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A blog about our busy family with two amazing kids, one of whom happens to have Down syndrome!

Friday, October 19, 2012

The right to choose.

Here in the U.S. women currently have "the right to choose". I'm not going to tell you my opinion in pro-life vs pro-choice. The point is that we have the right to choose.

So why do women feel judged, persecuted, ridiculed and not supported if they choose life? The right to choose should be just that. Instead many people in society and the medical community push the right to terminate.

We were very lucky (why does this have to be rare?) that we felt extremely supported in our decision to continue our pregnancy. I've heard from several women that when receiving a Down syndrome diagnosis that their doctors immediately said something to the effect of, "When do you want us to schedule your termination?". How is that supporting our right to choose?

Being given outdated and often grossly incorrect information while counseling a woman that she has a choice is just as bad. Women are told that their child will amount to nothing more than an empty husk of a person. And it's. Just. Not. True.

Luckily there are people today that are really making a difference. They're showing women what it's really like to make a choice of life. We received wonderful information from the genetic counselor at University of Michigan Hospital. She immediately offered to put us in contact with a woman who made the same choice we did. We were given books, websites, tissues, hugs and privacy. Never ending support. I met a community of women who knew exactly how I felt.

Our families rallied around us like we'd never imagined. We had friends praying for us every single day. People dropped off books that they thought we would like. Our church family let us know how excited they were to meet our little girl. We talked up how great it would be to be a big brother to Ryan. Everyone loved this sweet little baby growing in my womb. How could we have known that she'd turn into Lauren? It's really hard to have a prenatal diagnosis sometimes because you go through the grieving process without a baby to hold. It's so easy to be come terrified of the stereotype.

And then, as if by magic, when you deliver your "diagnosis"...she turns into a baby. A beautiful, pink, chubby baby. Who cries, eats, poops and sleeps. Then she turns into this awesome little girl who cuddles, plays, babbles, steals food from our plates, shares toys with her brother. Sleeps on her tummy with her feet hanging out of the crib. Gives messy, wet kisses to people she loves. Expresses absolute joy when the cat comes close by. Chases her aunt's dog around the living room. Nibbles on her baby cousin. Smells like lavender. Splashes in the bathtub and stares at her mama with wonder.

She becomes a person. The best choice I ever could've made, don't you think?

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