At that moment I felt like lunging at her, holding my hand over her mouth, and shrieking "Take it back" like I did when I was just a kid having a fight with my brother. I didn't, of course, and couldn't because I knew her words were like a bad tasting medicine given to me for my own good. I needed to sit up and think about this harsh dose of truth.

We sat in a stunned silence, which was abruptly broken as the doctor calmly stated, "Kate, when you're done here, come into my office, and we will talk about selective reduction." As if I had been snapped with a rubber band, I grabbed the sides of the exam table and shot up onto my elbows and yelled, "We will never do that!" I felt my first fierce surge of motherly protection over my unborn babies—whether there were two, four, or even seven of them.

I was completely numb as I got dressed. I had an almost unbearable urge to lace up my sneakers and run. I just wanted to feel my heart pumping and the wind in my face as I left behind the black hole of threatening pandemonium that was spreading like a disastrous oil spill. But then it struck me, the problem would come with me. Wherever I went and whatever I did from this day forward, I knew that potentially seven innocent lives were relying on me.

© 2008 by Katie Irene Gosselin and Beth Ann Carson.


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