Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Oh look! There's my luggage!

Did you know that suicide is a federal offense? Of course, it's only prosecuted if you fail in your attempt. So I suppose, only Attempted Suicide is illegal. I'm not really sure what the rationale behind that law actually is but it exists nonetheless.

Following that line of reasoning, if one attempts to kill a fetus (assuming it was after the first trimester), not once but twice, and fails, is that Attempted Murder? Or at least Assault or Child Abuse? I ask this in search of genuine understanding and not to drudge up some pro-life vs. pro-choice debate. (Frankly I waffle on the whole life vs. choice topic entirely too much to take sides. My inner debate can be summed up quickly like this: I am a Christian who believes life begins at conception, yet I have a uterus that is unequivocally mine, mine, mine, all mine and no one should tell me what to do with it.)

This morning I log on to my PC to find what, I'm sure, CBS thought was a nice warm-fuzzy story about the miracle of life against all odds. What I read, however, was almost horrifying. Parents carrying identical twins tried unsuccessfully twice to terminate one of the twins thinking he might die and take the other with him. Yet both survived and are healthy 7 month olds today. Obviously the doctors were very, very wrong. Obviously, the "failing" baby was not as bad off as the learned physicians thought. And twice? They didn't have time to re-think the thing after the first botched attempt?

This makes me question things. Things I'm not comfortable questioning. Creeeaaak! Did you hear that? It was the closet door opening. The closet that houses all my baggage.

Years ago I had a miscarriage - a "missed abortion" at 11.5 weeks. They did a D&C. It was very hard on me and I fell into a depression for months. Shortly after that I got pregnant again only to find that it was a tubal pregnancy when my fallopian tube ruptured on my way to the ER. Because of this ectopic pregnancy I began posting to an online board in search of information. One of the wonderful women I met on this board had a pregnancy after we met in which her doctors told her there was no heartbeat in the baby. They called it a "missed abortion" and scheduled her for a D&C. For some reason she insisted on an ultrasound just before the procedure. And right there on the monitor was the strongest little heartbeat you'd ever care to see. Well, obviously she did not have the procedure and she delivered a very healthy little girl. All's well that ends well, right? Right. Except that I can't even think about the fact that I didn't ask for an ultrasound before my D&C.

So can we trust doctors? Just how much practice is involved in practicing medicine?

I am very interested in everyone's opinions.


Sherry said...

Really interesting post Stella. Very thought provoking. Incredible what happened with those twins and with the woman you met.

I too had a missed abortion at 16 weeks but there was no question in my mind that it was a fact. I had cramps and pain to prove it. And I had an ultrasound before anything else was done.

Should you have had an ultrasound? I was have expected that as standard procedure before a termination was done.

What I think we always have to remember is that doctors do make mistakes. I think you said it best when you said "how much "practice" is in medical practice"...we know our bodies, we are in touch with our bodies and if we listen we sometimes hear that inner voice giving us direction. And as always we are reminded that we have to be our own advocates. At all times.

WhyMommy said...

Yowsers. What a story!

Medicine is an art, not a science. I've always believed that but am only now really understanding how much it is true....