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It’s a message that’s hard to shake.
It’s also a message you’d expect to hear from someone who’s pregnant.
“I had to take some time off work to go to the hospital,” said Brittany, who asked that her first name not be used.
Brittany and her husband, Matthew, are both from Texas, where abortion is illegal and the state’s “stand your ground” law is often used to defend police officers and citizens accused of committing crimes.
In a state with one of the highest rates of fatal and nonfatal child abuse in the country, Brittany says she felt like she had to be careful.
“We don’t want to be a target of this law,” she said.
“But I just told him, ‘I’m pregnant,’ and he said, ‘You’ve been telling me you’re pregnant for weeks.'”
That was the last time Brittany was aware of the pregnancy.
It was around the time of her boyfriend, Matthew’s, birth in April.
“That’s when we really started to wonder,” she told TIME.
“What’s going on?”
Asked if she had concerns about what would happen if Matthew were to be accused of a crime, Brittany said she did not know.
“At the time, I had no idea.
But I was really upset.”
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“It just kind of hit me hard,” she added.
“How would you feel if someone had a pregnancy?
I would just be so angry.”
The day after the pregnancy was confirmed, Brittany contacted a doctor, who said she would need to go into labor the next day.
She did not have a plan, but she wanted to get to the clinic quickly.
“They did have a few options,” she explained.
“I was told, ‘If you want to go in, come in right away.
You don’t have to worry about anything.'”
She was able to go back into labor, but it wasn’t the baby she was expecting.
“Then we got a call from the hospital, and they told us it was going to be the same baby,” she continued.
“They told us that she was not going to have a heartbeat.”
After a few days, Brittany learned from the doctors that it was her baby.
She had a “surprise” at birth.
Matthew, who was still in the hospital and at the clinic, had the same experience.
“When I went in to the delivery room, it was the baby, so it was a little awkward for me to be in there with the baby.
I was a bit shaken up,” he told TIME, adding that it took a while to get over the shock of what he saw.”
The nurse, who’s there with me, was really nice, and the baby was doing well.
It wasn’t a big surprise.”
After that, the doctor was kind enough to give me a cesarean section, and it was so quick.
I had to go home for a little while.
I didn’t really think about it at the time.
But it’s just something I never want to happen again.
“Matthew said he and Brittany were told they would be in the waiting room for the next six to eight hours, but they ended up going home about five minutes before the doctors had finished.”
At the hospital where Brittany was born, the staff there treated her like an infant.””
He was like, ‘It was the best thing that could have happened to us.'”
At the hospital where Brittany was born, the staff there treated her like an infant.
“Every time we walked in, I felt like I was going through an alien abduction,” she recalled.
“All of a sudden, it felt like a newborn.”
It was just one of several pregnancies that have led to complications, both physical and mental, in the months since her pregnancy was discovered.
While Brittany and Matthew both said that they did not expect any complications, they are now facing some anxiety about the prospect of an abortion.
“Some of the doctors told us, ‘We’re not going be able to help you, but if you have an abortion, you are not going back to work,'” Brittany said.
A few weeks later, she learned that she would have to undergo an ultrasound at the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, where she has been treated for the past two weeks.
The hospital staff told Brittany that it would be her baby’s fault if she miscarried.
“You’re going to give it to a hospital for the baby’s sake and the doctor’s sake, and I don’t even want that to happen,” she recounted.
“And they just told us to relax.
It doesn’t really affect us at all.
The baby’s going to come out healthy