My blog post from Tuesday about the MaterniT21 blood test really resonated with my readers; the viewership broke every record - exponentially.
During all the excitement, my husband decided to remind me, “You better follow up with something good on Thursday.” Thanks honey. The fact is, I can’t follow it up. There are volumes of emotions and hidden innuendo in that blog post and it takes the perfect storm to bring it all together.
Perhaps, however, I can follow up on the message with a little insight.
Yesterday, I spent quite a bit of time thinking about why 90%+ choose to terminate a pregnancy when they find out the baby has Down syndrome. And the more I thought about it, the more I felt it came down to something most of us would find to be a rational way of thinking when making this life-changing decision.
Disabilities + baby = sadness, pain, regret, hopelessness….. I could add more.
As humans, we believe this statement to be true as much as we believe 2+2=4. It is exact. It is without doubt. It is proven.
And yet, undeniably, it is wrong.
Because, it is based on the premise that if you have a perfectly healthy, non-disabled baby, everything will always be good; as parents, you will be privileged to one Hallmark moment after another.
Now, anyone who has a child knows with absolute certainty that this line of thinking is inaccurate, yet both belief systems catapult every parent into this mental exercise about what they should do when faced with having a child with a disability. Both ways of thinking are inherently wrong and thus any decision based on these untruths is also wrong.
The parent will never get what they truly wanted in the end, which was a happy life. The perfect baby will never live up to the expectations and the parent will deal indefinitely with the heartache of abortion. No winners.
I’ll be honest with you, when compared to some of my friends, who have had perfect babies (my thinking, not theirs), I would say the experiences I am having with my daughter with Down syndrome have been no worse, no better. I have had friends bury their perfect babies and fight childhood diseases and cancers. I have watched them sit helplessly by while their perfect babies subsequently overdose on drugs or become addicts. Some of those perfect babies turned out to be overtly and overly promiscuous, or lazy, and today are a complete drain on society, when they should have been contributors based on their initial Apgar scores.
If either equation can be shown to be false, our babies will stand a better chance at life. Our goal should and needs to be to change equation number one; show our own Hallmark moments.
And I think we already are.
What are you doing to change people’s perception about your child?