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Kristen, Texas: my ob/gyn said everything was fine.

My husband and I got married within a year of dating because we wanted kids with each other. Having Celiac disease, I was ready for miscarriages or infertility. I was never ready for an unhealthy pregnancy; I didn't really know they existed.

At 13 weeks I had a sub-chorionic hematoma and went to Seton Hospital in South Austin. The doctor at the hospital insisted everything was okay and the reason I was bleeding was because I had been walking too much the night before. When I asked for red flags to look for, she said there wouldn't be any. When I went to my OB/GYN, she agreed that everything was fine with me and my baby.

Kristen, her husband and their daughter

It wasn't until 6 weeks later that I went to another doctor for a more detailed sonogram that we found multiple abnormalities in our daughter and I had blood in my amnio fluid. She had developed IUGR, spina bifida, hydrocephalus, and after further testing, she was diagnosed with Turner's Syndrome which gave a 1% chance of surviving pregnancy.

I had 4 days to decide what to do with my dying daughter and how it would affect my life since I had also developed placenta previa. My abortion cost us $2700, insurance refused to cover it and we had to travel over an hour to get the abortion because there was no clinic in Austin that would perform abortions after 17 weeks, even to save the Mother's life.

We had to take two weeks off of work; one so we could travel to San Antonio where late term abortions are offered, and a week after the abortion to recover from the surgery. I'm a nanny and when I went back to work, I couldn't hold my nanny child for a week.

The doctor that performed my abortion never answered any of the questions I had for him and I didn't have the option of having a woman doctor. I was the second to last out of 13 women and girls that had an abortion consecutively by the same doctor. My husband wasn't allowed to be with me through the whole process; from the short visits, to the surgery itself, I was all alone. I never considered the pregnancy to be just mine until the abortion clinic made sure I was alone. They did it to protect the women and girls who are pressured to get an abortion but there was nothing I could sign to get my husband to be with me for support.

Because I was 5 and a half months pregnant, I had seaweed shoved up my vagina to start the labor process. I don't know how many hours of labor I did but it was physically painful as much as it was mentally.

Had I been pregnant in the state I grew up in, none of this would have happened. At 13 weeks I would have had a D&C as treatment and I would have had a better opportunity to try again for a healthy pregnancy. Instead, this is what life is like in Austin, Texas. Blue dot in a red state doesn't mean anything.

- Kristen, Texas


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