Now That Trump Will Be President, I'm Terrified Of Getting Pregnant

Ad failed to load

“I don’t think we should try to get pregnant anymore,” I told my partner, two days after president-elect Donald Trump gave his victory speech at a hotel in New York City. My partner could only shake his head and look at the floor. We had been so excited about the possibility of having another child, but recent events had discouraged us tremendously.

Now that Trump is about to become president, I’m afraid to get pregnant. But it’s not because I’m afraid to bring another child into the world. It's because Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence’s stance on abortion — particularly late-term abortions — truly terrifies me.

Trump is strongly opposed to abortions, except in specific cases of rape, incest or when the life of the mother is in danger. He has pledged that he would like to ban abortion after 20 weeks and he has expressed wildly inaccurate and misleading views on late-term abortion.

Ad failed to load

"If you go with what Hillary is saying, in the ninth month, you can take the baby and rip the baby out of the womb of the mother just prior to the birth of the baby," he said during the final presidential debate. "Now you can say that that's okay, and Hillary can say that that's okay, but it's not okay with me."

Trump's views on late-term abortion terrify me, in part because I briefly considered having a late-term abortion during my first pregnancy, which was extremely difficult.

Courtesy of Danielle Campoamor
Ad failed to load

I was initially pregnant with twins, but experienced complications almost immediately. I was hospitalized for a week with a severe blood infection that put my life and the lives of my twin sons in danger.

During a routine anatomy ultrasound, one of my son’s neck was measured as “too thick,” a sign that he could have Down Syndrome or a severe heart defect. I went through chorionic villus sampling (CVS), a procedure that diagnoses chromosomal abnormalities by inserting a long needle into the stomach, then into the placenta of the baby to collect DNA for analysis.

A week later, while still waiting to receive the results from the CVS, one of my twin sons suddenly died. His heart was no longer beating, and I was told that I would be giving birth to a baby that was alive, and a baby that wasn’t.

Ad failed to load

My partner and I mourned, while simultaneously continuing to focus on our remaining son and the potential complications that required additional testing. When his CVS sampling came back negative for Down Syndrome, our team of doctors focused on the possibility of a life-threatening heart condition. I was referred to a neonatal and fetal cardiologist, but not before my partner and I were prepped by my OB-GYN.

I sat in her office, tears streaming down my cheeks and my entire body shaking, as she warned me that if my son did test positive for the severe heart defect the specialists feared he had, he wouldn’t survive outside the womb. His heart would be without essential chambers and would be too small to function. Whatever few minutes of life my son would experience, would be brief and potentially painful. I would be able to hold him, but I would hold him as he died. I would watch him suffer. I would leave the hospital without a son. Again.

Whatever few minutes of life my son would experience, would be brief and potentially painful. I would be able to hold him, but I would hold him as he died. I would watch him suffer. I would leave the hospital without a son. Again.
Ad failed to load

As difficult as it was to hear about that potential scenario, I was grateful that my OB-GYN insisted I hear it. My partner and I needed to be prepared. After all, we were going to be parents, and it wasn’t just about us anymore. We had another life to think about, the life that remained after an already difficult pregnancy and loss. We needed to know all the information, no matter how terrifying or heartbreaking, to make the best decision possible for our son, our family, and ourselves.

In light of this information, my partner and I discussed a late-term abortion if the diagnosis was positive. We mapped out “worst case scenarios”— sometimes in hushed tones, sometimes through tears, sometimes while under the covers, as if this entire situation was a monster we could hide from. We decided that if our son wasn’t going to survive after he was born, we would end his life peacefully and humanely and in the only place he's ever known: my womb.

Courtesy of Danielle Campoamor
Ad failed to load

Thankfully, the diagnosis was negative and we didn’t have to face the worst case scenario, as so many parents do. Now, when we see our thriving 2-year-old toddler, we count ourselves among the extremely fortunate, but we always remember the possibilities we had to contemplate, and the peace the option of a late-term abortion gave us.

Now, though, I fear that same peace will be stripped from every single parent in the country. Trump has not only managed to spread obscene misinformation about late-term abortions, such as urban legends about mothers deciding to have abortions the day before giving birth, but has also made flippant remarks about appointing anti-choice justices that will “automatically overturn Roe v. Wade.” If Roe v. Wade is overturned, women will be forced to "go to other states" to have abortions, according to Trump.

What is already a difficult procedure to procure in the United States — a procedure that gives parents the choice to save their children from unfathomable pain and suffering — could become a thing of the past. Right now, when a mother needs a late-term abortion, she can only go to three clinics in the country to have one, and currently only four doctors in the United States can perform them. A Trump presidency, I fear, will only disintegrate what few options women currently have.

Ad failed to load
Courtesy of Danielle Campoamor

Just as my partner and I were forced to think about the worst case scenario three years ago, we are thinking about it now. What if we have another difficult pregnancy, and our future child is diagnosed with a complication that would make it physically impossible for him or her to survive outside of my body? Will I be forced to hold my dying, suffering child? Will I be made to stare at my child’s face as he or she takes their last breath, knowing he or she is in pain and probably scared and confused, because of a change in policy? Will my ability to choose what’s best for my child be stripped from me because the President doesn’t believe in my ability to know what’s best for my newborn?

What if we have another difficult pregnancy, and our future child is diagnosed with a complication that would make it physically impossible for him or her to survive outside of my body? Will I be forced to hold my dying, suffering child? Will I be made to stare at my child’s face as he or she takes their last breath, knowing he or she is in pain and probably scared and confused, because of a change in policy?
Ad failed to load

Of course, I know the chances of a fatal complication or birth defect befalling any future unborn children I may have, is relatively small. I know the percentages and statistics are on my side. If I have another child before I'm 35 years old, the risk of that child having a chromosomal abnormality is less than 3 percent. The risk of having a child with a fatal birth defect is around 2 percent.

However, I know that there isn’t a chance, no matter how small, I would ever be willing to take with my son’s life. Why would I do the same to my future child or children? Why would I roll the dice when it comes to my children's quality of life, no matter how brief that life could be?

I would do whatever it takes to save my son from an immense amount of suffering. Sadly, because of Trump and Pence’s anti-choice stance — and their promise to take reproductive rights away from women — when it comes to my future son or daughter, the only way I can completely protect them, is to not have them at all. There, and only there, is every single choice available to me.

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

New Moms Have Two Options: Be "Sad & Fat" Or "Desperate & Thin"

As the line goes, the worst thing you could say about me, I've already thought about myself. In the early postpartum period with my son, it was: "I am overweight, lonely, and heartbroken." It was four days after I brought my son into the world, and I…
By Danielle Campoamor

6 Fascinating Facts About Spring Babies: You Could Have A Leader On Your Hands

Does the season in which you are born affect you or are all seasons pretty equal? It turns out that there are many ways in which the your child's birth season could give you an insight into things to come. Whether you are expecting a baby in the next…
By Shari Maurer

Kids Will Love These TV Shows & Movies Coming To Netflix In April

It's that time of the month again: as March draws to a close, Netflix gets ready for a little bit of spring cleaning. Though some TV shows and movies will have to find homes elsewhere, their departure makes room for all kinds of exciting new media. A…
By Megan Walsh

I'm A Stay-At-Home Mom &, Face It, These 11 Stereotypes Are Totally True

Hello, friends! It's me, your resident stay-at-home mom. You know, there's a lot that's said about me and my kind, and the vast majority of it is not even remotely true. For example, this whole "we're lazy, vapid, unambitious, anti-feminist, backstab…
By Jamie Kenney

The Pressure To Worry About The Gap Between Kids Is So Bad For Moms

"Two under two is absolutely crazy," a friend recently told me upon hearing the news that I was expecting a second child. "Why would you do this to yourself? Seriously, why?" However harsh her words, she was only echoing the same feelings I'd been ba…
By Marie Southard Ospina

To Be Honest, I Couldn't Survive Motherhood Without My Job

The decision to work outside the home once you've become a parent can be a complicated one. Some people don't really have a choice, and go back to work because they're either a single parent or can't sustain their family on one income. Some choose to…
By Priscilla Blossom

I Feel Guilty That My Kid’s Dad Is A Better Parent Than Me, & That’s BS

I was scared, and he was sure. I was clueless, and he was well-researched. I was making mistakes, and he was picking up the pieces. From the moment I found out I was pregnant until just last night, when I threw my hands up in the air and left the alw…
By Danielle Campoamor

These Millennial Parents Are Taking Gender-Neutral Parenting To An Entirely New Level

A woman on the subway looks at my bulbous shape and asks, “What are you having?” I take a deep breath and throw a glance to my 5-year-old. “I’m having a baby,” I say to the woman. “No, no” the woman says laughing as she pushes further. “Are you havin…
By Madison Young

My Daughter Is Obsessed With Being "Pretty" & I'm Way Past Terrified

Last week, when I picked up my daughter after school, she immediately wanted to know if I liked her hair. "Is it pretty?" she asked. Her hair was pulled up into two ponytails that were intertwined into thick, long braids. A shimmering pink and purple…
By Dina Leygerman

7 Things No One Tells You About Having A Baby In Your 20s, But I Will

I was 24 when I found out I was pregnant with my daughter. The pregnancy was a surprise, since I was on birth control (side note: antibiotics and birth control don't mix), but my partner and I decided to continue with the pregnancy and committed to m…
By Candace Ganger

7 Things I Wish My Partner Had Said To Me In The First Hour After Giving Birth

I don't know if it was the buzz of the surrounding machines, the non-existent cry of our son as the doctors tried to resuscitate him, or the fact that I'd already been through labor and delivery once before, but I knew something was missing after I h…
By Candace Ganger

Moms’ Groups Weren’t For Me, Sorry

I go to my moms’ club everyday of the week, but not usually on weekends. My moms' group is a place I can always count on finding fellow mothers who understand the daily struggles and triumphs of parenthood and of juggling life’s responsibilities. Dep…
By Samantha Taylor

Millennial Women Are Getting Married Later Than Gen X, & The Reasons Why Are Pretty Badass

The battle of the generations seems to come up when it comes to every lifestyle or career choice people make. Women, especially, are an important demographic when it comes to analysts looking at the lifestyle choices we make or the expected milestone…
By Josie Rhodes Cook

I've Had 3 Miscarriages But *Please* Keep Telling Me About Your Pregnancy

I can feel the tension the moment my friend announces her pregnancy. I can hear the forced nonchalant attitude she's willing herself to exude as she fishes for the ultrasound. I know why I was the last to learn that she was expecting; why she keeps l…
By Danielle Campoamor

7 Early Signs You're Going To Need An Epidural, According To Experts

Even if you've constructed an elaborate birth plan, it's impossible to control every aspect of labor and delivery. Complications can occur, proactive measures might be necessary, and your mind is subject to change when those damn contractions really …
By Candace Ganger

I'm Pregnant & I Refuse To Read Any Parenting Books

I didn't read any parenting books when I was expecting my daughter, and I refuse to read any parenting books as I await my second child now. I'm the first to admit that I don't really know what I'm doing when it comes to raising my daughter. A good d…
By Marie Southard Ospina

12 Overnight Face Masks To Use To Wake Up Feeling Pampered AF

Spring is right around the corner, and as far as I'm concerned, the sunshine and warm breezes can't come soon enough. But now that we're about to say goodbye to winter, it's a good time to take stock of your facial skincare routine. You know, in the …
By Katie Malczyk

11 Essential Products To Pack In Your Hospital Bag, According To OB-GYNs

The minute you go into labor (or think you're going into labor), chaos ensues. You and your partner are likely to get a little frantic, just like in the movies, so you most definitely want to have a hospital bag packed before the day comes. This prec…
By Abi Berwager Schreier

7 Photos You *Must* Take In The First 6 Months Of Motherhood

In my experience, becoming a mom is like becoming an amateur photographer. There's just something about the need to capture every single coo and sorta-smile that leaves you obsessed with all things photography. I know I couldn't stop taking selfies w…
By Candace Ganger

Here's How Early An Ultrasound Can Actually Determine Your Baby's Sex

From the moment you see those two lines on a pregnancy test, there are a few markers along the way that stand out as especially exciting. Amongst them are hearing your baby's heartbeat and feeling that first, sweet little kick. And if you are finding…
By Caroline Shannon-Karasik