June 26, 2004

What perfect baby?

I can't speak to this personally. I'm one of the apparent majority of people who has never become acquainted with a person with Downs Syndrome. My entire experience with it can be summed up in a visit with a geneticist while I was pregnant with Anna.

As a 36 year old prima gravis married to a man who's older daugher was born with a combination of cardiac malformations, I was told repeatedly that it was imperative that I be tested. No, not the simple blood test that can show the markers of 7 different genetic disorders. They insisted on the Big A, Amniocentisis, an experience which I can honestly say was potentially the worst, most painful experience of my life.

When it was all said and done, and I was sent home, I began to have symptoms of a miscarriage. The doctor who performed the procedure had not followed the most desirable protocol, and had done multiple perforations of the uterus. It was a terrifying several days. I somehow knew this was my final opportunity to have a child, and I believed that I was going to be robbed of this precious life.

The symptoms eased. I was able to go back to work. And the day came that the phone call came from the hospital with the results of my test.

Everything was absolutely normal and within acceptable parameters. Oh, and it's a girl.

It was only then, after weeks of worry and pain, that I asked them why they insisted on the amnio when the blood test would have given them most of what they wanted.

"Why, because at your age, the chance of producing a Downs baby is so much higher and this would give you the opportunity to terminate your pregnancy."

Even if the baby had tested positive, I wouldn't have done that. If that was the only real reason for this, why wasn't I told this weeks ago?

"Well, (pause while she considered my stone-age mentality) if you chose not to do anything about it, I guess this would have given you an opportunity to make any arrangements you may need before it gets here."

Yes, "it" instead of "your baby" was pretty much the way my baby was looked at by these "caregivers" at that hospital.

Well, it has gotten worse. In this commentary by Beverly Beckham, guest columnist at the Metro West Daily News, the quest for Baby Perfection has rampaged unchecked over the last 10 years. Even if you are a Pro-Choice individual, you owe it to yourself to read this piece.

She's right. It's beyond murder in the sense that it's the taking of a life. It it genocide. And the Downs children are not alone.

Posted by Mamamontezz at June 26, 2004 04:17 PM

This hits home to a with me. As I was growing up, my family was close friends with a family whose youngest child, Amanda, was a Down's child. This little girl was the most loving child I think I have ever known. She was a chore sometimes, as all children are, each in their own way. But she made up for any extra work she was with the sweetest hugs and squeaky-voiced I love you's. She just couldn't get enough of the hugs. And she loved to sing and "play" the piano at the same time.

When we arrived at their house, she would run up and give each one of us our own special hug, putting her hands on our cheeks and pulling us in close to her face, looking us deep in the eyes and saying "I love you." Even as a kid, it brought tears to my eyes. Special, so special.

Each child is special and perfect in their own way, regardless of how they are shaped or how they speak. What a great swathing smear it is on what we loosely call our "humanity" to waste any of these precious lives, however challenged we might be or however short theirs might be.

Posted by: Bonfire7 at June 26, 2004 08:00 PM

First, I will start by saying that I am Pro-Choice. I think that every woman has a right to decide what to do with her body and a right to decide the fate of her unborn child. She is the one that will have to live with her decisions.

That being said, I would personally wouldn't want my wife to abort a child simply because of a defect. If the child could live a healthy/happy life I would do everything I could for the child.

When I was a kid we had a downs child at my church. As mentioned before they are truly the most loving of children. He hugged everyone and had an "I love you" each time he saw you, even if all you did was leave the room and return.

I straddle the line on this issue. I think it is a womans right to choose, but I think many make an incorrect choice out of pure vanity.

SlagleRock Out!

Posted by: SlagleRock at June 26, 2004 11:12 PM

My husband and I had planned on having two children. Joshua and Hannah. I was 35 when Joshua was born. We'd decided if we were lucky enough to get pregnant again that we'd deal with whatever happened. Including Downs. When your husband has cerebral palsy you can't look him in the face and even suggest aborting a child if it had a problem. I would have seen a child with Downs as a gift. I'm married to a miracle why would I turn down a gift?

Posted by: Elizabeth M. at June 27, 2004 02:35 PM

I'm sorry, but I don't buy the "I wouldn't want my wife to abort a child simply because of a defect" line when you on the other hand are implying that aborting because you don't want the child is okay. That is pure hypocrisy.


Posted by: Bonfire7 at June 27, 2004 07:21 PM

Life is precious, if you're going to take one at least have the guts to stand up and take that life face to face from someone who has the maturity and ability to reason and understand rather than from an unborn or defenseless innocent.

Posted by: Jack at June 28, 2004 01:26 PM

While we are on the subject, I just found this article about 3D pictures of babies in the womb. I wish I could see more of these. The technology is AMAZING.


Posted by: Bonfire7 at June 28, 2004 10:37 PM

poker me up

Posted by: poker me up at December 30, 2004 02:39 PM

Cum summam patrimoni insculpere saxo!

Posted by: vimax at April 8, 2005 03:52 PM
Post a comment

Remember personal info?