Thursday, July 12, 2012

Down syndrome: 92% 0r 8%

92% of woman will opt for an abortion when they are told the child that they are carrying has Down syndrome.

I know this is not new, news, but it still leaves me stunned.

What have we become?
Why, in this day and age is something like Down syndrome still a death sentence?
Why are 92% of woman  still so afraid of Down syndrome that they think the only alternative is death...death to their child?

A couple anticipates the birth of their child with so much joy. They plan and dream. Mama's hold their bellies at night,  talking and singing to their unborn child. There's a bond formed immediately, a bond that should never be broken.

Why then do 92% of woman who love their babies, sing to their babies and anticipate their babies birth end up terminating their pregnancies. Breaking that mother/child bond?

And please, it's not for the child. It's not a sacrifice so the child does not suffer. It's not because it would be unfair to have a child "like that". It's not so your other children's lives are not ruined by the burden of a disabled sibling.

So why?


Fear, of the unknown. Fear that the child will have health issues. Fear that people will talk about you. Fear that you won't have the "perfect" family anymore. Fear that you will love this child and they will die. Fear that your life will be different or harder.

FEAR makes us do things that we never thought we were capable of doing.

But when we turn and face that fear, we find beauty like we have never known before.

All those fears I mentioned above, were my fears. I don't know if I was more fearful of Emmie dying or of her actually living. I know that sounds harsh, but fear had consumed me.  

I got little or no comfort from the medical community. My friends and family were not familiar with Down syndrome, and I had no idea what to expect.I was scared to talk to anyone who had a child with Down syndrome because I was afraid they would tell me something I couldn't deal with. So I avoided anyone who probably could have really helped me.

92% of woman let fear win.They let fear take away their dreams. They let fear break that beautiful bond. They let fear convince them that the child they loved on Monday, isn't the same child on Tuesday, after a diagnosis. They let fear stop them from singing anymore.
Down syndrome isn't the villain here, FEAR is. 
Down syndrome isn't a bond breaker.
Down syndrome doesn't ruin the family photos.
Down syndrome isn't an embarrassment.


The funny thing is, I bet all 92% of those woman would walk through fire, die any death and face any dangers to protect that child after they were born.  They would be fearless! 

Down syndrome has a way of doing that to you. 

If you give it a chance you will become fearless, strong, and certain that your child is the most amazing creature this world has ever seen.

" Do the thing you fear most and the death of fear is certain."
Mark Twain

Having a baby with Down syndrome was my greatest fear. Having faced that fear, it has become my greatest joy.

If by any chance you are reading this and are thinking about becoming part of the 92%, please think again. Feel free to contact me or your local Down syndrome Society.  

I can only say that being part of the 8% has been the greatest joy of my life. Down syndrome is a path I never would have chosen, out of fear, but now after facing my fears, this path has become the most enchanting garden I've ever seen.


my family said...

perfect steph. I always say I wish I could go back to that day during the ultrasound and tell myself everything would be fine. The months of worry were such a waste, but it is the fear of the unknown that can be so consuming

Rochelle said...

So true my friend. It is the fear of the unknown. I pray that many find this post and many sweet little children with ds are saved because of it!

Jeana said...

Love this post! You put so much thought into it. I really do understand what you mean about being afraid if your baby died or lived. Its crazy how few clouds our view and causes so much confusion. Definitely Satan trying to keep us from ultimately having more joy in this life than we could have ever imagined. So glad I'm part of the 8%, so very very glad.

Melissa said...

I love this post, and it's so true. People let the fear of the unknown win out and they miss out on so, so much.