Creating the Perfect Child
92%! That's the abortion rate for pregnancies that have a Down syndrome diagnosis. 92%! Did you also know that Down syndrome research is the least funded disability? Many think Ds only happens to older women, but more women UNDER 35 are having babies with Ds than over. Bet you also didn't know that there are colleges that offer Special Needs programs either, did ya?!
Well, until the last few months, I didn't either. These are only a few facts that might shock you. There is SO MUCH MORE to learn and see. Things they don't tell you in those doctor visits or in society alone for that matter. From the beginning when we first had any inclination that Leighton could have Ds, I was 12 weeks pregnant, and have been shocked by humanity more times than I can count on both hands and feet. Sadly that was less than a year ago. That number will only increase as Leighton gets older.
The last visit with my Gyno could make anyone's skin crawl. This woman brought my child into this world and for that I am grateful. Had I known her beliefs before my delivery, she wouldn't have laid her filthy hands on me or my child. In her words, "If I had to put together the perfect person, this wouldn't be it." This came from a conversation on the likelihood that Jay and I would have another child with a chromosome abnormality. "Had I known about the heart defect, I would've advised termination. No one should experience burying a child." Yes, I agree... no one should have to bury a child. For my friends and family that have, I grieve for them. But you are telling me that you would advise me to abort my daughter, who's heart condition that you frown upon is now nearly gone?! What a monster!
Those words burn my soul. At the time, I was just trying to take it all in and get through the visit. I was also stunned by her non-reaction to my daughter and not even acknowledging her presence. Being the first time she had been to her office, I thought she would like to see her since she did deliver her. Not even a glance. It seems surreal in hindsight. In a total state of shock, I told her my last birth control was the prescription I took 20 years ago! To think, I had left a thank you card on her counter. I wanted to run in and take it back!
Her view on the creation of perfection, keeps ringing in my ears as I read more about the new testing, MaterniT21. Some of the quotes in these articles make my skin crawl. I am all for a test that is non-invasive to protect my unborn child, don't get me wrong. Looking back, I am 100% glad that we found out while I was pregnant and not when Leighton was delivered. But that is because we knew what we were dealing with. Yes, we were scared to have to take the test and worried about the outcome. Sure. But we were also able to deal with those feelings and investigate as many things as we could so that we could prepare when she arrived. Not because we were concerned that she wouldn't be a contributor to society.
It really boggles my mind because it's like we are reverting back to days of control and judgement of a person's appearance. Years ago and still in some countries, people with Ds were institutionalized. Yes, we have made some strides in this country by not locking people with Ds in home. However, now the goal is to just eliminate an entire population before they get here. Many years back there was also slavery. Yes, slavery ended, but racism is still very prominent in this country.
Hate, judgement and racism. They are taught behaviors. Children aren't born hating anything in this world. They are taught to hate. They are taught to like and dislike things, people; good and bad; right from wrong. Therefore, society is teaching our future generation to only allow the perfect to live and the rest should die off. It reminds me of a bad sci-fi movie where everyone has a barcode and eyelid computers.
It saddens me that we have become a society that is so wrapped up in the image of everything; the pursuit of perfection. To create a perfect child. To control creation. Gotta have the perfect house, the perfect car, perfect clothes, perfect hair. blah blah
If I had to create the perfect child, it would be my daughter. She will be caring, loving and warm. She will pursue happiness. She will be a fully contributing member of society in whatever way SHE CHOOSES as a free member of this country.
So Doc, define perfect. You may not think Jay and I have created the perfect person, but I know we have. She is perfect to US and I'll take her version of perfect over yours any day.