Just a couple of thoughts for the day....
Thank you for LIKING and for SHARING Adele's Over the Rainbow Baskets - Down syndrome LOVIN. Spread the word.
The first thing that I wanted to touch on is that North Dakota is the first State to ban abortion because of Down syndrome.
I know that this made a lot of people happy, possibly a big cheer and maybe a few comments.
I am really sitting on the fence with this one. The day that we found out that Adele had Down syndrome, we knew that we couldn't do it. We couldn't possibly raise a child with Down syndrome. We didn't know how to be parents to a child with specials needs. It would be way too difficult. Nobody has the right to judge either of us. If we decided to terminate the pregnancy, that was our choice. I shared my thoughts and feelings with close friends after our appointments and all I asked was that they supported whatever we decided. Our friends did not judge. They may not have fully agreed, but they would support us.
I received the call from the hospital on a Saturday that we were scheduled for an induction that day. I was under 18 weeks pregnant. I wasn't informed of the appointment, so I was taken off guard. I couldn't do it. James and I needed to see our baby at the 18 week ultrasound and we needed to see that she had a good heart, that she was healthy, we needed to see her, perhaps one last time.
After the 18 week ultrasound and seeing this perfect baby, we knew that we needed to continue with our journey. I told James that I couldn't imagine going into the hospital, getting induced, delivering a baby and going home with nothing but a broken heart. We knew that she was ours and that we made her, we loved her and we knew that the addition to our family would be welcomed by the entire family. It was funny because that day, after the ultrasound, there was this sense of comfort and ease and happiness. We sat in the room waiting to discuss everything with the doctor and we giggled and we smiled. It felt like a weight had been lifted. I don't know if it was because she was healthy or because she just captured our hearts. It was a really great moment.
After the ultrasound, we stopped by my parent's house and we discussed with them what we were planning. The plan to continue. I actually wasn't too sure what they would say to us. I didn't know if they thought that maybe we couldn't handle having a child with Down syndrome. I didn't know.
My dad looked at me and told me that they were her grandparents, no matter what. They would love her no matter what. Another exhale.
It wasn't all butterflies and roses during the remainder of the pregnancy. Adele had a couple of cardiac concerns, which later in the pregnancy resolved on their own....another exhale, my blood pressure was elevated, the emotional toll was almost unbearable at times. It's a very different feeling when your baby is growing inside of you. It is such a world of the unknown. It's scary and overwhelming at times. You hear horror stories from others and Google can fill your mind with statistics from the 1970s. It was a very long 35 weeks, but we did it. We did it with a lot of support and love.
This brings me back to my initial comment, banning abortion.
Who am I to judge what you and your family decide? Who am I to tell you that you are killing a human being? Who am I to tell you that you can do it? Who am I to tell you that if you terminated, you would be making a huge mistake? We were there. We were considering termination. We just knew that it couldn't be done, raising a child with special needs. Two educated, established people, couldn't do it.
You are telling a woman that she can not decide what she wants to do with her body. You are telling a family that they have no choice but to have this baby. Is that fair? If you tell a woman that she must continue with the pregnancy, who's to say that she doesn't compromise the pregnancy? Who's to say that she doesn't try everything possible to end the baby's life or even her life? What if there is no connection, no bonding? This is a really tough subject and I think that it is up to the parents to decide what they think is best for their family. Am I a bit disgusted by the termination numbers? Absolutely! 90% of women terminate. Maybe instead of setting up these kinds of laws, set up a law that the family will be required to receive genetic counselling, resources to access, then allow them to decide. I understand that between finding out the diagnosis and the allowed time to terminate, you don't have too many weeks, but you have enough time, with the appropriate resources, you could make an educated decision, one that is best for your family.
Most families, the majority don't find out until after delivery. Imagine being told after you have delivered that your perfect baby has Down syndrome. You were se excited to see your perfect child, it was all planned out, private schools, post secondary, the hopes and the dreams, all flushed down the toilet. But wait!!! You see your baby, in the flesh and you melt. Your heart feels full. You see your miracle. There is the connection. There are some worries and concerns, but your baby is here, in your arms. Maybe there will be private schools. Maybe there will be post secondary. Maybe she will find the love of her life. Just maybe, life will be great!
The first time we met. A little tear running down my cheek.
When you are pregnant, you don't always feel the connection. You don't have a clear idea of what baby looks like and to some, baby is not real until after delivery. It can be easier to make the decision to terminate, because your baby is not in your arms. Find a good, healthy support system. Surround yourself with those who love you.
It's not perfect. Life is busy. We have lots of appointments. We still worry. We still have concerns. We still have fears. We made the best decision for our family.
Happy 2nd Birthday beautiful Brinley! xo