Submitted by: Cait
Just after Christmas last year I took a pregnancy test and found out I was pregnant. I have polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and don’t have a period, but was feeling a little off. I did not feel any real symptoms or sickness that I’d felt when I’d had my son 4 years earlier. My husband and I decided that it was not the time for us, since he is 55 and we run a small business that has been struggling since Covid.
On Jan 8, I went to the clinic on my own because Covid restrictions didn’t allow additional people, and when the nurse performed the ultrasound she dated the baby at 23 weeks. They were unable to perform the standard procedure and referred me to another ultrasound clinic to double check. At the other clinic the technician pushed on my stomach and that was the first time I felt you kick. She told me you were a boy and I watched you kick and roll as she took your measurements. I left the clinic never having felt so confused or alone in my life. All I could think of were all of the times I had too much to drink or did anything unhealthy over the past 5 months before I knew you were there. I thought about whether it hurt you or if you were growing normally since all I knew were statistics, but nobody want to help me with advice on a human level.
The next day the clinic called to book a D+E procedure and I was unsure what I should do. They told be that because of the date, I had only 3 days to decide. That was the hardest weekend of my life. Every night I lay in bed crying myself to sleep as I could feel you moving and it broke my heart that you would kick when you heard your brother’s voice. I felt so much love for you that you and I’m not sure I will ever forgive myself for what I thought was the right thing to do. Your dad and I were unsure of your health or whether we’d be able to give you the life you’d deserve, so we made the decision to go ahead with the procedure.
When I went to the hospital for the first appointment, I talked to a social worker but I was so sad that your dad wasn’t able to come with me to make the final decision. When I left alone I immediately recognized that feeling of the contractions and labour pains. I felt regret but knew there was no turning back.
The next day I was taken back to the hospital to give birth surgically. When I woke up in the operating room I cried so hard when I felt my tummy and you weren’t there as I could see them wrapping up your tiny body.
When your dad brought me home he saw your ultrasound pictures and your small footprints that they gave me, and it hit him for the first time the way it had hit me when I went to the ultrasound alone. We felt we were making the best decision for you because we were told of all of the potential problems without prenatal care, but in that moment it didn’t feel like we did the right thing. I can see the sadness in his face when we see another baby or when your brother asked for a sibling last week. We expected it to get easier but I’m not sure that it ever will.
I’m sorry that I didn’t know you were there and that I didn’t take care of you the way you needed me to. You deserved to have a mother that could have done those things. I hope I won’t always be in pain, but also hope that I will never forget your tiny kicks or the way you felt. I will always love you with all of my heart.