This story is almost beyond comprehension. It is so unsettling and so very sad. Thanks Sarah Hey of SFIF for bringing this to light. DDW+Thirty years ago, I was in the ninth month of my second pregnancy when I received what was a very unsettling referral for a sonogram, which was not nearly as routine in those days. My eyes never once left the technician’s face as she studied the monitor. You can imagine my doubled apprehension as she left the room without offering me the small mercy of that nonchalant, “everything-is-normal-and-on-track” smile. When the OB-GYN followed her back into the room moments later, I really needed him to compensate for the technician’s serious breach of sonogram etiquette. Instead, he informed me that I was pregnant with twins.
I left that appointment just as frightened as every other woman who has ever received the same news. At the time, I already had a 23-month-old daughter; my financial resources, while not as limited as those of many new mothers, were light years away from reassuring; and my mental preparations had been for one baby, not two.As the news began to sink in over the following few days, however, my fear got some competition from a growing awareness of my personal strength. I was still terrified, naturally, but on some level I made a decision to battle that fear, to refuse to let it take me without a fight. I remember throwing open the phone book (the Google of the ’80s), and aggressively tracking down the contact information for the local Twins & Multiples club.In “The Two Minus One Pregnancy” article in The New York Times Magazine (Aug. 14), Ruth Padawer interviews women who, after becoming pregnant with twins using fertility drugs and procedures, decide to undergo a selective reduction. The women describe with illuminating candor their fears of the challenges of birthing two newborns at once; of not being the best they can be to all of their children, including those already born; of being spread too thin. And so they abort one of the twins.