Roe v Wade Isn’t Optional

And this will mobilize the left

Julia Marsiglio

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Image by carloprearophotos on CanvaPro

I was back in the hospital bed I had escaped the week prior, except this time something had changed. There were more doctors around my bed. Everyone was acting calm — too calm. Something was up.

The OBGYN on call was explaining to me that my liver enzymes were escalating rapidly. She’d called in a liver specialist, but she suspected it was the TPN.

TPN — total parenteral nutrition — it’s where they give you all your food and drink through a central line: like an IV, that goes straight into your heart.

My TPN? That wasn’t good. I knew that TPN could cause liver failure, but it usually was something that happened slowly, over years or even decades of use. I’d been on it one week.

But they showed me my labs. The enzymes were skyrocketing, doubling daily. If it was the TPN, I was out of options. I had tried a feeding tube, but it hadn’t worked (just threw it up into my stomach again). And oral feeding or drinking was not possible for a person vomiting 100 times a day even on an empty stomach. Trust me, I’d tried. Again and again.

The liver specialist spoke next. He had a different theory, one I was much happier to hear: the dietitian had failed to adequately increase my caloric intake and my fluids and had been underfeeding me for a whole week. My already emaciated body was shutting down from starvation and dehydration.

The fix for that was to increase my fluids immediately and calories gradually. So that is what they did. Now, I just had to wait. Did the extra TPN make my liver worse, confirming the OBGYN’s theory or did it improve, confirming the gastroenterologist’s theory?

My money and hope were on the latter, but the truth is that none of us knew what was going to happen.

I had to think about options. I had a child at home who needed me. They were suffering already so much with me being so sick. I was only nine weeks pregnant.

There was no chance of the baby surviving if I died. There was only one thing that made sense: if my liver continued to fail, I would need to terminate the pregnancy.

I’d fought hard for this pregnancy. I loved my little embryo. Oh wow, did I love her…

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Julia Marsiglio

I answer rhetorical questions. Intersectional feminism. Neurodivergence. Trauma. Grief. Canada things. A smattering of poetry and fiction.