Below this paragraph is a link to MSNBC. The story is one that I've read a few times in the last few months but I've really avoided it until it was sent to me again and I thought it was a good 31 for 21 topic.
The article that I am linking to in this post excites me in two ways. First, it tries to convey the message that parents who have a child with Down syndrome are happy. My reaction, "no shit." (Warning: At times I have a potty mouth!) The article focuses on a 25 year old women who has Ds, is a college student, and a Special Olympian. But I can tell you that after only a month having Harper, she doesn't need to become a college student or Special Olympian to make me happy. I'm already happy. My husband is happy. My dog is happy (although jealous). And I am assuming that my extended family is happy:
Uncle Jeffy and Auntie Dajen holding Harper. Don't they look happy?!
Doesn't she make you happy just looking at her?!
Secondly, the article excites me in a way I can't explain yet. Many of my followers are also mothers of a children with Down syndrome. So, I assume that you are familiar with the new test that will be out to determine if a fetus has Ds. For those of you who are not familiar with this new test, take a minute to read this article. Basically, in a few months a new blood test will be released to help expectant mother's know if their fetus will have Ds or not earlier in pregnancy. I am a strong advocate for knowing ahead of time. We had an amnio done and it was, by far, the second scariest thing I've ever had to do. (It was ranked first up until my c-section at 36 weeks and 5 days). I am amazed at what science can do these day and excited that the blood test is a non-evasive procedure. Because, let me tell you, the amnio was invasive in every aspect. However, what makes me nervous and sad is that because this blood test can be done earlier, there will be an increased risk of terminations.
Just look at those cheeks!
To quote the article exactly: "Bioethicist Art Caplan says ."
Did he say "slowly disappear?" As in extinct? As in never to be seen again? That makes me sad. Sad for a million reasons but I don't have time to list them all. It's not like Ds is cancer. If cancer was to slowly disappear from our society how many people would be sad? Not many. Cancer kills. Down syndrome, although it can be accompanied with other medical issues can't compare. To be fair, the researcher also states that he knows it's crucial for families to receive unbiased information about how rewarding raising a child with Ds can be (unbiased? ok don't send them to my blog:)) I recommend you read the article yourself and form your own opinion. I don't want to persuade you to think the way I do. But I believe it's an article that you need to read.
Yep, we were watching Modern Family!
This blog is gaining followers (hello 30!) and I hope for it to gain more. I hope this blog becomes a resource for so many moms or soon-to-be mom's like so many blogs were and still are for me. But I know that I will never reach enough pregnant moms to keep Down syndrome from disappearing. Having a child with Ds is fantastic. Seriously, Harper is a normal kid. Granted she is only a month old but she has medical issues and she didn't give me the easiest pregnancy ever but I wouldn't change a thing. Read Harper's Birth Story and you will believe me.