“It’s a miracle I am still pregnant,” Catherine Urhegyi told the Daily Mail. The 32-year-old and her husband Andrew, parents of two-year-old Thomas, were excited to learn they were expecting baby number two. But during a routine ultrasound at Salford Royal Hospital to determine her due date, Urhegyi was told that the baby had no heartbeat and had died.
Devastated, she weighed the options given to her: let the miscarriage happen naturally, take an abortion pill, or have a D&C abortion to remove the baby from her uterus. She and Andrew chose to use the abortion pill.
After two days, Urhegyi was to return for a second pill. She was experiencing heavy bleeding when she went back to the hospital to get it. While she was there, a second ultrasound was performed. That’s when a miracle happened.
The technician found a heartbeat.
Urhegyi and her husband were ecstatic that their baby was still alive, but then the fear and remorse set in. Doctors told them that there may have been a twin who had been either miscarried or killed by the abortion pill. In addition, there was no way to know if their baby, a girl, would have any health problems as a result of the abortion drug.
“To say this has ruined my pregnancy would be an understatement,” Urhegyi told the Daily Mail. “Our little girl is a much-wanted baby and we are extremely worried she won’t now be born healthy. We are incredibly angry and upset. We can’t understand how doctors could have made such a big error.”
But this error is actually more common than anyone would think. In 2010, two other mothers shared their stories of being told their preborn babies had died when they were actually still alive. In 2014, a woman in Ireland was told her baby had died and she scheduled an appointment for a D&C procedure. Thankfully, her doctor decided to do one more scan and they found that the baby was very much alive.
In 2011, the Daily Mail reported that each year hundreds of women are wrongly told that they have miscarried their babies because of errors during ultrasounds. Some of them wait to miscarry naturally while others take the abortion pill or have a D&C. How many of those preborn children were actually still alive and growing when their grieving mothers were given an abortion?
While they are concerned their daughter may have been harmed by the abortion drug, the Urhegyis are very lucky that their daughter survived the abortion attempt.
“I just wish I had asked for another scan to check, especially as I’d had no other sign anything was amiss with the pregnancy, but then I trusted the doctors. They’ve given me leaflets which explain the drug can be linked to birth defects. Some of these might not be immediately noticeable and will only show as our daughter grows,” said Urhegyi. “But there’s been hardly any research. I’ve been reassured she is growing as expected and I feel happier now I can feel her kicking. But doctors can’t check for everything.”
The hospital has apologized to the couple and launched an investigation into how the error occurred as well as how they can prevent it from happening again.