American in Spain

Pregnancy: Terminated

June 11, 2011

On June 2, 2011, we went into Santander to visit a private obstetrician, the same guy we visited with the first pregnancy. His professionalism and caring way of treating us impressed us both times we've seen him. About halfway through the sonogram, he said, "I'm afraid I don't have good news for you." He took the time to carefully explain all the developmental deformations the fetus had, listed the many possible causes, and described the sum of deformations with a phrase I will never forget: "incompatible with life". With our thinking not bogged down by religious dogma, the decision was clear: the pregnancy should be terminated. How lucky we are to live in a time when such technology can foresee a painful infant death and to live in a country with the sophisticated system of ethics to allow such a pregnancy termination.

Needless to say, it has been a rough week for us. I can say, however, with total certainty that losing a fetus that you've never met cannot be compared with the loss of a child. It is disappointing to have the happy future you have been planning for months be ripped away from you, but I have no doubt that we'll be just fine.

The termination took place this afternoon. It would have been a boy.

Rather than feel sorry for us, I ask that those of you that do have fully formed children, give them an extra hug today and appreciate your good fortune. Our two year old, Nora, has been a beacon of happiness for us in this storm.