Ashley's Story

I'm a 24 year old mother of one.  My son, who is 33 months old, was a month premature - he was diagnosed with SVT (Supraventricular Tachycardia) at 6 weeks old - I seen very disturbing and heartwrenching things watching him.  He had 3 IVs, was suffocated several times (with SVT the heart rate races - his would climb to 260 and 270 beats per minute - the only way the nurses and doctors could get my son out of his SVT attacks were to suffocate him with an ice-filled trash bag - horrifying!), monitors, shots - it was rough! 

When his SVT was discovered his left ventricle was failing and his liver was dropping.  My husband and I almost lost him.  After a week in PICU (Pediatric Intensive Care Unit) and a year's worth of 2 hour trips to the doctor weekly, monthly, bimonthly, etc. he's "normal" - for now.

Now, on to my story.  In November I discovered I was pregnant.  I didn't want to bring another child in this world like my son.  It may sound selfish, but I seen my son suffer.  He can't take anything without me checking it out first - even eye drops!  It's a personal hell.  I couldn't bear to think that I could bring another child in this world with a chance of being that way.

Another factor was the medicine I was on - Ativan.  From what I've read it can be addictive to the baby (God knows I'm addicted to it).  And, when I got pregnant I was sickly.  I was taking too too much over the counter cold medicines just to cope with taking care of my son - who was also sick.  I was terrified!

I was scared that the baby wouldn't make it to term - I was afraid of what could be wrong with it.

I made the appointment for the week before Christmas (the only time my husband had time off to take me).  He was totally supportive of my abortion.  He knew that our son was a handful - any illness can cause an SVT attack - fevers can elevate his heart rate - so it's tough.  We made the appointment at a clinic about an hour and a half away from home.  The appointment was early in the morning - which meant I did not slept any the night before.  The procedure was simple - a little painful - but simple.

Emotionally, I'm still a rollercoaster!  At times I feel like I've made the right decision.  Others, I cry over the little one that didn't get the chance.  But, with all things considered (my husband works almost 7 days a week just for us to make it, we're up to our neck with debt over our son's hospital bills and medications - it's hard enough to give our son a halfway decent life, much less think of another little one), I think I've done right. 

I know I feel better just by telling my little story.  I had no one I could talk with except the people at the clinic and my husband.

Ashley W.
Thursday, 27 Jan 2005


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