Almost a year ago, my wife woke up on her birthday, bleeding. Two hours later, the ultrasound in the emergency room showed that we were no longer pregnant. This was our third miscarriage for the year, but the first two happened during the fourth or fifth week, not at the end of the first trimester like this one. Just days before, we surprised our parents by showing them a picture of the positive home pregnancy test. We daydreamed, prematurely, even discussing possible boy and girl names.
My wife cried uncontrollably, her whole body convulsing. That was the beginning of two awful months of procedures, scary test results, complications, and debilitating pains. Blood work showed a possible auto-immune condition that might have been causing the miscarriages; a CAT scan indicated a possible tumor on the fallopian tube (false); and my wife also discovered that she does not respond to Vicodine and other pain medications. I was emotionally and physically drained by the end of the ordeal, and I only experienced this by proxy. I have no idea how she was able to cope with this.
When we resumed trying to get pregnant, my wife said, "I don't think I am strong enough to go through something like this again and if I have another miscarriage, I don't know if I can continue trying to get pregnant." For half a year after that, we had no luck. The onset of every period sent her into a depression. She would periodically burst into tears at the sight of pregnant women and families with babies (living in a university’s family housing complex ensured that this was a frequent experience). We started discussing adoption, and our doctor gave us infertility literature, the day before my wife tested positive again.
Because of the past miscarriages and test results, my wife is now taking a number of pills and is on hormone therapy, to help this pregnancy. For weeks now, she has been suffering from migraines and constant nausea (she would be glad to have just morning sickness instead of the constitutive day-long one). Every one or two weeks, she panics because of some bleeding or because the symptoms are gone and rushes to get an ultrasound. And before every test, she turns white and starts trembling, terrified that something will be wrong. I am not sure I would be strong enough to handle all this in my own body, but she says after every ultrasound that it's all worth it for the chance to have a baby.
We have seen the heartbeat at week five, and we have seen the moving fetus last week. All the ultrasound pictures are on our refrigerator. We both use endearing words for the fetus. The desire to have everything work out is overwhelming. And yet, we have just discussed the prenatal genetic testing with our doctor, and we know that we might have to go through amniocentesis if something is wrong. We both understand that the only reason to do these tests, for us, is to increase the chances that if and when my wife does give birth, we will have a healthy baby.
I am in awe of my wife for going through all of this. How we hope that this pregnancy will be fine! But if it does turn out that she has to have an abortion, it won't be because she is a murderer who does not care about life or her baby. It would be precisely for the opposite reasons - because she wants a living, healthy child.
And our doctor, who has been helping us since the last miscarriage, wants the same for us. We are lucky to have an amazing person taking care of us - she specializes in complicated pregnancies; she performed the D&C after the miscarriage; she put my wife on the hormone therapy and the pills to sustain this pregnancy; she is counseling us on the prenatal tests, and she would do the D&C again if something were to go terribly wrong. Her whole life is dedicated to bringing babies into this world and to helping couples like us. Unfortunately, due to the biology, part of that effort includes abortions. Our doctor, my wife, and I - we are all pro-life. The killer of Dr. Tiller is not.