I just recently read a post that spoke to my heart and felt I needed to share.

Most of you are probably aware that 9 out of 10 pregnancies carrying a child with Down Syndrome lead to abortion.  How is a prenatal diagnosis made?  Currently there is a blood test that is done called an AFP, it gives them a percentage of chance that your baby has DS.  After that they do a Level II ultrasound & look for soft markers (thicker nuchal (neck) fold, missing pinky bone, missing nasal bone, heart defects, etc).  Based on that ultrasound you have a better idea if your child has Down Syndrome or not (or other chromosomal abnormalitites) then they push you toward an amnio.  I was 20 weeks pregnant at our level II ultrasound & they urged an amnio because the window for abortion is short.  An amnio is more invasive because they basically insert a needle into your placenta & draw out amniotic fluid to test.  The results of the amnio give you a yes/no answer to Down Syndrome or any other chromosomal abnormality.  This amnio gave us a risk 1 in 500 for a miscarriage - so we opted out of the amnio.  1 in 500 sounds not bad, but considering my chances at age 28 of having a child with DS was 1 in over 1000 - 1 in 500 didn't sound like great odds.

Anyway, that's what happens now.  They are currently developing an earlier blood test - that gives an absolute yes/no answer to Down Syndrome & it is completely non-invasive.  However, it's given very early in the pregnancy - around 12 weeks.  So I do believe the rate of termination will go up because at 12 weeks - some women haven't even shared the news they are expecting.  Some medical people are rejoicing on this test & some countries are rejoicing.  Less babies with Down Syndrome means less medical expenses to be handled by insurance or the government - some nations are pushing for no Down Syndrome by 2030 - which honestly that's more genocide because the babies will occur regardless they just will be terminated...

Anyway, the post I read had to be shared - I urge you to read it here and then come back to me.

We live in a society that judges quickly and harshly. 

I personally chose to keep Ollie - I haven't ever questioned that.  However, it hasn't came with out sacrifices.  Granted we have made large sacrifices willingly, I no longer work so our income was cut in half & we also don't have my amazing health insurance.  However, I'm a stay at home Mom and that is worth any sacrifice we make.  But not all families can afford the sacrifices that we have made.  I do believe the medical community has some of the blame because they don't properly educate scared and pregnant Moms on what Down Syndrome truly is, but I also believe these Moms may know what DS is and they are just scared to death period.  I know I knew what DS was and I was scared to death.

I think Courtney's points were very valid.  If you personally knew a mother having a child with DS - how would you support her?  How would you be the change?

We can advocate & raise awareness all we want, but we also need to take action to be more.  I have contacted my OBs office & the lactation/birthing nurse at our hospital so they can direct anyone my way at any time (we don't have a local DS chapter) - what will you do? 


5 Comments