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Is It Better to End a Problematic Pregnancy?

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Posted by on Sep. 2, 2013 at 8:21 AM
  • 86 Replies

Facing Down Syndrome: Is It Better to End a Problematic Pregnancy?

by David Serchuk

dave's photoI am my sister Barbara’s legal guardian. She’s five years older than me and has Down syndrome. She wasn’t even toilet trained until she was 6. Her oddly shaped mouth and tongue can’t quite say the few words she knows. She needs a lot of help and has lived in a group home her entire life.

Bluntly, I know Down syndrome is a big deal.

I am also soon to be the father of a new baby boy. I’m older, at 41, and my wife is older too, at 38. As the mother ages, the Down syndrome risk rises.

You’d think all this would make me hyper-alert to the risks of Down, and we would’ve signed up for any test available to see whether our child is at risk. But we didn’t. Why, you might ask?

These days, the tests are less invasive, and safer, than ever and recommended for all pregnant women over 35. So, why not know? After all, according to The New York Times, 90 percent of all women who receive a Down syndrome diagnosis from such tests abort.

So, again, why not know? Isn’t it better to end a problematic pregnancy?

Maybe we didn’t find out because when Barbara laughs, her entire face lights up with joy. Maybe because she sometimes snaps her fingers and shakes her considerable rump to music, even if it’s music I can’t hear. Maybe because for the past 20 years, she’s asked for the exact same present: a Kriss Kross Watch. Meaning, a watch picturing the one-hit wonder rap group Kriss Kross on it. At this point I can’t imagine anyone wants a Kriss Kross watch, if they ever existed, including the sole remaining living member of Kriss Kross. Maybe because I love her as she is.  

My wife also grew up near a boy with Down syndrome. They would play together and have the best time. The only problem was that she matured intellectually, and he never did. I realize this isn’t good. But knowing these people as we do and did, I still can’t imagine aborting our boy -- probably the last child we’ll ever have -- because he might have something wrong.  

I don’t know if we did the right thing. Either way, though, we are prepared to live with, and love, the results of our actions. Wish us luck. 

Do you think we should have tested for Down syndrome?

by on Sep. 2, 2013 at 8:21 AM
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Replies (1-10):
CLEKate
by on Sep. 2, 2013 at 9:49 AM
3 moms liked this

If it won't affect the outcome of your pregnancy, then there isn't a point in testing. 

futuremommy95
by New Member on Sep. 2, 2013 at 4:29 PM
1 mom liked this
If you are accepting of any outcome then no I dont thnk you not testing for it should even be a question. YOu know what to expect with one because of your sister. I think it is admirable what you did and what you said. Wish more men were like you!
PinkButterfly66
by on Sep. 2, 2013 at 4:43 PM

I tested specifically for this.  I would have terminated.

EireLass
by Ruby Member on Sep. 2, 2013 at 8:32 PM
2 moms liked this

Unless a person is willing to abort, or there is an 'in-utero' treatment, what would be the purpose of testing?

Anonymous
by Anonymous 1 on Sep. 2, 2013 at 8:37 PM
3 moms liked this
Shame on you. That is horrible.
I didn't test, and I would never terminate for something like that. If carrying and/or birthing the baby could potentially kill me, I would terminate. But NEVER because my child would be born different.

Quoting PinkButterfly66:

I tested specifically for this.  I would have terminated.

Anonymous
by Anonymous 2 on Sep. 2, 2013 at 8:43 PM
1 mom liked this
Do you have a baby with severe special needs. Did you quit your job and your life so that you can raise a child for the rest of your life? Shame on you that your life is more important than an unborn child.

Quoting Anonymous:

Shame on you. That is horrible.

I didn't test, and I would never terminate for something like that. If carrying and/or birthing the baby could potentially kill me, I would terminate. But NEVER because my child would be born different.



Quoting PinkButterfly66:

I tested specifically for this.  I would have terminated.

xixCandyxix
by Member on Sep. 2, 2013 at 8:45 PM

I would not abort a DS baby. A baby with a more severe problem, maybe. DS isn't that bad, I've worked with handicapped people since HS. One of my sisters is even handicapped, not DS but she's on about the same level.

Anonymous
by Anonymous 1 on Sep. 2, 2013 at 8:50 PM
1 mom liked this
Shame on me? Ok, so leaving my Kid and husband behind to care for a newborn without me is perfectly ok? No fucking way. I would never be a real life Lori (Walking Dead). It's more selfish to leave the child you already have and your husband, plus a newborn, than it is to terminate a potentially deadly pregnancy.

Quoting Anonymous:

Do you have a baby with severe special needs. Did you quit your job and your life so that you can raise a child for the rest of your life? Shame on you that your life is more important than an unborn child.



Quoting Anonymous:

Shame on you. That is horrible.


I didn't test, and I would never terminate for something like that. If carrying and/or birthing the baby could potentially kill me, I would terminate. But NEVER because my child would be born different.





Quoting PinkButterfly66:

I tested specifically for this.  I would have terminated.

Anonymous
by Anonymous 2 on Sep. 2, 2013 at 8:52 PM
1 mom liked this
Then stop throwing stones because you definitely live in a glass house. You have your reasons for having an abortion. She has hers. The end.

Quoting Anonymous:

Shame on me? Ok, so leaving my Kid and husband behind to care for a newborn without me is perfectly ok? No fucking way. I would never be a real life Lori (Walking Dead). It's more selfish to leave the child you already have and your husband, plus a newborn, than it is to terminate a potentially deadly pregnancy.



Quoting Anonymous:

Do you have a baby with severe special needs. Did you quit your job and your life so that you can raise a child for the rest of your life? Shame on you that your life is more important than an unborn child.





Quoting Anonymous:

Shame on you. That is horrible.



I didn't test, and I would never terminate for something like that. If carrying and/or birthing the baby could potentially kill me, I would terminate. But NEVER because my child would be born different.







Quoting PinkButterfly66:

I tested specifically for this.  I would have terminated.

Anonymous
by Anonymous 1 on Sep. 2, 2013 at 8:57 PM
3 moms liked this
There's one huge difference, though. Terminating for DS is because the baby would be a burden in the parents' eyes..aka, SELFISH. Terminating to prevent my death and to avoid leaving the Kid I have behind, is looking out for the loved ones I already have and who need me here..aka, UNSELFISH. THAT, my dear, is the fucking end.

Quoting Anonymous:

Then stop throwing stones because you definitely live in a glass house. You have your reasons for having an abortion. She has hers. The end.



Quoting Anonymous:

Shame on me? Ok, so leaving my Kid and husband behind to care for a newborn without me is perfectly ok? No fucking way. I would never be a real life Lori (Walking Dead). It's more selfish to leave the child you already have and your husband, plus a newborn, than it is to terminate a potentially deadly pregnancy.





Quoting Anonymous:

Do you have a baby with severe special needs. Did you quit your job and your life so that you can raise a child for the rest of your life? Shame on you that your life is more important than an unborn child.







Quoting Anonymous:

Shame on you. That is horrible.




I didn't test, and I would never terminate for something like that. If carrying and/or birthing the baby could potentially kill me, I would terminate. But NEVER because my child would be born different.









Quoting PinkButterfly66:

I tested specifically for this.  I would have terminated.

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