Once again, too long. I have been feeling pretty rough with this pregnancy. I do have excellent news to report- there is only one baby this time around and s/he is doing great! The baby is measuring right on with my due date of June 11th and all looks perfect.
This pregnancy has been such a different experience from the one with the boys. The first time I was completely oblivious to the fact that *something* could be wrong. It never even occurred to me that it was a possibility. This time around I am VERY aware of the chances and though I try not to worry, it does creep into my thoughts. I have had some pretty vivid nightmares about the baby being born without an arm or no heartbeat. I still stand by my decision to refuse all testing and I am putting my faith in God that we will have the baby we are meant to have but still, there are those small, nagging worries.
When I went for my first prenatal appointment last week I was given a book about the pregnancy and there were pamphlets about all the available testing that can be done. I was more than a little annoyed at some of these "informational" brochures.
In one for the new blood test available the term "Down syndrome fetus" was used. That annoyed me on so many levels but mainly because we strive so hard to teach people to use people first language. For example you don't say Down syndrome child, you say child WITH Down syndrome. They are PEOPLE first WITH a diagnosis second. Casey and Connor are NOT Down syndrome toddlers. That is such a small part of who they are. When will these medical "professionals" get this right??
I will say this; The midwife I met with for my first appointment was wonderful. Molly has such a warm personality and she just has this calming presence about her. At the beginning of my talk with her we were discussing my history and I told her C&C have DS and proceeded to make her look at pictures of the boys. She wants twin boys someday. She loved my miracle men- who can blame her? When we began discussing testing she said, "You don't want that, right?" 'No. I don't.' She smiled and said, "I have to ask but I figured." That was it. No pushing me toward it, no heavy sigh, no indication she thought I was a crazy lady. She was accepting and sweet and I think that once I get the go-ahead from my OB next month I will be switching to a midwife for this pregnancy and I think Molly is my number 1 choice.
I think more doctors and midwives should be as understanding as she was with what is ultimately a very personal decision. Women should not be pushed into testing if it's not something they are comfortable with. A woman on my June 2012 birth board on a popular pregnancy website said it best, "My husband and decided, before we conceived, that we wouldn't have any chromosomal testing. It's a Pandora's box I am not willing to open."
I am NOT opposed to testing. As I said, it's every woman's VERY personal decision. I DO however have a problem with what many choose to do with that information. If a baby is shown to have a higher likelihood of DS and the mother chooses to terminate the only one losing out is that baby. There is so much bad information out there about what life with a child with DS is like. If you want to test to know so you can be prepared, kudos to you. I am not one of those people who could have handled knowing ahead of time. I would have made myself sick with stress. If you want to find out so you can be sure you are having a "perfect" baby, well, that disgusts me. C&C ARE perfect. They are true miracles. I am blessed. I wish people knew that NOTHING is guaranteed in life. If your baby is born perfect you never know what might happen.
There are no certainties with children. Some live their whole lives perfectly healthy, others spend large chunks of their lives in hospitals fighting cancer. Still others end up with Chron's disease, Autism, brain damage- there are NO guarantees. At the very minimum this is true for my life. I KNOW Casey and Connor have DS. I KNOW there are things that will be difficult for them. I KNOW I will have to spend a lot of time fighting to make sure they get the same fair chances as other kids. I KNOW that people will look at us and judge- both positive and negative. I KNOW that I am blessed beyond belief. There are a lot of KNOWNS in my life. The UNknowns are the same ones parents of typical kids deal with all the time. I can handle that.
Thanks to everyone who continues to write and comment. I have the map narrowed down to 2 choices and should have it ordered in the next week. I will begin marking it and will post a picture as soon as possible!
Have a blessed day!!