My wife and I made the very difficult decision last week to terminate her pregnancy at 16 weeks because the test results from a Chorionic Villus Sampling test came back positive for cystic fibrosis. We only found out we were both carriers of the defective gene after we conceived naturally. We learned the hard way that every time we get pregnant our child will have a 25% chance of having both genes passed and grow up with a very difficult life (life expectancy for people with cystic fibrosis is around 30 but often much lower).
We are dealing with this decision fairly well but are seeking more ways we can have some closure on the whole thing. We opted to not have any kind of ceremony or receive the cremated remains of the aborted fetus.
My wife is creating a memory album and wants a little wooden box we can put all of our aborted child's things in: sonogram scans, pregnancy belly photos and a few other things. I think this is a great idea.
I've been pretty strong over the past few days but noticed today that I have slipped into some depression. I know this is one of the stages of grieving, so am not worried. But I see myself also burying myself into my work and don't want to do that until both my wife and I have gotten past this.
We discussed seeing a grief counselor but now think we don't really need it. We're being very proactive about researching IVF and genetic screening of the resulting embryos to prevent raising a child with cystic fibrosis only to watch them suffer and eventually die.
My question is: What kinds of things can we do to get more closure on our sudden and tragic loss?
I would also be interested in any personal recommendations for fertility clincs and doctors on the east coast (NYC area) who specialize in pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD). (Please pass through mathowie or Jessamyn who both know me.)
Lastly, how in the world am I going to find the $20,000 it's going to cost for one round of in vitro fertilization and genetic lab work? New York (our state of residence) is one of the states that does not require insurance companies to pay for part of IVF costs, and we'd likely get rejected anyway because we are a fertile couple who wants to use IVF to have only healthy children.
Related Note: The NY Times had a great article
on this last week.
This is posted anonymously because I do not feel like being judged and criticized by religious zealots who want to take away our right to choose abortion. No, not in this time of personal and tragic loss. Take your fight somewhere else, please.