When I was 28 years old I was pregnant with my daughter. I was referred to a genetics counselor by my obstetrician. It was in the office of the genetics counselor where I was told (based on my blood work) there was a 1 in 11 chance my daughter would have Down Syndrome. She then gave me three options: 1) get an amniocentesis; 2) do nothing; or 3) get an abortion, which I will angrily get to in a minute.
In case you don’t know what an amniocentesis is, it’s a diagnostic test that detects any chromosome abnormalities, neural tube defects and genetic disorders. A long needle is inserted through the abdomen into the amniotic sac where the baby is. Amniotic fluid is taken and sent to a lab to determine if the baby has any abnormalities or defects. The downside is it carries risks, like a miscarriage or the needle coming into contact with the baby.
I don’t know why the option of an abortion even was offered to me. I felt insulted in some way. I don’t frown upon anyone put in this situation and they choose the abortion, but for me it wasn’t even a consideration. I didn’t see Down Syndrome as a reason to just give up on my child.
I, of course, shared everything with my husband (since he wasn’t in the office with me), but we both knew there was no way we would ever go through with an abortion or even an amniocentesis. It just wasn’t the way to go. Whatever was going to happen, was just going to happen.
On my follow up visit back in the genetics counselor’s office I politely declined the amniocentesis and the abortion and exited her office for the last time.
My daughter ended up being born without any issues and it brings tears to my eyes to ever think what if…
…what if my daughter was aborted?
– I may not have experienced the joys of having a daughter
– I wouldn’t have seen her make the honor roll multiple times
– I wouldn’t have seen her enter the gifted & talented program
– I may not have been a dance mom
– My view on vaccines may not have changed
– I may not have ever gotten over the decision to have an abortion
– I wouldn’t have seen her smile light up the room
– I wouldn’t have heard her laughter fill the air
– I may not have made it to three kids
So, many more…
I don’t pass judgement on anybody that chose or chooses the other route. I just pray that whatever the decision is that you are faced with that you enter with both wisdom and faith.
Have you ever been faced with this difficult decision?