Updated: Jan 4
I had a complete hysterectomy that removed my uterus and a baby with a healthily beating heart the night before Roe v Wade was overturned.
My partner and I had been trying to get pregnant for two years, and when we gave up it finally happened. We were excited but nervous. I started bleeding three different times and thought I was miscarrying each time. But every time they checked it was still there, heart rate increasing. With all the early ultrasounds they noticed it was implanted close to my c-section scar. Things started happening very fast and suddenly I was sent to a specialist in Anchorage who confirmed my doctor's suspicions - it was a rare ectopic pregnancy called a c-section scar ectopic. The placenta grows into the scar tissue and ruptures the uterine wall, often in the first trimester.
My HcG levels were too high to end the pregnancy with a drug called methotrexate, and a D+C (dilation and curettage) would have likely punctured my bladder. So on Friday morning my pregnant body woke up without anything in it - a sudden evacuation of a pregnancy and everything that would let me try to have a baby again.
In the midst of all the ensuing sadness, I find myself incredibly thankful to live in a time and place when this condition can not only be detected but also that I was able to have a procedure that would save my life. Providence had to approve this through their ethics board because they are a Catholic institution, and I am thankful that they respected the urgency of the situation.
I wanted that baby so much, but I was so thankful for the abortion. Waking up the morning after surgery in a hospital and watching the fall of Roe v Wade as I cried in pain and loss… I also felt relief that my childbearing years were over as the laws change and I would never be forced into a situation I didn’t want or that could injure me. I felt a great awareness of how lucky I was to have had my childbearing years fall in a period of time when women could make their own decisions regarding pregnancy. This week I have spent a lot of time crying for myself, for my partner, and for all the women who now have to make scared and furtive decisions when they are at their most vulnerable. Thanks for giving me a space to share.