In 1986 I had been married for almost 5 years and had a 2-year-old daughter. We found out after trying for a few months I was pregnant. One evening a week from my due date I noticed the baby was not moving. That night we went to the hospital for an OB check and got the worst news possible. There was no heartbeat.
The next morning, I met with my regular OB who told me about the possibility of using a new drug, Prostaglandin E2 to start labor. But due to the Pro-life movement, the drug had not been approved. I was sent home, at full term, to wait for labor to start. Joshua was stillborn a week later with Trisomy 13, a condition incompatible with life. It was the worst week of our lives. Instead of bringing home our son, we were planning a funeral. Two years later we had another daughter, and 3 years after that a surprise third daughter. With both of those pregnancies, we had an amniocentesis and level 3 ultrasounds. Would I have terminated those pregnancies if they had the same thing? I don’t know, but I wanted the choice, unlike what happened with Joshua. I had to live that week wanting to die like my little boy, unable to look past the fresh grief. Would it have been easier if the pregnancy had ended that night in the hospital than a week later? Maybe, but I did not get the CHOICE to find out.
Joshua Arthur 8.1.1986