Wednesday, July 4, 2012

The Wrong Idea

black_pink

With every pregnancy comes a preconceived idea of the child that will be. We may not even realize how powerful and ingrained that idea is, unless it is challenged. The idea is firmly grounded in the perfected combination of the mother and father. A wanted pregnancy is a pregnancy of hope.

sleepingbeauty

A prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome changes all that. Though nothing inside me was different than the day before I heard the news, everything in my mind was altered. The possibility of perfection was shattered, and I was left contemplating that even the best outcome would be subpar to a “normal” child. I hesitantly opened the yellow folder filled with xeroxed faded sheets describing what the future might look like.

lovingmommy

Anal atresia, a flat face, heart defects, small low set ears... the flush of shame rushed through me. How could I have created this anomaly? I read a little more... and was clobbered with the worst of it, intellectual disability. My child would not be smart like me. In fact, according to the fact sheet, my baby would likely be a standard deviation or so down from the lowest point of normal human cognition.

ipad

I stuffed the papers back into the folder and closed it up. Then I put it high up on a shelf far away from me. I would not look at it again. I could not look at it again. “Que sera, sera,” I said to myself through my tears. And for the rest of my pregnancy I lived in fear of this ugly imperfect child growing inside of me.

beauty

What if I had been delivered this news early in my pregnancy, long before I could feel the baby fluttering, and long before the world could see that I was carrying? What if I had been told that my other children and my marriage would suffer because of this coming child? What if the doctor I trusted with my most womanly self had suggested that I could end this and do it over again with the odds stacked in my favor? What if the wrong idea had convinced me to take my daughter’s life?

withjade

I wish that every single woman facing this difficult decision could have a glimpse of her future. Not just of her child but of who she will become because of that child. It is a terrible thing to have knowledge without experience, fear without hope, vision without clarity. It is a terrible thing to have to make a life altering decision based on an idea, maybe even the wrong idea.

band

14 comments:

Not a Perfect Mom said...

The doc who encouraged me to terminate gave me the stats (now we know incorrect stats) or women who terminate, so I wouldn't feel like was doing the wrong thing...
But what he didn't tell me, what my own OB told me (who has a cousin with DS) is that more than 1/2 of those women end up in therapy over their rash decision...
and that to me is almost more devastating than the lost life....

Lex said...

This made me cry. You are so right. We had a diagnosis after our daughter was born and the whole staff mourned. I was grateful to have been given that information while she was in my arms- while I could look at her and feel her spirit. She was perfect.

I wish anyone who was making this decision could just hold Abby for a while before they decided one way or the other. I think it would change their minds.

Gillian Marchenko said...

Beautiful post. Sharing.

Leah said...

That last paragraph is perfect. So beautifully said and so flipping true.

Heather McFarland said...

My Abby still loves, still gives, still laughs, still crys, still screams, still pouts and still lives...every single minute to its fullest. No one told us this truth. And you know what, it's contagious!

Anonymous said...

Well Done! and Jeremiah 29:11 is our son's life verse. hugs.... grace

Anonymous said...

Are any of US perfect????

Anonymous said...

Wow! So powerful!!! I hope mamas that are facing one of the most difficult decisions in their lives can see your post and be encouraged to give not only their baby a chance but themselves a chance…You become a different person after your blessing of Ds! And by the way, our Jarrett's Life Verse is Jeremiah 1:5--tearing up right now typing this! Thank you for this post!

Anonymous said...

Our grandson, Drew, was not even diagnosed until he was 4 months old. He brings our family and everyone he knows joy unspeakable! We are blessed beyond any imagination! He is 8 and so amazing!

Kelly said...

Life is made more beautiful in its perceived imperfections!

Jenny said...

I have read through this a few times now, it's so beautiful, I love it. Hope you don't mind if I share the link on my blog :)

Beau said...

beautiful post!

Chromosomally Enhanced said...

This is it! I was just reliving these thoughts this morning on my walk...I just wish we had a fast forward button to hit to peek then go back and relax...enjoy and savor every sweet moment we will have with our child...the child I thought I could not lover live with...now I am not I could live life as great with out her...love it...smiles

Becca said...

So, so, so beautiful. I wish I could share my daughter with all of those pregnant women struggling to make a decision. Hope they read this, at least.

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