dozen illnesses, including severe hydrops. We had to ask the doctor before they rushed off, “Will our baby make it to term?” The answer was quick: “unlikely.”

My wife was still barely able to eat because of the morning sickness that lasted all day. We knew we couldn’t take any more of it than we had to. We had to terminate the missing pregnancy.

After the procedure, we received resources on miscarriage support groups. I didn’t know at the time if it was necessary, but grief comes in stages, beginning with denial. Even now, six years later, the memory of our loss brings tears to my eyes.

With the inversion of Roe v. Wade, I’m filled with renewed pain and heartache, the same pain I feel with renewed vigour, each year when we never reach the due date. America has restored to states the right to oppress the individual and control their medical decisions.

Do we really believe that people carelessly use abortion as birth control? Does former President Trump accurately describe it as “snatched from its mother just before birth”? No, these inflammatory statements are meant to infuriate people to the point where they can’t think straight.

… Having to choose to have an abortion hurts enough as it is. We cannot accept these false narratives.

New Mexico has become one of the last bastions of reproductive medicine in the southern United States. We must protect our rights; We can no longer close clinics. We need to vote in primary and local elections, raise our voice and get involved. … protect love and family, retain freedom of choice.

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