I’m starting things off with an important story submitted by a reader. As a warning, this story talks about a difficult prenatal diagnosis and abortion. Please do what’s best for you and skip to below the break if that isn’t something you’re up for reading at this time.
Here’s our reader:
Devastating news. At 12 weeks pregnant, I had an abortion. I am 36 with a healthy toddler. We were pregnant with number 2 and performed a CVS at 10 weeks. On Monday, we received the news that our little baby had Trisomy 13. The doctors told us this condition is “incompatible with life.” On Tuesday, we met with the genetics counselor and formed our plan for an abortion.
For our family, as difficult as this decision was, it was pretty black and white. We live in Illinois, where abortion is legal. However, I am a federal employee with federal health insurance. Abortion is not covered under my health insurance due to the Hyde Amendment. If I were to have the procedure with my doctor at my hospital, it would have cost $15,000 to $25,000. My husband and I googled how to get the health care we needed. We chose the clinic location based on a Google review and paid $600 out of pocket. I never imagined having to go through this, let alone having to advocate and go out and find the care that we needed. I speak English, am educated, and have financial resources, and it was absolutely traumatic trying to find care. I’ve never felt more privileged in my life. I can only imagine how much more traumatic this would have been if I lived in a different state or didn’t have the resources I’m so lucky to have. My heart aches and I am angry.
What I love about your books is all the data and science and numbers. However, there is no comparing one woman’s situation to another: one zillion variables. Each woman knows her own variables better than anyone else ever possibly could. I think abortion needs to be legalized at the national level, so that every woman can weigh her variables and make the decision that is best for her. Another family might have made a very different decision than what my family made, and I absolutely respect that. There is no “right” answer, only what is right for your family.
For the women out there who are suffering in silence, dealing with their own unique nightmare, I respect and support you. Struggling to conceive, miscarriage, stillbirth, pregnancy complications, postpartum issues — the list of tragedies goes on and on and on. If chosen, the path to motherhood is often long and winding. I stand with all of you.
—Mother of one
So much of my writing focuses on data and making your own parenting choices. I am devastated for this mother and all parents who feel that medical choices are taken away from them. Please leave a kind message for her in the comments (any unkind messages will be blocked), and if you need even more positivity, I recommend revisiting the comments from this post as well, about raising children in a post-Roe world.
And now, on to your parenting wins and woes…
We’ve been talking about “compromise” with our 3-year-old and have practiced compromising a few times. Tonight she wanted to take all her “doctor stuff” into bed with her. We told her she could take one thing to bed, and that was not acceptable to her. We could see a huge meltdown coming, on top of being fussy because she is sick. My husband asked her if there was a compromise. Then we both did a great job waiting and letting her think about it. She thought. And thought. Then she said, “Take two?” And we said, “Yes! You can take two doctor things to bed!” I was so proud of us for being okay with a compromise, and giving her the wait time to think it through. And I was so proud of her for figuring it out!
I introduced my daughter to solids starting at six months. She has now had two reactions to food, and it is so mentally draining and makes me feel so guilty, when I know it’s not anything that is directly my fault. I am so emotional about this that I find it hard to hold it together to be the strong advocate in her life to get to the bottom of this. Wishing I had thicker skin in this moment.
My 18-month-old daughter always loves bath time but suddenly became terrified of it after a poop accident and resulting parent freak-out. We tried so many tactics to get her back in the tub (more bubbles, less bubbles, colored foam, different bathroom, bath with mama, shower instead, even bath with a diaper). Finally landed on a winner — disco bath, complete with glow-in-the-dark toys and techno music! After a few days of raves, she’s back to a normal bath time!
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