I met Rose (not her real name) at our clinic about six months ago. She was there to end a very wanted pregnancy. She had limited means but really wanted a child. Her first cycle of IVF didn’t take. To maximize her chances of success with the second cycle, her doctor did preimplantation genetic testing and put back a viable female embryo.
At around 13 weeks, she and her husband discovered that their daughter had multiple developmental abnormalities, and they were told that she would likely not survive the pregnancy. After much thought and praying, they decided to end the pregnancy; they feared that the more their daughter developed, the more they would become attached to her and the more devastating the loss would be. Their struggle was made worse by Rose’s mother-in-law, who told her that if she would have just been healthier, she would not have made such a “defective baby.”
Rose and her husband were referred to our clinic by their high-risk obstetrician. Unfortunately, that physician worked in a hospital that severely limits abortion access and was unable to assist her in ending the pregnancy. The day of their visit, an ultrasound was performed. It confirmed that Rose’s daughter had died. We offered to send her back to the doctor who referred her so that she could have her pregnancy (now considered a miscarriage) managed in a hospital operating room with general anesthesia. She declined this offer. She was at our clinic and simply wanted to be on the other side of the experience. With her remaining courage, she entered our procedure room, where her life was changed.