Wednesday, October 14, 2009

What’s In a Number?

Some people, like a certain washed-up, no-longer-licensed-to-practice OB, like to throw around a big number, THE big number... 92%. That’s right 92% of women with a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome abort their babies. That’s some majority.

Only 8% of women who know they are carrying a baby with Down syndrome choose not to terminate.

But that number, 8%, really isn’t an accurate representation of the percentage of women who are open to the idea of giving birth to a baby with Down syndrome. You see there are a whole bunch of women that decline various types of testing because test results indicating Ds will not alter their plans to have their baby.

I was one of them and I know of many others.

We can assume that if by some fluke they had been prenatally diagnosed, the majority of them would have chosen to continue their pregnancies. These women should be counted as knowingly, willingly, perhaps even welcomingly (made that one up) choosing to give birth to a child with Ds rather than abort it.

If these women were counted what would that do to the 92% number? Would it drop to 90, 85, 80, or even lower? There’s only one way to find out... Ladies, stand up and be counted.

Take the Poll
Over in the right column is a poll question that asks...If (and only if) you had an after delivery diagnosis of Down syndrome, please indicate the level of prenatal testing you received during your pregnancy. (If you had non-invasive testing and followed up with the CVS or an amnio that returned incorrect results, please select the CVS/amnio option). Also, an ultrasound, while a nice view of the baby, only counts as a test if you did the 20-week 3D check-for-Ds ultrasound or any other 3D ultrasound that was specifically performed to look for Ds markers.

Written by ds.mama

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Seeing the Possibility in Bridget

Three years ago, our family was sitting in a hospital room with heavy hearts, looking at a beautiful little girl in a tiny bed and wondering what challenges she would face.

When Bridget was a newborn, we learned about Down syndrome through what we read or were told by others. As Bridget has grown, she’s shown us all far more about herself—as well as Down syndrome, and what it’s like to live with a disability—than any textbook or person could have.

Bridget does not see herself as challenged. She is just a kid—being and doing. Like everyone else, Bridget has her own set of skills and challenges. Like everyone else, she is also full of dimension and potential.

Today, Bridget is a happy, healthy and secure three-year-old who continues to reach milestones on her own terms. She’s growing, learning new things, making friends and developing and a strong sense of herself. She is taking her first steps toward independence.

A few weeks ago, I helped Bridget climb up the stairs onto a school bus for her first day of preschool in our local school system. She is thriving.

Bridget is aware and energetic, with the whole world ahead of her. And although we are excited to see what’s in store for Bridget, we are not in a hurry to see where she’s going or even how she will get there. With a little extra support, she’ll make her way. And we will enjoy the journey right along with her.

Bridget is opening hearts and minds daily. She's showing others that all people have abilities, and that our human value is not based on our achievements.

We realize that we won’t know all of Bridget’s capabilities unless we give her the chance to learn, to build relationships, to be part of the community and to live her own life in her own unique way.

A friend once said that when you’ve seen the light in someone the world may reject—a person who doesn’t fit the mold of what society says is perfect, successful or beautiful—then you begin to see that light everywhere. We understand that clearly now.

Bridget is interesting and funny and talented, all in her own right. She deserves the chance to make her own way in this world.

We’ve learned to never underestimate Bridget. What we know now is that she is not only capable of far more than most people would think, but also that she is a joyful, important, contributing member of our family and of the community who makes life brighter for all of us.

Given encouragement and opportunity, the world is full of possibilities for Bridget--and for the rest of us.

Written by Lisa of Bridget's Light

Friday, October 2, 2009


Unlike our wild boy weeds
who shall grow strong
and burst into golden buds
with or without,

You, beautiful child,
are the exotic orchid
whose delicate blossoms
must be coaxed into bloom
by dappled sunlight.

You, exquisite child,
rooted in enriched soil,
watered with joyful kisses,
pruned by love’s touch,
will flower enchantingly.

You, precious child,
are the sweet fragrance
that delights our senses
and pollinates adoration
in this family’s garden.

(Orchid photo by Greg Allikas, used with permission)

Written by TUC