A Cornual Pregnancy, Chapter Two
(For Chapter One, click HERE.)
We booked a hotel close to La Guardia airport so that we could get out of the city as soon as possible after the procedure. We had to go to Columbia Presbyterian which we learned was in a dangerous area. I giggle when I think back to how naive we were. I have visited NYC dozens of times since that day and I love everything about the city; so much so that I feel like I’m home whenever I’m there. I would move there if I could. Our baby girl attends college not too far from the area and attends church in Harlem. Life is weird like that sometimes. We’ve come so far.
We had so many questions in addition to the actual procedure, one being how we would get from the airport to the hospital. Isn’t that so silly? Now I land at La Guardia and act like I own the place. Back then, NYC was a scary place to me. We decided to take a car with a driver that had a cell phone. Yes, this was 1994 and cell phones were not plentiful. We wanted the extra security of knowing if anything happened to me as far as the pregnancy was concerned, we would be able to get the help we needed. Luckily, none of the fears that played out in my mind ever happened. We arrived at the hospital and I remember seeing so many people waiting there, but they took me right away.
Once again, it was shocking to me that everyone assumed I knew what was going on. As the morning progressed, I learned more and more. All I knew about fertility was what I knew about my personal situation. I didn’t know that there was a larger world out there with so many technological advances. Apparently, as I soon discovered, I was sent to NYC to have a procedure called “selective pregnancy reduction,” which is a procedure for women who are pregnant with multiple embryos. From the way the nurses behaved, it seemed like it was a common thing. They were going about their day as if it was something they did day in and day out, because they did.
While the nurses and doctor were very friendly and accommodating to my physical needs, there was absolutely no acknowledgement of my emotions. As I went along from nurse to nurse to doctor, the number one question they kept asking me was, “How many are you getting reduced to?” Apparently, selective pregnancy reduction was (and still is) a common procedure for women who were pregnant with multiples and wanted to abort some of the babies so that they would only have triplets or twins. Or go from triples or twins to one. Or, in my case, from one to zero. (In hindsight, the fact that my doctor knew that this procedure would work for me was pretty remarkable.) To the nurses’ credit, I don’t think they knew what to say to me because they weren’t used to my answer. I just repeated “zero” every time someone asked and we all kept doing our things.
I’ll spare you as much of the details as I can, but let’s face it: if you’re reading here, you probably want to know. I wasn’t prepared for any of it. As many times as they asked me how many I was “being reduced to,” I asked if I was having something like a D&C – another procedure I knew nothing about. I just remember hearing the word when I was a kid. I received the same response from everyone, which was, “Oh no, honey! A D&C would kill you!” Well, gee, thanks. Can we just get this over with now, please?
Before the procedure, the doctor performed one more ultrasound to confirm (this would be the third doctor to confirm) that yes, I had a cornual pregnancy. Before we left for NYC, Neily Bear and I met with the Bishop from our church. He told us to have faith in the doctors and that the doctors would know what to do and would not lead me astray. Once the diagnosis was confirmed for a third time, we knew there was no turning back.
For the next chapter, click HERE.
For Chapter One, click HERE.