Tommy’s story: A mother’s difficult choice

Ending my pregnancy, and saying goodbye to the son I was already in love with, is the hardest thing I’ve ever done.

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Photo by Michael Winnerholt/Getty Images

Photo by Michael Winnerholt/Getty Images

Three years ago, I did something I had never imagined myself doing: I chose to end my pregnancy at 19 weeks. Four years earlier, when I was expecting my first child, I was offered a 12-week genetic-screening ultrasound, which I refused, telling my midwives that it was completely unnecessary. Even if there was something “wrong,” I wouldn’t have done anything about it anyway.

When asked about a genetic screening this time, I gave the same answer: “If I wouldn’t terminate, why would I bother to find out?” Besides, my situation was different this time. The first time I was on my own — the father wasn’t there for my pregnancy or afterwards. Now I’d been with my boyfriend for two years, and though the pregnancy wasn’t planned, we had completely embraced the idea of having the baby. My boyfriend moved in and became a father to my daughter.

Eighteen weeks into my pregnancy, I started to worry. I had gained more weight than is typical (40 pounds), and my midwife felt that an ultrasound might be a good idea, to ensure that I wasn’t carrying excess amniotic fluid. Onscreen everything seemed fine, and our baby boy looked normal. But a few days later my midwife called; they had identified three “soft markers” indicating Down syndrome. We decided to go for an amniocentesis and genetic counselling after a lot of research and introspection. Because of how far into the pregnancy I was, we were told we would have a week to decide what to do after getting the results.

I spoke to my closest friends and family, looking for advice, and was taken aback by the overwhelming opinion that terminating the pregnancy should be my only consideration if our baby had Down syndrome. I heard everything from, “Why would you choose to go into this knowingly?” to “Think about the impact this would have on your other child” and “How could you manage? It would take over your life, and things would change drastically — forever.”

My partner also felt that terminating the pregnancy was the obvious choice. A defining moment came during a family dinner, when I had all of those I loved the most in the world around me. I was worried about discussing it, as I have a sister with a physical disability. How could I tell her that I was contemplating ending a pregnancy because of a disability? But she looked at me directly and said, “I’ve lived with a disability for most of my life, and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. Please think hard about what you’re doing to this child if you choose to bring it into the world.”

After much discussion and soul-searching, my partner and I came to the agonizing decision that should the results be positive, we would end the pregnancy. Our counsellors rallied around us and did their best to help us feel justified in our decision. I specifically recall the head of genetics saying, “Many Down syndrome children will be subjected to dementia by adulthood and not even know who you are.”

The amnio itself was a heart-wrenching experience; there was my baby on a screen as if he was right in front of me — and as the needle entered my amniotic sac, he reached out and grabbed it, and they had to wait to withdraw it as he had a firm hold of it in his little hand. We left with the hope that all of this was a false alarm, and that our child surely would be OK.

That Friday, I went through my workday planning for the worst. I remember being extremely calm and feeling a certain amount of resolve. When the genetic counsellor called at about 3:30 p.m., I put her on hold to conference in my partner, and then heard the words, “I’m so sorry to tell you that the results were positive; there is a 99.9 percent chance that your baby has Down syndrome.”

Everything started to swim in front of me. With tears streaming down my face, I turned back to my computer to wrap up the last bits of work before I left for the hardest few days of my life. I looked up and my partner was standing there. I don’t know how he got there so quickly — he worked two blocks away. He guided me out of the office, and I could manage only a nod to my colleague who was on standby to take over for me.

We picked up my daughter, and I knew that this would be the toughest part of what was to come. She had become extremely attached to her little brother — who she’d named Tommy — kissing my belly daily. She was so excited to have a sibling on the way. I couldn’t hide my grief for a moment; I sobbed and told her that we had found out that Tommy was sick, that she would be going to her grandma’s for a few days, and we weren’t sure if he would make it and still be in my tummy when she got back. As her face registered what I was saying, she got up and ran to her room, returning with a stuffed animal that she placed on my stomach, and she continued to run back and forth, piling my tummy with animals. I eventually stopped her and pulled her in, and we cried together for what felt like a very, very long time.

The next day was Saturday — and Earth Hour. I encouraged my partner to go to a wedding we were invited to, as I saw it as an opportunity to spend time alone with Tommy. When the house emptied and the quiet took over, I slowly unplugged, turned off and disconnected everything electronic in the house. I lit some candles, lay on the floor, placed my hands on my stomach and spent the next hour saying goodbye to the being that I had fallen deeply in love with, who continued to kick and wriggle.

The Monday of the surgery felt mechanical; I knew what it was that I had to do, and I managed to get through the procedure. We came home to a massive box of gourmet food that my family and close friends had sent, with a card that said, “This comes with more love than you can stand.” My partner was incredibly supportive and caring in the days that followed, while I struggled to come to grips with the emptiness inside.

Although the counsellors were amazing, I wish they had better prepared me for the emotional aftermath. My relationship ended within six months, in hindsight largely because of the emotional roller coaster that stemmed from the hormonal confusion in my body. It was months before I stopped feeling the phantom kicks. When I returned to work, I received puzzled looks from people I crossed paths with regularly (“Weren’t you pregnant a week ago?”) and then sympathetic looks when they realized what must have happened. The story I maintained to my co-workers and acquaintances was that I had “lost” the baby. It was many months before I could admit what had actually happened and, even then, only to a very select few.

A couple of months later, I passed an acquaintance on the street. She was pushing a baby carriage, and as I peered in, I immediately noticed the signs of Down syndrome. She told me, “She has Down syndrome, but she’s a wonderful baby.” I wanted more than anything to speak with her about it — to ask her if she had known and made the choice to go ahead with her pregnancy, or if she had decided to forgo the genetic testing and regretted her decision not to. I wanted to share my story with her, and to let her know what it was like being on my side of the decision. But instead I wished them well and continued on my way.

I am sharing my story now in the hope that it will help people weigh their options when it comes to genetic testing. Each year during Earth Hour, my daughter and I spend some time talking about Tommy. We pull out the special box that contains his ultrasound pictures, the outfits I bought him and letters and pictures we add in his honour. I think it’s important for my daughter to express her grief and to talk about our loss rather than burying it. That said, I don’t know when I will be able to tell her the truth: that “losing” Tommy was a choice that I made. I don’t know what my decision would be if I was faced with the same situation now. As I sit here today, almost three years later, I pray for those who may be going through this, and I try to forgive myself. I’m not sure if I ever will.

27 comments on “Tommy’s story: A mother’s difficult choice

  1. This is a very sad and unfortunate story. I can’t help but think about what this little boy could have been, if only the writer could’ve looked outside of herself and realize that the minute you get pregnant, it’s not about you anymore. Sad sad.

    Here’s a refreshing perspective from a mom who has a child with Down’s syndrome. Maybe a little more research could have prevented this tragedy…

    http://sippinglemonade.com/dear-mom-with-a-prenatal-down-syndrome-diagnosis/

    Reply

    • What an insensitive, judgmental and truly mean comment. Comments like this are horrible and cause even more damage to parents. SHAME ON YOU! You disgust me.

      Reply

      • I think this is a shameful reply… ‘jnd869′ and ’724alexis’ both made different choices…and comments. In a forum, I think it good to give an opinion, but not a judgement. Personally, I alone will stand before my Maker and have to be accountable, even for making judgments on other people (which, even if in subtle ways, I have to confess I do…).
        I am not ‘religious’… Pharisees, Sadducees, were two groups that were extremely judgmental, and made up their ‘own laws’ to add to ones given…( We all see what ‘religion’ does). For those that don’t know, Jesus said to them, ‘you brood of vipers’ and ‘woe to you’.
        Christians (I am grateful to be one) should be non-judgmental, loving and peaceful. (Regardless of the many ‘ways’ chosen to ‘read’ the Bible, or rather, ‘who is right about what it says’… !).
        While I do not believe in terminating pregnancy, I do believe we are ALL given FREE CHOICE. Whether one chooses to keep a child, or terminate, BOTH will need love and support. Leave the judgments to the Lord (and if you choose NOT to be a Christian, then just be POLITE!!)…
        Women are far better treated today than even in the Middle Ages… where more ‘rules/laws’ (by ‘religious leaders’) were put upon them; quite like SOME extremist Muslim countries, or others of other religious orders today. ENOUGH already… women have come too far to not be judging each other, let’s be grateful for what we have today in Canada, and reach out to those in other countries that do not have the benefit of any choice or decision.
        My own son is ‘exceptional’… I refuse even to say ‘special needs’, as where once it sounded more acceptable than saying ‘mentally retarded’, it has come to denote one that is ‘less than’. I assure you, they are not… I have learned MORE from my son, and his buddies, than any other place, book, professor, specialist, etc. Mostly, I have learned more about love and acceptance…. Every one of these ‘kids’ have their own capabilities and limitations, even within the Down Syndrome realm. I have seen very high functioning and very limited functioning just within that particular ‘classification’.
        I HAVE learned however, to realize that not everyone is ‘cut out’ to be understanding, or capable of dealing with, being around, or even bringing up one of these exceptional children. That’s okay. We EACH have our own strengths… even with people, as with choosing professions.
        Parents within the community of exceptional children all have different ideas as well as to how their child will be raised. Just as you do with ‘regular’ kids! I don’t agree with them all, and no doubt, they don’t agree with me!!
        Now, however much I LOVE my son, I am also a single Mom, and even if I weren’t… to be honest, there are days I am totally and utterly exhausted, or impatient; it is NOT easy. No relationship is. No parent is perfect, no parent has their own personalized ‘instruction’ manual for each child you might have. So go out and do the very best you can, choose by observing what others do if need be, what you can take and try, what you would never try… Just go your own way. When anyone else is hurting, nothing works better than a hug, like a Band-Aid of love. Let the healing underneath go at its own pace, there might be a scar, might not. But, REMEMBER, you are NOT the one ‘wearing’ that scar… and there is no answer why one might carry a scar, and another not. Our job, is just to be the ‘Band-Aid’…
        Christian, Muslim, Hindi, ‘whatever’… (agnostic/atheist)…… let’s be kind to one another!
        Comments…. not bullying!

        Reply

  2. I cried when I read this story. While I wouldn’t make the same choice, I respect this woman for telling her story. That took guts.

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    • Guts! Yes, and mental strength to carry this decision for..the..rest..of..her..life!! Due to in-grained Catholic morals, don’t think I could live with myself. Bless her, and wish her continued peace in her choice.

      Reply

  3. I grew up with a brother with many mental and physical challenges. It would be a very hard decision to make but I may have made the same choice if it were me. They don’t stay babies and you don’t stay in your 20′s and 30′s. As you age it gets more and more difficult to care for them and when you are gone its left up to your other children to care for them if you have any. Its is both a physcal , mental and financial challenge as time goes on and on. My brother is now 50 years old and we wonder who will be looking after hime when we are also go. God bless this lady for her courage.

    Reply

  4. It will be 14 years ago this month that I also chose to end a pregnancy as a result of chromosomal abnormalities. In my case, I had a crazy sense, call it maternal instinct, that something was wrong. I was only 31 at the time and genetic testing was in its infancy in Canada as to who was eligible for testing. My husband and I agreed prior to pregnancy, that if something was wrong, we would terminate. Since I was only eligible for testing if the alpha-protein test was positive, I had the option to go the the United States. Being in a border city, I went. After an amnio, we found out that my little girl had a chromosome 11 that was ring shaped. Both my husband and I were tested to see if we also had this abnormality but we did not. The clock was ticking for us as well as the genetic department at the hospital we were at scrambled to figure out what this abnormality translated to. They found out that there were only 6 documented pediatric cases on file and they were all little girls with horrible deformities. In most of the cases, the child had already passed away. The specialists could not identify what would cause such an abnormality but they couldn’t even be sure I would carry to term. We made the decision to terminate and deliver the baby. Not a day goes by that my little girl does not cross my mind. I am fortunate enough to have two healthy boys now but pregnancy was anxiety ridden for me instead of joyful and exciting . Chloe, know that as time goes on, you will be more at peace with your decision. It was a selfless thing to do as this world is not easy to live in if you have a disability. Religious folks will have an opinion and I, too, found myself telling people I “lost” the baby at first. It is true that until someone is in your shoes, they really cannot judge you. You do not need to forgive yourself as you made the right decision for you. That’s what matters in the end.

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  5. Thank you for telling this story. It talks to one of the many things all mothers think about when they are expecting – what if? I thought about this while I was expecting, and if in the same situation, I had planned to do exactly the same thing. I’m grateful that I was one of the lucky ones, and my heart goes out to those like yourself who are not so lucky. Please give yourself comfort in knowing it was not a question of love – you love this child even today, and it was because you loved this child that you made the choice you made. We as mothers constantly make decisions for our children, and we have to live with these decisions – that’s the hard part. Your courage and strength shows in the telling of your story, and I hope this courage will help you to live with this decision. You are an inspiration to us all. Much love and God bless.

    Reply

    • Very strange comment “you loved this child that you made this choice.” Whether one refers to the child as a fetus, baby, unborn, collection of cells or son….. If one loves something you generally don’t destroy it.

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  6. Wow, 724Alexis sounds like it could have been written by me! Although it was the most difficult decision I have ever made, I am at peace with it as the doctors had also really made it sound like termination was my only option. If my baby had even made it to full term, it likely would not have survived for very long after birth. Still, the experience of having to line up for an abortion with all of the unwed teenagers was humiliating and devastating. Thankfully we went on to have two healthy daughters. I don’t envy anyone having to make this decision, but you have to do what is right for you.

    Reply

  7. You stated that I don’t know when I will be able to tell your daughter the truth: that losing Tommy was a “CHOICE” that I made, you at least admitted that you made the “CHOICE to end your son’s life, and now you are grieving. Sadly many women make that “CHOICE” thinking there will not be emotional HARM from that choice, maybe you should go to a counselor/priest and admit you chose to kill your unborn child because he had a genetic defect! Then, maybe you can heal by joining our pro-life charity called Save Unborn Life, we offer a sum of $3000 to abortion-minded women, whether their baby has Down’s or whether she can’t afford the baby, we have saved over 40 unborn babies. You could have given Tommy to an adoptive couple who would have been pleased to raise him without regrets, SO maybe saving another human child doomed for abortion will help you heal, go to http://www.saveunbornlife.org and donate a sum to save another child whose mom is thinking of killing her child.
    GOD BLESS
    Mrs. Laura Merriott
    814 835-0249

    Reply

  8. These “choices” lead to purification of our society, less than perfect is no longer acceptable. I was disturbed by the story and the way the mother identified with the baby, yet still chose to end his life. I shared this story with my husband and he stared at me in disbelief. What if this woman had given birth to a seemingly healthy child, but the child was later identified with autism. Should she be given the choice to end the child’s life because the child is unhealthy? This woman and her daughter fell “in love” with this baby and recognized the unborn as a baby. She did not “lose” Tommy, she stopped his precious heart from beating. What a shame that she saw no value in this little person.

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  9. To be expected, the condemnations have arrived on this post. That’s okay. True Christians do not stand in judgement of others. Offering money to an “abortion-minded” woman? That $3000 isn’t enough for a lifetime of medical care that my daughter would have needed and she still would not be here today. Using words like “destroying a life”? Really, where is your anger really coming from? Such vitriol. You are the same people that picket outside my local hospital with posters. You will always be out there and it’s this type of judgement that make our world a scary place.

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  10. This is incredibly sad. I feel like that women was given lots of mis information.

    My brother has Down Syndrome, and it is no burden on him or society. He lives as full a life as anyone else, maybe fuller. My brother works in the service industry, is a competitive athlete and extremely active in the community with a large social circle. Something many so called “normal” people would envy. He is in his twenties and does not have dementia,instead he is a well adjusted adult. He is also not alone, many individuals with Down Syndrome are accomplishing amazing things, simply because they are being given the opportunity to learn, something they never had in the past.

    My brother is a participating, productive member of society. He is no burden on any one. He is extremely happy, and makes every one he knows extremely happy. It was no sacrifice to him or anyone else to keep him. I can’t imagine life without him.

    I feel sorry for this article’s author because she never had the opportunity to meet Tommy. I am also disappointed in the information she was given, which seems to be a reiteration of very old fashioned views. Her support, and health care providers should have known differently.

    I hope the author comes to peace. But I also hope she, and others, can re evaluate their views on “normalcy”, and realize that having special needs does not make someone inferior, or unhappy, or a detrement to society.

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  11. Having to be able to read my magazine while eating (I’m a busy mom) I was so sick to my stomach. I always opt out of this “testing” I will accept what God gives me. Children are a gift no matter what kind of package they come in. Heart wrenching to read that she watched the baby grab for the needle during the amnio, how her daughter named her brother. I believe her relationship ended because of her decision, selfish. She stopped a beautiful beating heart.

    Reply

  12. Pingback: No need to be down about Down syndrome | Reclaiming the Womb

  13. As the author of this story I felt compelled to respond to the many comments posted online.

    When I decided to write this article, I knew full well that it would be a highly controversial topic and fully expected a barrage of negative feedback. I had steeled myself for it, and perhaps in a way felt that I deserved it/needed to hear it. What I did not expect; however, were the numerous comments, emails and letters of those who showed support, kindness, empathy and understanding.

    I want to thank each and every person who provided feedback , both positive and negative. I feel that it’s important to highlight the negative in the choice I made. If it makes one person more prepared to deal with a situation like this, or even compels 1 in 100 to make a different choice, it will have all been worth it.

    The original article was much longer – and while editing it down was necessary for publication, some detail was inevitably lost. What really didn’t come through was the fact that I was initially of the same mindset as those who abhor my choice. As I began to research Downs and prepare myself for life with a child with Downs, I came across the statistics for termination and was shocked and appalled. My first thought was ‘this is like genocide!!’

    How I got from there, to making the decision I made, I honestly can’t begin to explain.

    All I can ask is that you not judge (or not judge as harshly) unless you yourself have been in the exact same situation. For those who have and chose to make a different choice, I applaud you – and hope that many others follow in your footsteps.

    Many have called this story ‘courageous’. I feel that someone who was truly courageous would have made a more selfless decision. But I remain extremely grateful to those who have supported my decision to write the story.

    Reply

    • I wrote previously (06/24); my only comment now on your ‘comment on comments’ is that you have made clear you’ve been aware that people would ‘judge’ (rightly or wrongly’); in this age of incognito messaging, people are very bold in their words. Whilst I support you in writing your story, and feel that decision was courageous (writing it); unless (as you state above) you can share ‘I honestly can’t begin to explain’ there are going to be ongoing ‘comments’.
      Today, with genetic testing, even autism will soon be diagnosed…. in fact, there is a blood test that will show at a certain point ‘if’…. *Now, in this area, everyone, please research this (it was recently on national news…CTV, I think )*. BUT, for ALL those who have children with autism, I’m sure you would have varying degrees of ‘yes/no’ in terminating pregnancy as well and outrage, etc.
      HOWEVER, with Autism there are SO many varying degrees of it, and the test does NOT say whether it is mild/moderate/severe…. plus, how in the world would any parent know IF they could/could not manage a ‘mildly autistic’ child??
      Therein lies the whole point I would make of genetic testing… who/what/when/why… has testing???
      WHERE in the world though, do we as humans, STOP playing at God’s role?
      A ‘simple’ example….
      If there is addiction in families, (be it drugs/alcohol, etc.) do we terminate those pregnancies? Perhaps this area sounds ‘silly’ (as I’m sure most people would agree, that even with generational alcoholism, not all members in each generation will become alcoholics!)…. wanted to give a example that didn’t offend, as much?!?!
      BUT, how FAR does ‘testing’ go, and WHO makes those decisions?
      How is this different than some societies/countries, ‘selectively’ having all male babies??
      We scoff at this, and shake our collective heads…. THINK about it!! WHERE does it stop?
      Those that ‘judge’ just might have to be around, to keep mankind’s head on straight to prevent outrageous choices that could very well come into being.
      (Even if some judge ridiculously, harshly, or don’t make a good reflection on Christianity or ANY other religion or those who profess to not believe, but judge anyway!)
      So, this is rambling, but then… ‘your choice’ hits on many raw levels, not just abortion, and is going to continue to touch nerve… still dialogue is important.
      (You have never commented on whether you and your partner having gone on to have a baby together since? on the other hand, maybe this isn’t the place to post that news…).

      Reply

  14. I am the mother of a 3 year old with Down Syndrome and a 6 year old with Autism. After reading this article I felt heart broken for a mother who made a difficult and heart wrenching decision based on fear and misinformation, and for a child who would never have the opportunity to live to their fullest potential. I find it dangerous in this day and age to publish such an article without a balanced point of view. 95% of mothers who find out their fetus has DS will terminate their pregnancy. For me, a devastating statistic. Studies have shown that only 4% of parents who have had a child with DS regret that decision, while 99% of people with DS are happy with their lives. Much higher than their neuro typical peers, I would wager.
    People with DS are more prone to various health issues, but any neuro typical person can experience the same health issues. Life is unpredictable. What makes one child more worthy of their parents care and support over the 19 week old fetus whose potential health problems are just as unknown as anyone’s? Thankfully, my sons biggest health issue is asthma when he is sick. He is developmentally delayed, but can run, climb, use sign language, choose his fav videos on the iPad, dance, and feed himself. He is happy, funny, energetic, affectionate, stubborn, empathic, and sensitive. He has a lot of friends and I could not imagine my life without him!
    Adults with DS are living into their 60′s. they are graduating from high school and college. They own businesses, are athletic, involved in the arts, live independently, and are getting married. The hopes and dreams for your child with DS may be set to a different bar, but the possibilities are still endless!
    My hope is that future parents facing the decision of whether or not to terminate their pregnancy based on DS, will look past their fear, work through their grief, and speak with any number of Down Syndrome Associations or Society’s for accurate and honest information before making such a traumatic and final decision.

    Reply

  15. It seems to be you only sought out the advice you wanted to hear. No where do you relate that you talked to parents of Down Syndrome children prior to your abortion or to organizations that support families with children of Down Syndrome. It is daunting to raise children who have different abilities but as a teacher of those children, each has their own level. Some Down Syndrome children can be very capable as much as some may have many difficulties. The lesson people need to learn is to seek out as much information from as many different sources. I was shocked at how bigoted and ignorant the people in the article were against DS children.

    Reply

  16. My chest tightened as I read Tommy’s Story. While the author struggles with her guilt, I know the relief of having made the opposite choice when I was 14 weeks pregnant. Every day I am grateful for the joy my eight month old son brings to my life. Before he arrived the Down syndrome diagnosis was all that I had and it was devastating. Now I have a little charmer who loves to play pat-a-cake, laughs up a storm, blows raspberries and snuggles in for stories. I am sad that the author didn’t have medical staff or counselors that presented a balanced view of the joys and challenges of having a child with Down syndrome. I am sad that the author didn’t have a family that saw the inherent value in people who are differently abled. I am sad that the author will never know the joy of kissing her son or watching her daughter interact with him. I have never regretted my choice.

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  17. I want to thank the author for being brave enough to share her story. As a mother and woman in my child bearing years I am extremely concerned about the daily messages and information available to us regarding pregnancy and child care. I’ve experienced pregnancy heartbreak as have many women I personally know through miscarriage and still birth. These pregnancies and their complications are quietly dealt with and swept under the rug leaving the healthy and “perfect” to shine. This story is not a place for personal opinion. The reality of pregnancy is too often not anything we hope or dream, and it is difficult to navigate a path we did not choose and can not control. Sharing our stories of navigation will help others when they find themselves alone and lost. Thank you, thank you, thank you for baring your soul and using your choice to shine light to others in dark places. May the strength you’ll give others be a salve to your broken heart.

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  18. I too cried when I read this story. I cried because I felt sorry for this mother who had chosen to abort her child and will never get to know the joys she could have had with him. I cried because so many parents faced with this decision base it on medical stats and a perception of how life is supposed to be. They are told that it’s what’s best for the child and the family. I have three small children. Twin boys that are 4 and a daughter that is 2. Soon after the boys were born, we learned that Ethan had Down Syndrome. While he had some complications in that first year of life (he was also a preemie), I have never regretted having him. In fact, he is inspirational to me. He had gone through a serious infection that almost ended his life, yet he fought and kept getting stronger. He has to work harder to do the things that come easy for most, but he persists and is proud of himself when he gets it (as we all are). If you sit back and take a clinical look at all the problems a child with Down Syndrome will face, you will never see the potential and love that the child has in him as well. I wrote an article on my blog about my perspective on prenatal screening and raising a child with Down Syndrome in response to this article: “For all the Tommys” http://babyfight.ca I think what is really needed is balanced information from doctors and genetic councillors that are key influencers in this process. Something is wrong in the system when 90% of women will choose to abort their own child because of a genetic imperfection. We are taking about aborting people that can go on to live happy and meaningful lives.

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  19. This is such a sad story. I was in the same situation a year ago. Our first pregnancy, we were thrilled. We did an amnio due to soft markers found on the U/S. At 17 weeks we found out our boy has Down Syndrome. Two weeks later we found out he had two holes in his heart and dilated kidneys. We faced a very very hard decision. Deep down, I knew that no matter what, this was my baby boy, and who was I to choose if his life was worth living. On April 10th I gave birth to my Benjamin. He is the love of my life. So happy and easy going. He is my whole world, and he has made me a better person. I now don’t look at people with disabilities as having something “wrong” with them anymore, just different. We are all different. I understand how hard of a decision this was, but I am so thankful that I chose to have my boy. He is the best gift I have ever been given. Though raising a child with a disability is not easy, the rewards FAR outweigh hardship

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  20. Thank you for sharing your story. You are very brave to share this controversial topic knowing that there will be people that will judge even though they have no idea what you have been through. I too have been in your shoes. Only people that have can truly understand the magnitude of the decisions that is made. It is easy to “hypothetically” make a decision because you cannot fully understand the depths of anguish, fear and love that goes into making a real decision that will affect a person for the rest of their life.

    Reply

  21. Pingback: congratulations – your baby has Down syndrome! | sue robins

  22. Pingback: Abortion, you know you thought of this… | DownHelp.org

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