Sunday, February 25, 2007

Ultrasounds and our doctor suggesting an abortion with 12 weeks to go in the pregnancy.

It is Feburary 25th, 3:45am, and I cannot sleep. I just spent the last twenty minutes playing with my wife's belly which contains our highly-reactive kicking baby. I think the activity was too much for my wonderful sleeping wife, who consequently just kicked me out of the bed.

Our kicking baby is the subject of this blog entry, as he or she has caused my wife and I quite a scare.

The Rebbe was highly against having ultrasounds "just for fun," or "just for whatever." His reasoning was that we shouldn't disturb the growing process of the baby unless there was a significant reason to do so [especially in such a lawsuit-oriented society]. The Rebbe was against routine ultrasounds and unnecessary testing, especially since in normal circumstances, we Jews do not believe in abortion, and thus it does nobody any good to peer into the womb unless there is something that could be fixed as a result of having the information from the ultrasound.

Anyway, after having two ultrasounds and after tracking the progress of our unborn child for almost the past two months, the doctor on Friday morning suggested that we get an abortion because there is a possibility that something is wrong. I want to point out that we are late in the third trimester and we have a smart, reactive, and playful child in the womb, and the doctor suggested that while it is illegal in our State to perform an abortion at this point of the pregnancy, there are certain States that we could travel to where we could receive an abortion.

I'll tell you right upfront, while my wife and I didn't even look at each other when this was suggested, later we shared how we were both horrified at the suggestion of an abortion, especially because nothing is deformed or missing and because the organs are all in good health and are in proportional shape. The problem that the doctors were seeing is that our unborn child is not growing at the rate they feel he or she should be growing, so while the doctors think that this might vaguely point to a genetic trisomy problem, it seems that for the time being, my little "mini me" is indeed mini.

Anyway, all this in the wake of me passing the patent bar exam and finally being finished with all my schooling has led to quite a bit of stress and concern for the health of our unborn child.

After speaking to my mashpia today about the situation, he agreed with my wife that since there is nothing for certain wrong with our child, and since further monitoring with ultrasounds cannot change the genetics of our child, nor can further ultrasounds induce its growth to fall back into normal levels, it is probably best that instead of having bi-weekly ultrasounds to monitor the child's growth and dampen the pregnancy with worries and concerns, that we should let nature take its course and allow the pregnancy to proceed without bothering the baby repeatedly since in this case, there is nothing that can or would be done to change the genetics, the health, or the size of the baby by peering into the womb through yet another ultrasound checkup.


mother in israel said...

Praying that everything is fine with your baby. I agree that these tests cause so much unnecessary stress.

Anonymous said...

ariadneK, Ph.D. said...

Ultrasounds (and the frequency with which they are performed) = highly overrated. I am outraged that the doctor would make such a suggestion based on merely an ultrasound rather than amniocentesis with genetic conclusiveness (and sensitivity to your faith) to begin with. Were it possible, I would want to consider getting a new doctor more compassionate and sensitive to you and your wife.

Peace to you,

Ahuva said...

Normally I would argue against changing the doctor so late in the pregnancy, but I am amazed that a doctor would suggest an abortion without first performing more extensive testing. Even if religious beliefs weren't involved, late term abortions aren't trivial and traveling out of state to have one is NOT something to be suggested lightly.

Are there ANY orthodox doctors you could go to instead?

Best of luck to you both.

Miriam Woelke said...


Additionally to the ultrasound, isn't there a possibility of a blood test ?
Otherwise I completely agree with "mother in israel".

Kol Tuv.

meme said...

mindboggling that the doctor could suggest something like this so late in the pregnancy on such slim basis

I hope that all will be well with your baby and that you will have much nachat from a healthy child soon.

Mel Balsamo said...

I know! I strongly agree with you people, how heartless could a person be to suggest of abortion?! And the fact that he is a doctor, should be ashamed of himself! Any other doctor would do his best to make your baby alright. I would suggest indeed that you change your doctor because at this point of your late pregnancy, you'd still want to make sure you are doing the right things.

In cases like this, some doctors would suggest giving birth immediately even if it's not your due date yet. Your baby might just be placed in an incubator so he could still develop the rest of his body parts, until your supposed-to-be due date comes and you can be able to take him home by then.

I wish you all the best with your wife and baby, hope they both be well. You'll be in my prayers.

Mel Balsamo