I Had An Abortion At 25 Weeks, 6 Days. Faced With The Same Horrific Choice, I'd Do It Again.

Two weeks after her loss, the author is pictured.

I lost the most important person in my life one year ago today. We had been together for six and a half months. I had been waiting for her my whole life.

I lay on the operating table with an IV port in my right arm.

I placed my left hand over my uterus and cried loudly, I was sure that the other pregnant people would hear me. I couldn't control my grief. This was the worst time of my life. I would do it again.

The days leading up to my abortion were a nightmare.

I was single and 42 years old. I wanted to be a mother. I had been trying to have a baby using donor sperm. I had spent tens of thousands of dollars on failed IUIs, two rounds of IVF, two failed embryo transfers, and two painful miscarriages.

My naive excitement turned to cautious optimism as months of infertility continued. When my last embryo transfer was a success, I was careful not to celebrate. I was relieved that my baby was low-risk for neural tube defects and chromosomal abnormality, but I didn't dare start naming him. I was overjoyed after my 20-week anatomy scans showed that my little girl was developing perfectly, but I wouldn't pose for a babybump shot. I moved to New York to be with my family at the height of the COVD-19 epidemic.

I wanted to give her the best life possible.

I avoided coffee, sushi, unpasteurized milk and cheese, cold cuts, and fish with high levels of mercury. I did yoga, calming meditations, and self-administered butt injections every night at 7 pm as instructed, and I had at least 90 of them in total during my pregnancy.

I did everything I could to make her happy and healthy. I had done everything correctly.

I wanted to give her the best life possible.

I shared my good news on social media at 24 weeks. It had been a bad year for us all, so my news was met with joy and love. My dad said that she was like the sun coming up over the horizon.

At 24 and a half weeks, the technician called the doctor to see him. Your baby's head is too small.

A rush of fear went through my body. My legs began to shake as my heart raced. Relax. This could be nothing. Don't feel bad. Don't jump to conclusions. Wait for more information.

The author is 22 weeks pregnant.

And then I did. My fetal magnetic resonance was not scheduled for seven days. I tried to numb myself so that I wouldn't fear, deny, or think that I'm crazy. I talked to my little girl. I told her how much I loved her. We were going to be fine, told her.

Fetal magnetic resonance would confirm the worst. Multiple brain problems. There was a piece of her temporal lobe missing. Her future? There are severe cognitive, motor and sensory impairments. Would she be able to run? Do you want to walk? Talk? Do you want to eat without aspirating? The doctor couldn't say for sure. Probably not.

It was clear that the diagnosis was correct. I was thankful for the severity because it made my decision clear and my resolve sharper. I knew that I had to end my pregnancies so that my precious daughter would not be stuck in a body that would cause her a lifetime of pain, and that she could live in a body that would allow her to play and laugh and breathe. A body that would live past her 10th birthday.

I would have an abortion.

I wanted to give her the best life possible.

An abortion at 25 weeks and six days is not easy. It is a multi-day process. A D&E is an emergency procedure. On day one, inject the fetus with KCL, which stops the heart, and begin the process of dilating the cervix. The fetus should be evacuated from the uterus on day two, three or four.

It was necessary because I couldn't find a doctor in New York that would do the procedure in my third trimester. If I missed my window, I would have to fly to Maryland or Colorado. I was worried I wouldn't be allowed to have the abortion.

They put me under and inserted a long needle into her heart on the operating table, because I was still crying and soaking my hair. Her soul was free to go. Her body would stay inside of me for another day.

I spent the next 24 hours with her lifeless body inside of my lifeless body. The kicks that made me happy last month were gone. I saw the bulge where her little body lay, my linea nigra leading down to a drab Band-Aid where they had made the fateful injection.

I went back to the abortion clinic the next morning. It was time to get back under the surface. I did not cry this time. The sooner this was over, the sooner I could grieve.

I woke up in an ambulance and was taken to the hospital. I was bleeding to death and needed blood. My body was shaking.

I felt the blood from my vagina every time the nurses and doctors pressed on my abdomen. I asked them to save my uterus and my ovaries. They put me under again, gave me two units of blood, sewed a laceration in my cervix, put a balloon in my uterus to stop the bleeding, and packed me with 16 feet of gauze. I would spend the next 24 hours in the surgical intensive care unit after getting two more units of blood.

The loss of my daughter, the fact that I alone was responsible for her death, and the physical trauma I had to go through to save my girl from a life of suffering were all things I had to go through. I experienced suffering because of abortion being politicized. That was not necessary.

When I discovered that I needed an abortion, my medical team didn't know where to send me or how to make the procedure less painful. They tried! The systems were not in place. I should have been aware of my options. D&E was not the only option. I could have had the injection and labored and delivered in the hospital. Would this have been safer? I don't know. I would have liked to have had the option.

I should have been given support groups, abortion funds, and lactation consultants to help with the milk that would come in after my abortion. I should have had time to say goodbye, but I had to deal with abortion politics. Less than 48 hours after my baby was diagnosed, I was rushed into a procedure that could have killed me.

On the anniversary of my abortion, six conservative Supreme Court justices are poised to overturn it. Mississippi's Solicitor General argued last week that a fetus recoils at 15 weeks when poked with a needle. Had I been forced to carry her to term, my daughter would have recoiled as she underwent countless painful procedures and surgeries. I wonder what Mr. Stewart would have done.

I am fortunate to be surrounded by loving people who believe that the pregnant person is the only one who can make the right decision for their body and baby. I have nothing but respect for those of you who choose to carry pregnancies with serious medical problems to term, and I hope this piece doesn't make you feel bad. My heart is with you. You made the right decision for yourself, your baby and your family.

I discovered thousands of other people like me who had to have a baby because of medical reasons through the Ending A Wanted Pregnancy support group. There are many people who don't feel safe sharing their stories. They have to grieve in silence and obfuscate the truth. We lost a baby. The baby did not survive. But rarely, I had an abortion.

Politics stigmatized the word. It was evil when it was compassionate. It is rare when it is actually common. It is a medical necessity. It is the hardest decision anyone has ever faced. It is a matter of life and death. I chose life for my daughter.

She was given the best life possible.

Molly is an actor, writer, and editor. She is known for her out-of-the-box creations, from editing herself into Oscar Roundtables and a full season of The Bachelor, to her SpermCast that sent her on a quest for a sperm donor, but captured her entire experience with infertility, pregnancy and loss. You can find Molly on social media.

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The article was originally on HuffPost.

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