When my son was 18 months old, we decided to try for a sibling. My first pregnancy ended in an early miscarriage. I quickly became pregnant again, and once we passed through the first trimester, I breathed a sigh of relief.

I was safe, right? We eagerly awaited the 20-week ultrasound when we’d find out if our son will have a little brother or sister. We went to a radiology office and the technician was chatty and told us we were going to have a boy. She suggested we head back to our doctor’s office and we thought nothing of it. Upon arriving, my doctor told us how sorry she was. I had no idea what she was talking about. And then she told us that our son’s brain wasn’t measuring well. We went for a second opinion that confirmed that the brain was not developing normally. We went for a third opinion, which included an MRI, and was given the prognosis that IF our son survived to term, he would have the developmental quality of life of a two-month-old.

We chose to terminate the pregnancy and spare him pain. I was 21-weeks. I became pregnant again the same month he was due, and 19 weeks later, we received the same diagnosis, this time for a daughter. For a second time, we said an early goodbye. My husband and I have a recessive gene that we contributed to both of these pregnancies that resulted in major brain malformations. We cannot test for this gene, as it is unknown. The soonest we have a sense of whether this gene is present is at 18 weeks gestation, when we can do an MRI. I am blessed that I have gone on to have two healthy children. They would not be here if I was unable to have an abortion.