When a pregnancy isn’t viable

(written by lawrence krubner, however indented passages are often quotes). You can contact lawrence at: lawrence@krubner.com

This is a sad story:

What happened at 31 weeks?

We went back to get a growth scan, and we saw the growth had fallen off a cliff. And this was the first time that we had been presented with this idea that there was something deeply wrong with the baby that had nothing to do with me. Until that point, all the really bad news had been with me, and my weird body. He had been thriving despite the environment.

But on this scan, he’d gone from the 37th percentile to the 8th. And he wasn’t swallowing.

And this is the one where the doctor told you that the baby wouldn’t be able to breathe.

Yes. With the feet turning in, the hands clenched, the not swallowing, the doctor told us that he suspected there was something muscular going on—something deeply, deeply wrong.

I want to say, also, we were at a high-risk medical center in New York City. We’d been long ago passed off by my regular OB. All the doctors are highly published; we really trusted them. So there was no ambiguity when they realized something was really, really, really deeply wrong. They had been really optimistic the whole time; they see the worst cases and often still get good results. When they were upset, we knew it was bad.

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