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“The ultrasound technician places the wand on my daughter’s lower abdomen and moves it slowly across taut skin glistening with gel. I’ve been holding my breath since being ushered into the dimly lit cubicle to witness a sonogram that will determine if my daughter is carrying one or more babies. She is a twin, a survivor who beat the odds after my harrowing pregnancy left us celebrating her life while enduring the keen-edged sorrow of her brother’s death.
A flurry of gray dots appears on the monitor. I turn away, but my daughter reaches across the distance of 30 years and squeezes my hand. She knows that the fault lines in my heart have never truly sealed; that at any given moment, the cracks can shift in a quake of grief triggered by memories of Jason, her twin who lived for only hours after their birth.
I was five months pregnant when an ultrasound revealed two babies like bright orbs of hope on the dark screen.
Before I could process the idea of twins, I learned that one baby had an unknown obstruction preventing his kidneys and lungs from developing properly. It was 1989. Although pioneers were developing strategies for fetal surgery, the idea of trying to save one twin at that stage would have put the life of the other at risk. My perinatologist warned that if baby “B” died during the remaining months of my pregnancy, I would have to carry him to term to keep his sister alive. If he survived until the delivery, his inability to breathe on his own after birth would ultimately be the cause of his death.”
JJ Editor's Picks
"At the time it seemed an unalloyed good. The fall of the Berlin Wall on Nov. 9, 1989—30 years ago Saturday—meant more than just the end of the Cold War. It meant the vanquishing of all walls, a giddy flinging-open of all doors—to free markets..."
"This week, the first open hearings in the Democrats' impeachment inquiry against President Trump will happen, after several days of closed-door testimony and hundreds of pages of ensuing transcripts. We don't know, at least entirely, what..."
"Indeed, as the site’s editor Rabbi Zev Farber notes in an essay contemplating the “Torah from Heaven” doctrine: “Women were not created from the rib of a man, snakes did not lose their legs because of sin, the terrestrial world was not drowned..."
"When you become a parent, YouTube becomes a stalking monster from a horror movie. It's always there, always lurking for you, and the really awful part is you have a death wish. You want the monster to catch you. You want to relax into its grasp..."
"This column isn’t supposed to be here. I’m not supposed to be here. For over a decade, I wrote this column for Deadspin, and I figured it would just always live there. That’s the naïve pact you sometimes make with yourself when you take a full..."
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"I couldn’t be more pleased that J Street’s National Conference has sparked an energetic and long-needed discussion about the role that US assistance to Israel should play, not only in supporting Israel’s long-term security, but in advancing the..."
"Americans don’t have to be beholden to the tech Goliaths to get the benefits of artificial intelligence. An alternative possibility is for government to provide the infrastructure needed for a technological future — through a public option for..."