Pregnancy: Terminated

June 11, 2011 By: erik Category: Family, News, Offspring, Parenting 495 views

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On June 2, 2011, we went into Santander to visit a private obstetrician, the same guy we visited with the first pregnancy. His professionalism and caring way of treating us impressed us both times we’ve seen him. About halfway through the sonogram, he said, “I’m afraid I don’t have good news for you.” He took the time to carefully explain all the developmental deformations the fetus had, listed the many possible causes, and described the sum of deformations with a phrase I will never forget: “incompatible with life”.

With our thinking not bogged down by religious dogma, the decision was clear: the pregnancy should be terminated. How lucky we are to live in a time when such technology can foresee a painful infant death and to live in a country with the sophisticated system of ethics to allow such a pregnancy termination.

Needless to say, it has been a rough week for us. I can say, however, with total certainty that losing a fetus that you’ve never met cannot be compared with the loss of a child. It is disappointing to have the happy future you have been planning for months be ripped away from you, but I have no doubt that we’ll be just fine.

The termination took place this afternoon. It would have been a boy.

Rather than feel sorry for us, I ask that those of you that do have fully formed children, give them an extra hug today and appreciate your good fortune. Our two year old, Nora, has been a beacon of happiness for us in this storm.

  • Lee

    Erik, we’ve never met and probably never will, but I love to visit your blog, read stories about Nora and your family and your town and compare your musings on being a foreigner in Spain to my own.. And at first I didn’t want to put a comment here, because your loss is so personal. But I also know that a loss like yours can leave make other people feel uncertain about what to say, to the point of saying nothing. My sister lost her first baby to crib death when he was 8 weeks old. and I remember how isolated I felt because many of my friends said nothing, under the good intentions of not saying the wrong thing.
    From the impression I get of you and Marga, you seem like exceptional people, and I know that whatever the future will bring you, you’ll deal with it with grace and optimism. You both have a lot of love in your life, and that’s all anyone really needs.Un abrazo muy fuerte.

  • Andrea

    I am so, so sorry. Giving Eva and Jack extra hugs and kisses for you right now.

  • Jimy

    I agree with Lee.  I wasn’t going to leave a comment but somehow I feel close to you through reading your blog and being another American in Spain.  Your post has made me shed a tear and am also saddened by the news. I know that Nora will help you both be strong and get through this difficult time.

  • Erik, I’m sorry to hear about your loss.  Despite the differences in locations, I feel like I’ve gotten to know you and your family pretty well over the last year. 
    My thoughts will be with you and your family, in the coming days.

  • Rebeca

    God! I’m so sorry to hear abour your loss. I’ve been reading your blog for about a year and feel as though I know you and your wonderful family. I don’t have a child to give a hug to but I’m sending you (and Marga, Nora and both families) a hug and a kiss.


  • Emily

    Erik, extra long and extra strong hugs to you, Marga, and Nora. I wish I could deliver those in person.

    Your post is an amazingly graceful one, and I celebrate along with you the chance you and Marga had to make a choice that, painful as I imagine it was, spared your son from an even more painful existence, and spared your family from the anguish of losing an infant to a too-early death.

    You’re all very much in my thoughts.

  • Oh, Erik. I am so sorry and heartbroken for you, Marga, and Nora.

  • Mondraussie

    Although I know you asked that we don’t feel sorry for you, I would still like to say that I am so very sorry to hear your news. Hope you are all doing OK, thinking of you…

  • Kristel

    Best wishes to you, Marga, and Nora as life moves forward. So sorry to hear about the loss. Thankful that Marga is in good, compassionate medical hands.