Saturday, May 2, 2009

Shortly after Eon's birth, I discovered a message board on for moms who have kids with Ds. It has been such a blessing! We discuss concerns, support each other, and brag on our special kids. Because I surf the net while pumping, I spend a lot of time on the computer. I've discovered that there are message boards or "communities" for just about anything you can think of. There's even one for those of us that exclusively pump. :)

Last night, I discovered one for those who have chosen or are choosing to terminate their pregnancies because of medical issues with the baby. Oh my. I wish I hadn't read the messages. Most of them aborted their babies because of a Down syndrome diagnosis. I feel sick. One woman posted because she is overcome with guilt and recently had a miscarriage. She was wondering if karma had something to do with her recent loss. All of the other women were quick to assure her that she did nothing wrong. In fact, according to them, she took the high road and was completely selfless in taking the life of her baby, so it didn't have to suffer. I have been devestated since discovering that the termination rate for prenatal diagnosis of Ds is 90%, and yet, even that did not prepare me for encountering these women. The lies they believe are many.

I couldn't help myself. I sent a private message to one who has an abortion scheduled for next Wednesday. Her baby, too, has Down syndrome. I told her how wonderful these kids are and how much they can accomplish. I told her I understood her fear, that I'd experienced it, too, but that it will disappear. I asked her to give her baby a chance. I've not heard back and I don't expect to.

As I was writing the truth about Ds, that these kids can accomplish so much, I was struck with the realization that therein lies the problem. We only value people for what they can do. I was trying to convince someone that her baby deserved to live because his defecits will not be that bad. If he were diagnosed with something that limited function more, I wouldn't have had a leg to stand on. How do you communicate to someone that they should value life because it's life? How have we gotten to this point that we have to?


  1. What a great post and thought provoking. I agree that most of the time I am defending Morgan because she is able to live a fulfilled, quality life, but honestly all life is valuable and quality and functioning of that individual does not determine the value of their life! I don't know how I would feel if I had found that message board. I commend you for sending the private email though--that baby needs a voice from someone and I am glad you took a stand.

  2. I don't know what to say... I think a hug is the best I can offer. It is amazing what our society has accepted.

    Speedy Mom from SL

  3. You're wonderful! You gave that baby a voice. I hope it's heard. I didn't know that my baby had DS until after he was born. Looking back, I wouldn't have had the nerve to abort even if I did find out thru pre-natal diagnosis. But this is just me. Everyone is entitled to their own opinions. It's just sad that not all choose life.

  4. Hi Tara, I know you from bbc, my screen name is shareislam. Even though we are different faiths, and we could probably argue with each other until our faces are blue ;), I also think we have much in common and one of those things is a deep respect for the life that God has created. I too read that board on bbc and it bothers me IMMENSELY that the termination rate is so high. I literally lose sleep over it. It's almost an obsession.Yes, I think that these women aren't educated on DS, but at the same time its all out there if you WANT to find it. I'm sure the women that choose to post on the termination board are also aware of the DS and DS pregnancy boards. The fear is real, the darkness, and I totally get that, afterall I've lived it when I got my prenatal diagnosis. I feel that these couples just don't want to "deal" with the stigma and extra work involved in having a special needs child. That makes me angry. It also makes me so sad that they will never know what they're missing. So I don't have an answer, there isn't one, but lets just pray, pray, pray for these women. I've often hesitated in pm'ing these women, but I did recently pm one. Anyway, thanks for the post.

  5. I am also flabbergasted at the termination rate for prenatal diagnosis of Ds. I look at Anna and want to cry that some people think that her life is not worth living. There is no guarantee for any of us. I have two other 'typical' children and one of them could very easily become terminally ill or become disabled in any number of types of accidents -- then what? Should I terminate their life because they have now become a burden on me and their life not fulfilling? Of course not! That would be considered murder.

    I know God has given us Anna for a purpose, and I know Anna has purpose in life. One of those reasons, as I am finding out, is to help me find my voice on issues that I used to ignore because I didn't want to offend people with different opinions.

    I have recently offered my name to my OB, mid-wives, and two local pregnancy centers as a person that women can talk to if they have questions/fears, etc. about Ds. I have no idea if anyone will ever call, but we have to try.

  6. Greetings from a mom who is a little further along on our journey with the blessings that come with Down syndrome...and also homeschooling. Simeon is a beautiful baby! His smile melts my heart...

    God's peace, Amy

  7. I did the same thing the other day...venturing over to the termination board. It broke my heart. I do wish there was a way to make expectant parents realize that all lives are valuable.

  8. I totally agree! It has always torn my heartstrings to know that abortion happens for any reason, but since having Samara, it rips me apart even more. Not to mention the whole Eugenics aspect of it.

    I am on a DS forum for those in Australia, and we are currently working on getting our stories together, and having a pamphlet made that through the DS support groups, we are going to try and have them given to all parents given a prenatal diagnosis. Don't know if it will ever happen, but we have to try.