Why I Wish I Had Answered Differently When Asked to Abort My Child – LB Post 19

After being told of their daughter's diagnosis of Down Syndrome, this mom wished she had the courage to have answered the question of abortion differently. Down Syndrome. Heart Failure.

This post is not meant to stir up the abortion debate.

I have my opinion. You have yours.

My intention will never be to devalue your opinion or beliefs – so if you plan on doing that to me, click the small “X” at the top of your screen and find another blog to read (; 

From the moment we found out LB had Down Syndrome- within the same sentence, actually -came the offer of “termination.”

Looking back, it breaks my heart that the two phrases are so closely linked to one another: DOWN SYNDROME. ABORTION.

Logically, I understand why.

I know that women, men, families, get scared when they find out their child might have Down Syndrome (I say might, because the early screening actually has a relatively low accuracy rate and yet pregnancies are still urged to abort).

I know that it is frightening to hear. Terrifying actually.

I understand the immediate dread. The heartache. The worry.

I can clearly remember the feeling of my heart dropping to my knees.

I know, logically, why it is offered…

90% of pregnancies who results come back with an increased “risk” of Down Syndrome are aborted.

90%

90 PERCENT

just in case you have bad eye sight or thought you read that incorrectly… (; 

 

So yes, I know logically why it is offered; but, it still doesn’t justify itself to me. 

 

When we were told of her Down Syndrome and offered to immediately terminate, I declined. Every time I spoke with the genetics doctor, after that, termination was still brought up.

EVERY TIME.

As if she was trying to convince me that it was what I really wanted to do, but what too afraid to say.

When I would reply, “No” she would tilt her head to the side and look at me like I was trying to be some sort of martyr. Her eyes locked on mine, as if she was trying to silently let me know it was okay to change my mind.

But, little did she know, there was no ounce of me who was trying to return her sympathetic glance.

Finally, after about five attempts, I -as politely as I could- told her that termination was not an option for us.

She then gave up her pursuit and we moved on to really focus on the pregnancy.

Now, I know she wasn’t some villain in my story that was out to foil my plan. She was not an evil person hell bent on pushing her own agenda.

This woman was doing her job, one that often deals with women who do lean towards that option (90%, in case you forgot). I know that all she was doing was trying to make me feel okay with my decision, if it came down to that.

But in all her attempts at trying to make me feel comfortable with abortion, she was making me feel uncomfortable with the decision of life.

And I wish I had let her know that. I wish that instead of sitting silent, or growing agitated, I could have offered her another perspective. Let her know that she doesn’t only need to strive to make women who choose abortion feel comfortable, but to make the ones who DON’T choose it feel comfortable as well.

Because, had it been someone else – she could’ve easily led them a different way than what their heart really wanted…

Luckily, I had it set in my heart that I would give LB every fighting chance I could. Down Syndrome. Heart Failure. Spinal Cord Issues. Whatever it was, I was determined that I was not giving up on her…

and I thank God everyday that I didn’t!

There are many, many days that I look into her eyes, hold her, listen to her laugh, or watch her smile and I am beyond thankful that I gave her that chance.

I am humbled that God gave her to me.

I truly am. I can’t say that enough.

I simply feel lucky that she is mine.

There has never been a moment – through open heart surgery, countless hospital stays, or endless doctor visits – that I have regretted my decision.

Never.

When I think back to those days, I get a pit in my stomach thinking of how easy it would have been to have picked that different path. It scares me to think of that. To think of a life without her.

I just can’t imagine it. And, I don’t ever want to.

 

Hearing her diagnosis was scary, but I had faith in the outcome; however, I know how easy it is to get wrapped up in that fear.

Trust me. I’ve lived in that fear – my entire pregnancy and months following her birth.

I am not saying it is easy, but what I am saying is that

it’s worth it.

She’s worth it. He is worth it. They are all worth it.

There are headaches, there are obstacles to overcome; but aren’t there those in “normal” pregnancies & childhood as well?!

There are so many smiles to share, so many milestones to enjoy, so many hugs to wrap up in.

There is so much joy in having a child with Down Syndrome.

I can honestly say, with 100% conviction, that I LOVE having a child with Down Syndrome.

And, to be even more honest, majority of the time I don’t even feel like I “have a child with Down Syndrome.”

We hardly ever think about Down Syndrome. We are more wrapped up in loving our baby.

Our happy, wonderful, beautiful baby girl – who just happens to have Down Syndrome.

After being told of their daughter's diagnosis of Down Syndrome, this mom wished she had the courage to have answered the question of abortion differently. Down Syndrome. Heart Failure.

 

8 comments

  1. Janet Bookman says:

    I love watching her! LB is such a little fighter! Knocking down all the barriers she encounters—no stopping this little baby girl !! 🙂

  2. Dianna says:

    When I was pregnant, I refused the test because I told them it would have no impact on me. I will love my child no matter what. ??

    • Ashley says:

      I’m glad we tested, but I felt the same way! The diagnosis had no impact on my love for her. There was NEVER a question of keeping her and I think they forget that there are still parents out there who think this way.

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