Sunday, October 9, 2011

Be The Change

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? 


  1. Love Your Thoughts, thanks for the encouragment.

  2. First I am starting with prayer. I hope God shows me how I can help more.

  3. I had a thought, a wake up in the middle of the night flash, in light of Courtney's post, now it's just a thought, but what if all of you wonderful down syndrome blogging mommy's or as many as you could, or as many as would, went to your OB's office and offered your number? And said please please if you have a patient who gets the diagnosis give them my number?

    They may not do it, or the patient might not call....but what if, when you first found out, you knew you could talk to someone who had been through exactly what you were going through? You could meet them? Meet their child? Just talk? I don't know... It's just a thought. You and beautiful Ollie are such an inspiration! God Bless! mcm

  4. Wouldn't this be the perfect month to do it? You just might save a life! :-) mcm


Thank you so much for your kind words & support! I love hearing from you & read each and every comment you leave for me! ~Annie


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