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  1. #1
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    Default What do prenatal tests mean to you?

    Not sure this will come out right but I had my harmony bloods taken yesterday and will have nt plus in 2 weeks. Previous pregnancies I came out low risk so that was enough but 40 now want all the non invasive tests available. But I also feel this time I should be prepared with what we do if they find something. Is that realistic or pessimistic? Without giving it much thought I think I always presumed I wouldn't keep a trisomy baby, but it was much less likely even a few years ago. Now I can't attach to this baby in case something is wrong. It doesn't help that I've read few things lately about downs children. They are so loving I feel like I'm discriminating against disability feeling that we would probably terminate if we get that news. But my partner doesn't even want this baby if it's healthy so I think it would be a non starter if something known to be wrong.
    Am I the only one who thinks about this??

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    I don't think you're discriminating at all. Who doesn't want a healthy child, in all senses of the word? It's such a hard decision to make, and only you can decide what is right.

    I had the Verifi test done after our NT blood test came back with low Papp-A, giving a 1:195 chance of downs. Until those results came back (thankfully all clear) I didn't want to touch my belly, look in the mirror or even really think about the baby I may potentially not be bringing home.

    There's lots of positive stories around about people keeping their down syndrome babies, which is great for people who want to make that choice. But for me, there would be no second guessing if the results had come back as positive for trisomy issues. I would have had an amnio to make absolutely certain and then terminate.

    My DH has a son with disabilities (unfortunately not detectable before birth). I have seen first hand the challenges and frustrations both parent and child faces in this situation. As you know it doesn't just stop when they are no longer children - you will have to care for a special needs person for the rest of their life, or yours. I'm looking forward to nurturing and guiding this little person growing inside of me, but one day I'm also looking forward to her growing up and having the freedom once again to live my life the way I want to.

    I have the utmost respect for parents with special needs children - but I for one could not knowingly bring a child into this world who will face those challenges every single day. Life is hard enough for a "normal" person.

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    Freyamum  (06-11-2013)

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    We've had this discussion also - I think for me it was more of a question of "can we honestly provide, monetary and otherwise, the quality of life our child deserves if they had a significant disability"
    It's a necessary discussion to have IMO

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    Thanks for the replies. I think I want to be prepared just in case. A school friend has a sister who has downs, I'm not sure how things were for her growing up but I know it's hard now she is an adult and not independent. Especially since their mum died. I guess it's not just about how I feel but how hard it would be for the child and then as an adult, especially with us being older it could be an extra burden on my kids. Hopefully my bub will be fine, but I feel thinking about this now has helped to get my thoughts straight. I can wait a few more weeks to bond with this baby who makes me feel sick all day ;-)

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    Yes that's another point I forgot to mention Freyamum - the impact on siblings!

    It might sound horrible to some people, but it's quite a burden for my other stepson to have a brother with special needs. He's been teased so much at school and it really effected his social life - not wanting to bring friends home, etc. It also made his mother far too smothering, so he's missed out on a lot (that's a separate in itself). He feels so obligated to take care of his brother and they don't have a good relationship because of that.

    SS2 has always felt like he is the big brother, so it plays all sorts of havoc with the psychology of natural birth order. SS1 is technically an adult now and wants to be treated as such, but doesn't want to take on any of the responsibilities or consequences that come with it (mental age 8).

    These late teen years are particularly tough on both boys - one is unable to achieve the usual milestones, and the other can't fully enjoy it when he does achieve them because it's always downplayed to try and minimize the jealousy and complaints from SS1.

    I do have issues when it comes to the way my DH's ex chooses to parent, and I think a lot of things could definitely be made better for both children if the right things were done at the right time, but even with "perfect" parenting, having a sibling with any sort of special needs would be challenging.

    Oh and there's a really big public embarrassment factor which doesn't get talked about often when you have a child around with special needs. It's taken me a long time not to cringe every time people stare at us whenever SS1 opens his mouth. Not such a big deal now it's part of normal life for me, but people really can't help themselves.


 

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