I was just talking to my Down syndrome Facebook friend, Diane Grover, one of the founders of the IDSC. IDSC is the International Down Syndrome Coalition for Life that promotes how amazing individuals with Down syndrome are. What’s great about the IDSC is that they’re a neutral organization. You will not find bias information on that site regarding pro-life or pro-choice views. This site is focused on pro-women and strives to empower women to make the choice without pressure from outside sources.
In any event, we were chatting about the NDSC Conference when she asked me to pray for a person who landed on the site. Here’s what she wrote:
Okay, I just have to ask you ladies to say a little prayer, or send a good vibe, or great energy, whatever we all do. Someone is on IDSC site right now, after googling with the words “can I do an abortion with down syndrome” So glad they landed on our pretty site!!! Those faces are amazing, and I know they will see how beautiful their child will be!
This broke my heart. It’s the reality that I often block out of my mind. People truly consider aborting a child with a disability. Take the disability out of the equation and you have a child.
My Wes is my world. He makes me smile though my tears when I worry that others may not accept him for his “flaws”. He is perfect, regardless of when he will achieve certain milestones. He will. He will speak; he will read; he will walk, better yet, he will run! He will do all things that you and I will do, just at his own pace.
I am sad. I am sad that I fear for his future. Yes. I cannot hide that fear because I do want so much for him.
But does that give me the right to chose life or death for him? No. He is an individual with his own amazing personality! I just wish those who felt the pressure to abort would understand that their baby, their sweet little love, is just full of life, emotion, and spunk!
Wes is everything I knew about him from early on.
He is feisty/ spicy – When he’s frustrated, he grunts and growls loudly! Today at infant massage, he wanted nothing to do with it. He made that clear when all the lights were dimmed, the yoga music playing, and the instructor talking softly. I almost felt embarrassed making him go because I know that all he wanted to do was sleep. He wouldn’t carry on, he just spoke his peace whenever I tried to engage him into the massage.
He is active – In utero, he would stretch, kick, and bounce around like a maniac. He is still like that! I can keep that kid under the play yard for an hour and he’s happy as a clam!
He is quiet and observant – My baby, though chatty as anything, will sit and take in the world around him. He did this from day one, and he will engage with you with those bright blueberry eyes. He just drinks in the world. When pregnant with him, he used to hide from my husband’s voice. I know now that he just loves his daddy and quietly takes in every word he says.
He is a lover – Today Wes couldn’t get enough of his mommy. I held him today more than I have over the past month. My little independent baby just needed reassurance and love all day, and I was more than happy to oblige to his needs. And when I held him, he would look at me in the eyes. It wasn’t a fleeting glance; it was as if he was asking me to love him even more. Nothing got done tonight, but it was the best night I’ve had in awhile.
So when I see reality slap me in the face… the reality that less than 10% of prenatally diagnosed mothers keep their baby… it kills me.
I could have given up this? This wonderfully spunky doll baby?
It’s painful to think that I had the choice. I had that choice at 18 weeks, and could have still had that choice at 20 some odd weeks. I felt Wes kick me at 18 weeks. Could you do it? Could you feel your baby in your belly kick and say, “No, you’re not perfect; I don’t want you.”
I hope not. No one is perfect.
I have come to appreciate life even more that I have Wes. He is what gets me to look at myself and think about what matters in life. He is what matters.
He may not say “Mommy” at the same time as a typical child would, but you know what? When he does, it will be even more special. I will appreciate that moment more than anything. And when he walks, I will be there rooting him on to go tackle the cats! I want him to do all those things that parents sometimes dread. When Wes can hold a Crayon, go ahead, draw on my walls. Then I know you’re working on your fine motor skills. I may not like this for too long, but seriously – it’s an amazing milestone and I will jump for joy when that little squirt isn’t looking.
In any event, Wes is my world. He is my little man that looks like Popeye when he’s first waking up. Yes, bald head, squinty eyes, forehead creases and a crooked smile. I love him. He is perfect.