Well, as she was successfully pregnant five times, it was definitely a problem keeping the pregnancy viable. Certainly a cervical cerclage might have benefited Fabiola. However, at least one variety of cerclage was developed in the 1940's, so I don't know if that was Fabiola's problem in losing all those babies. I believe one pregnancy made it to 4 months, and I *think* I read that one was egtopic and that she was refusing to have an abortion but then she suffered another miscarriage. I believe that was on her fifth and final pregnancy.
This picture was from her first pregnancy when it was reported she wasn't feeling well and there's footage of her greeting people while she's seated.
I know she went to Switzerland to be seen by a renowned OBGYN and I believe she even went to Sweden for some treatment. It is such a pity that two people as fine as Baudouin and Fabiola - who had so much love to give, would never realize their dreams for a family that included children of their own. Baudouin wanted to adopt, but the government said their child would not be allowed to follow in his footsteps, which offended Baudouin greatly. Fabiola I know felt so terrible but didn't want to burden her feelings on Baudouin or the public. Baudouin is the one who, through prayer, believed in his heart that this tragedy was meant for them so that they would have the capacity to love all Belgian children as their own. In the mid-70's Baudouin invited something like two thousand children to the Palace at Laeken for a Children's Day, and this is when he publicly announced that his personal belief and faith told him that he was to be open to loving all Belgian children as his own.
and he and Fabiola paid special attention to children with handicaps or diabilities
For two people who were more centered around children and children's issues, it was such a shame they would denied their own.
But they were (as many of you already know) quite close to a couple of their nieces and nephews - particularly Margaretha.
Here Margaretha has dinner with Baudouin and Fabiola on the occasion of his 25th jubilee
They were also fairly close with Henri
Here they are with Mobutu's children
Baudouin was an avid Boy Scout and he and Fabiola were life-long advocates of scouting for the youth
But primarily Philippe
Baudouin pinning a military honor on Philippe
Baudouin had a deep respect for all life and also for the quality of life for all. That is why he could not sign the legislation in 1990 to give royal ascent to the liberalization of abortion in Belgium. He made a special statement about the value of life and of his belief that the lives of babies should have special protection.
I read somewhere that he said something along the lines that how could he meet his maker knowing he hadn't done everything in his power to dignify the value of life.
But like I said, he wasn't just about making sure nobody had an abortion - he was also about empowering humans to live better lives. Here is a quote he said at his children's day event at Laeken Palace:
Fabiola's miscarriages and their lack of children are not what lead him to his decision. Many felt Fabiola herself influenced him - she did not. He was very set in his ways and his belief system. I think even if they had children (probably even more-so if they had) he would have taken the same position in the 1990 abortion debate. Because Fabiola never spoke specifically about the details of her problems carrying a child, it's difficult to know if a cerclage would have benefited her. It seems like it would have, but given their resources and position, I can't imagine they didn't have access to the very best in care.