At this time, last year, I was waiting on results from a CVS test to let me know whether or not my pregnancy was viable. It was not.
Yesterday, I gave my narrative in support of an amicus brief being written for the Supreme Court concerning June Medical Services v. Gee, a case challenging a Louisiana law identical to the Texas law the Court struck down in Whole Woman’s Health just a few years ago.
113 women in the legal profession who had abortions came forward as amici during the consideration of Whole Woman’s Health to explain to the Court how safe and legal access to abortion care was critical to their lives and careers, and to the legal profession itself. Their brief received coverage by multiple high-visibility, reputable, national media outlets, and is believed to have contributed a critical perspective to the Court and the public. It is hoped that this brief will provide some of the support necessary for continuing protection of women’s reproductive rights in America.
As a female member of the legal community, I explained why I terminated a wanted pregnancy, why I think the right to safe, legal abortion is important for all American women, and why it matters to me that my narrative be included. Having already shared my personal narrative of what occurred last year, I want to share the last bit with you.
I wrote, “It means a lot to me to identify myself as a member of the legal profession who has had an abortion because I am now 15 weeks pregnant with another daughter, after the loss of my last. I have to be brave enough to tell our story loudly, so that she can avoid unnecessary suffering at the hands of people who do not value her as more than a brood mare. Her sister did not die because I didn’t want a child. Her sister died because I had to make the choice between the possibility of giving birth to a child who would certainly die a painful death within 2 years and/or kill me in the process of childbirth — and a guarantee of living, which would give rise to the possibility of future, healthy children. It’s not fair that any woman should have to look at a future of legal punishment for being faced with that terrible choice — especially when that choice was not made alone, but with the counsel of a respected high-risk maternal-fetal medicine doctor and her loving husband. I’m honor and duty-bound to help protect the right to that medical care, and the gift of disability gives me the courage to do so without fear of comeuppance that could affect my career.”
To be honest, talking about being a part of this amicus brief is not how I envisioned announcing my viable, healthy pregnancy on this blog, but it feels right… Kinda like using Playdoh to create a baking soda & vinegar volcano seemed like the right way to announce to Henry that he is having a sister. (Seriously, you should click that link. The video is pretty damn cute, and I can’t imbed it here without paying extra to WordPress.)
I’m due May 2nd or 3rd (depending on which set of ultrasounds you’re looking at). Funny enough, that’s the same due date that Henry had. So, it’s entirely possible that he’ll end up with a sibling as birthday present. If I get the luxury of scheduling a c-section and biology cooperates, I’ll give them separate days, for sure. May the 4th seems great for geek-positive reasons, though I’m not convinced that I want to name her “Leia,” and “Rey” is just right out.
My biggest fears, during this pregnancy, have to do with a medical condition that I was diagnosed with in January of 2018, which didn’t become terribly concerning to me until this pregnancy. I was so busy being excited that I didn’t have any cancers after my bone marrow biopsy that being worried about Primary Immunodeficiency (Common Variable Immune Deficiency most likely being my specific PI) didn’t even ping as a consideration… but now that I’m 15 weeks, 2 days pregnant with a pregnancy free from genetic abnormalities and cystic hygromas, it’s become concerning to me that across-the-board, my immunoglobulins (IgA, IgG, and IgM) are crazy low. Fortunately, my white count, platelets, and everything else look good.
According to an article on NIH, “When a woman treated for CVID gets pregnant the adequate treatment is necessary not only to protect patient from infections, but also to allow sufficient transfer of IgG through the placenta to supply the fetus and consequently the newborn.” So, I’m talking with my OB and neurology team about whether or not I should start IVIG. I’ll do whatever they think is best — including finding an immunologist in their hospital network if necessary. I’m not taking any chances with our daughter’s well-being — medically or legally.