When her doctor diagnosed her unborn baby with Down Syndrome when she was just over twenty-two weeks pregnant, his very next words filled her with anger.
“We can terminate the pregnancy, if you like…” he began.
Her response was instant. “Never. That will never happen!”
The mother, identified as Karen C. already had six treasured children, and she and her husband, Chad, were thrilled to be having a seventh.
She shared her story with the pro-life organization Save the Storks.
She wrote that when she went in for her ultrasound at twenty-one weeks, the procedure took unusually long. When the technician finished, she went for the doctor to go over the results.
At that point, she felt that something was wrong.
“The doctor didn’t say a lot as he remeasured and looked and remeasured and looked for what seemed like forever,” Karen wrote. “My heart was racing and I could hardly breathe. I remember praying and praying and begging the Lord to let everything be okay. He finally finished, took a deep breath, and said our baby had two of the four soft signs for Down syndrome.”
Their doctor then sent them back to their midwife for a blood test to confirm his suspicion, but the results did not come in until ten days later.
The same doctor then called Karen and gave her the news. According to Karen, he suggested an abortion immediately, “without taking another breath.” Her reply came back just as quickly: never.
When she told her midwife at her next appointment that she was going to keep her baby, the midwife responded with tears, saying “No one ever keeps the babies with Downs.”
“She was so happy that this baby had been given to us and so was I,” she wrote. “Many nurses told me how happy they were that we were keeping the baby. It was obvious it didn’t happen often, at least in this office.”
Many parents of Down Syndrome babies do choose abortion. Sources vary on the percentages, but according to CBS News, an estimated 67% of DS babies are aborted in the U.S.
Lozier Institute claims that only 30% of all DS babies are aborted, noting, “This should not be confused with the percentage of women who abort following a prenatal diagnosis. That number would certainly be higher. This reflects the overall reduction in the DS population, and takes into consideration total DS pregnancies, whether prenatally diagnosed or not.”
Either percentage is a tragedy.
Regarding her discovery of such statistics, Karen wrote, “This breaks my heart. I pray that [my baby’s] life might make a difference in this terribly sad and heartbreaking statistic. I hope her life helps raise awareness about Down syndrome so others might see that termination isn’t the answer. Life is too special and important.”
“Down Syndrome obviously has its struggles,” she added, “but so does everything this side of heaven. We need to bring awareness to things like Down syndrome so people won’t be so afraid of it.”
Karen and her husband later brought home a little girl they named Myla. She is “sunshine,” they say.
“She brings warmth, she brings life, she brings growth, she brings rainbows in the storms, she brings a brightness to our lives that I can’t even imagine having to live without.”
Note: Karen has also shared her story on a public Facebook post, available here.
Photo courtesy: ©Thinkstockphotos.com
Publication date: November 1, 2017