Thursday, August 4, 2011

A life worth fighting for.

The reason I started this blog was because of a statistic.  I was at a genetics appointment yesterday and he told me only 50 percent of Down syndrome babies are diagnosed before birth. So it made me think about what I read before how 92 percent of Down syndrome babies who are diagnosed in utero are terminated.  That means 8 percent of parents decide to keep their babies.  People may think it was easy for me because I didn’t really know.  I didn’t have to think about it and make the choice.  Regardless of what I’ve been taught from my religion I still have pondered abortion, and wanted to get my own opinion and not just think- they say it’s a sin, so it’s a sin.  I wanted my own opinions and this is mine, but it doesn’t have to be yours. I have thought about these questions -When do you believe life begins, and how far in a pregnancy do you think it's taking a life? To answer that question I’ve looked up the definition of death before. 

Death: 1: a permanent cessation of vital functions: end of life.

Did you know that a fetus heartbeat begins 18 days after conception, when the mother is roughly 4 days late for her menstrual period, and by 21 days it is pumping through a closed circulatory system.  I personally believe if you have a heartbeat then you are alive.  A heartbeat is a basic vital function.  You can debate that’s not the only vital function, but ones enough for me. I’ve never chose to do amniocentesis because it would happen after the heart beats.  If there is a beating heart, then it isn’t my place to decide if something should live or die.  I would never have aborted her for that reason. 
Recently I read an article that there is a new test developed for an easier, less evasive, and lower risk way to diagnose a fetus with DS then with amniocentesis.  That Insurance companies will gladly pay for this testing. They will encourage parents to take this test, and also pay for the termination of these pregnancies.  That the government, and insurance companies are in favor of termination because the huge chunk of cash that they will save from not having to care for these kids.   What happens when 100 percent of DS babies are diagnosed before birth? People are worried that DS people wont exist anymore, not because it doesn’t happen, but because they are terminated.  Most doctors probably haven’t even interacted with a DS person before and they will be the ones to advise these parents to terminate.
Is a DS life a life worth living? Before LC I have known only one person long ago that had DS and I didn’t know her well. I knew nothing about it really.  I didn’t know the bad, or the good things.  Now I have LC I know!  She touches peoples life's and she teaches people something.  She is worth the extra money, and time she requires.  She has a right to live and she has a right to a wonderful life.  She feels joy, love, pain and hurt. She is the same as any baby.  Who are we to decide which babies deserve to be born.  Does she not belong because she may take longer to master a skill?  Everyone masters skills at a different speed anyway, and in that is a lesson of patience. I’ve been told that DS kids have really high self-esteem.  Maybe we “normal” people can learn a thing or two from these “special” people, and that’s why their here on earth.  My husband and I have asked ourselves how do we teach our children Self Worth, or are you just born with it?    Like why are some extremely beautiful people never confident in their beauty and they get plastic surgery, and some don’t?  Were they just born more confident?  The thing we came up with had to do with setting goals, and accomplishing them.  Think about how you feel when you finally Master something hard.  You feel wonderful,  and your confidence grows.  What about the things that come easily to you?  A lot of time we take them for granted.  DS kids don’t have anything come easy to them thanks to their low muscle tone.  This last week LC has mastered holding her head, she’s had to work at this, it didn’t just happen.  I can’t recall when the other two did it, but I have been showing all my family and friends- Look at LC she can hold her head now.  I clap for her and she smiles so big.  I show her how good she’s doing in the mirror and she smile even more. I can tell she’s proud. That’s how I think you get self worth.  Self worth is not arrogance it’s respect of oneself.   I can tell my children a million times there wonderful, smart, and beautiful. That can help, but they also need to find those things out for themselves.  They need to work hard at their goals and feel the great feelings that come from accomplishing hard things.  It’s makes them strong. We need more kindness, and less selfishness.   I’ve been told that DS kids are always kind but not always treated kindly.  She is not as strong and she has to wait for her muscle to build until she can master her skills.  She does these things slowly, but they come.
(LC and her sister)
She teaches us how to be patient and kind by example.  We need more of that this day and age, and those kind of people are worth fighting for. 

1 comment:

  1. wow, I'm thinking you should write a book! Seriously, that was good. It makes perfect sense that she would and should have such a high self esteem. Everything in life will mean so much more to her because she's had to work for it and probably won't take anything for granted. I can't wait to see her holding up her head!

    And I think that I would agree with your stance on abortion even if I wasn't raised in the religion I was. That life is definitely worth fighting for! From the very beginning.