Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Drawing a Line in the Pain

For years, many parents in our Heart 2 Heart group have marveled at how certain perinatologists in our area continue to recommend terminating a pregnancy when a heart defect is diagnosed in utero. Last year, after speaking to a friend who is a doctor - and on the Catholic Pro-Life committee here in StL - I learned that physicians are required to give a patient all of their options.

I thought back to the day my OB discovered I was carrying twins. He had stated that I could selectively reduce the embryos, but informed me I would need to go elsewhere to do so. I looked at him cross-eyed and told him he was nuts. Having twins is every girls' dream, isn't it? Although my fear quadrupled over the possible complications, I was thrilled at the prospect of being the mama of twins.

But what if the mom who just heard that the unborn baby developing inside her had a life-threatening medical condition. When the doctor told her all of her options, how much would she recall?

Maybe a mother would hear and remember only that the chances of her baby surviving are improving each year and that, although the baby would require surgery, she would likely do well and live a remarkable life.

Maybe another mom would hear that terminating the pregnancy was the only option because surgery would be inevitable and any risk of mortality is striking when it's your own baby being brought into the world.

Maybe it's not the way doctors present it but rather the way it is remembered?


I have some things on my mind this week. And since this blog is my means, I am blessed to write my thoughts here.

To be continued...
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