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?