Wednesday, May 16, 2012

DON'T DO IT

Dear Australian visitor,


The other day I was reading my feedjit...it's a tool on my blog that shows where visitors are coming from. I love to look at it from time to time, because my Lily gets visitors from all over the world- Finland, South Africa, Singapore, and more. Most of the time it just tells where a visitor came from, but sometimes it will show keywords that someone used to search for Lily's blog. Things like "Down syndrome absent nasal bone" or "ultrasound picture Down syndrome." I can just imagine what those moms are looking for...because I did the same thing when I was pregnant with Lily. With so many markers showing up on her ultrasound, and a decision not to have an amnio, I wanted to do my own "research". So I would google things just like that and hold Lily's ultrasound picture up to the ones I saw online, wondering if my baby's profile matched what I saw.

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And you know why I would do that, dear Australian visitor?


Because I was scared.


And I have a feeling you know that feeling well...otherwise why would you come here by using these search words:


 positive outcomes of aborting a child with down syndrome.
17:39:38 -- 16 minutes ago"





And so I just want to tell you, mama to mama....


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DON'T DO IT.



I know the future is so uncertain right now.. maybe because of the stereotypes you might have in your mind about life with Down syndrome. And even if you don't know those stereotypes, sometimes just the not knowing is the hardest part of all. What will my life be like after this, what's about to change and how will I cope?  Believe me, I know. I've been where you are.
And maybe right now you're reeling, and this choice seems like such an easy one to make...


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...or maybe  not so easy. Or else why would you come searching here for a "positive outcome to aborting a child with Down syndrome" ?


Can I tell you that you really have no idea what you'd be missing?

Because maybe you haven't had the privilege to see what I see every day, to know what I've been blessed to know over the past two and a half years. I'm pleading with you....

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DON'T DO IT.


Because life is a gift, and this gift? Isn't something you want to toss aside.


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Sure, it's your choice. You probably even have professionals encouraging you to make it. "She'll be a burden to society," they might be telling you, "and what about your other kids?"

Yes, what about them? Do you really want them to miss out on this....

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Because you can't undo it, you know. Once that choice is made, there's no going back. And maybe you'll trade fear for relief, maybe for a little while you'll feel certain that you did the right thing- the thing that was best for everyone, her included....


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But what will you really gain? Because I guarantee some day, if not now, maybe later, you'll come face to face with this face....


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...and you'll wonder "what did I really give up? Fear of the unknown? Temporary anxiety and grief? Or did I trade it all for the lasting pain that comes from wondering what I could have had, who she would have been ?"


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And I'll just tell you firsthand- you'll be missing out on one of the greatest gifts life could give you. Sure, she might not come in the package you imagined. She might take a little bit longer to do things the way "they" say she should be doing them. She'll have her challenges and struggles, no doubt.

But she'll teach you things you never imagined, twist and turn your heart in ways you never knew it could go, she'll wrap your whole being around that little crooked pinky, and she won't let go.


She's not a burden to be feared or a problem to be fixed, I'm begging you-


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DON'T DO IT.




There is a positive outcome for your situation....



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Don't throw her away.

46 comments:

nicole said...

How true when you say they would be trading in temporary fear for a lifetime of regret. Great post!

Heidi Ehle said...

Once again, Patti, you have written beautifully the words never far from my heart. My little sunshiny girl, while maybe not what I had planned, is perfect! :)

Cathy said...

In tears here. Yes...DON'T DO IT!!

Geralyn Spiesz said...

Love your post! I hope our dear friend struggling in Australia comes back to read all the comments you will get.

I'd love for her to know that 4 years into our wonderful journey thousands of dreams have been born. There is no daily grief or sadness anymore, infact my life, my other sons' lives and our marriage have been exponentially strengthened and bettered by Lucas.

PLEASE dear friend, keep looking, and find all the blogs, books and documentaries out there - one young man was just inducted into the National honor society, some students in Europe have just graduated with Master's degrees, Boston University published a study about people with down syndrome and their families and found they are extremely happy - statistically much happier than others.

The only people who will tell you your child will be a burden are people who don't know any children with T21. Look for us, the thousands of moms, dads, brothers and sisters who will tell you the truth you are looking for!

Find us - All our strength to you at this time!

Mariska said...

SO SO true! Beautiful post!

TheFoleyFive said...

oh man, this one yanked at my heart more than any other. The reality of a scared mum battling through those thoughts...wow...so intense. loved the post, hope she sees it. PRAYING she reads it

Michelle said...

GREAT POST!!!! I couldn't have said it better myself.

Ashley said...

Wow, Patti. I am already 110% pro-life, and this post just made me even more pro-life. If I were that Australian reader, I would never think twice again about having an abortion. Your words are so beautiful, Patti. This just reminded me of how so very blessed we really are with our little extra special sweethearts <3

Tommie said...

This is the very reason I started blogging about parenting a child with 5p- almost two years ago. Months previous to starting my blog, I was at a dance marathon, helping raise money for a children's hospital in Indiana. I told Olivia's story and a woman came up to me after, watching my three year old running and talking and laughing. She told me of a friend of hers who had received the 5p- diagnosis prenatally. Every doctor she consulted urged her to abort her baby, telling her that her child would never walk, never talk, would be a vegetable. My daughter proved those doctors wrong and I hope to reach other moms who fear this diagnosis, just as you are doing for moms facing Down Syndrome. THank you, thank you, thank you.

Anna Theurer said...

Patti, such a beautiful post bringing tears to my eyes. Your words and photos of Lily are so moving. I imagine that many people have found your blog while searching for information about Ds. I believe that many of those people were debating on making the decision to abort and I believe that many Didn't Do It because they have seen Lily as a person. A gift. I am praying that this mama from Australian sees this post and sees many of the other positive blog out there. Beautiful, Patti.

April Vernon said...

Well done, Patti!

Pam... said...

When God speaks. When a mom who understands, hears. It's awesome.

Elizabeth said...

Beautifully written. My she will reach out to you.

Mrs. K said...

The pictures of our Lily should be convincing enough. The pictures you posted for Mother's Day should be enough to convince any women considering whether or not to have their little T21 that the right step is to bring that precious gift from God into the world. God does not give out junk, He never makes mistakes. This particular baby was created within your womb for a very particular reason.

Rochelle said...

Well said, my friend. We sent the girls off to school sporting tshirts that said,
‎"I'm cute I know, 47 chromosomes do that to you!"
Sums it all up!

Christi Harrison said...

i agree 100%! fantastic post!

Leah said...

very well written post!

my family said...

your words are perfect and I pray this person will see this, maybe check out all of our blog and see what a wonderful life and true blessing we all have with our children

My Little Wonders said...

Patti, what a beautiful, beautiful post. You brought tears to my eyes. I pray for this person from Australia, and anyone else who may find there way here.

Nina said...

Powerful, powerful post but the emotions of our Australian friend are totally understandable. For me, the fear came from total ignorance. I'm so grateful for my daughter's commitment to having our special little girl; otherwise, we would've missed one of life's greatest gifts. The challenges are there but pale greatly in comparison to the blessings! Prayers for support, comfort and reassurance for an Australian woman as well as any other in the same position. Keep being a powerful voice, Patty!

lovemy3 said...

Wonderful post! Thanks to you I have been watching my visitors and search words much closer.

Maria said...

If the person from Australia is reading, please feel free to call me. (0265660611) I am in Australia too, and have a child with Down Syndrome. No judgement, no pressure. Just a friendly ear offering whatever support I can.

Jenny said...

Beautiful Patti :)

Crystal said...

Oh boy, do I hope we get to hear the ending to this story someday!

The Graham Family said...

Amazing post Patti! Your words are so true! All of my fears centered around "what is this going to do to me/my life/my other children's lives"? Ridiculously selfish. She is a human being, a child, a gift... deserving of a family and a life of her own. Australian reader: DON'T DO IT!!!!!! You will regret choosing an "easy" life over a life FILLED WITH UNCONDITIONAL LOVE. My daughter fills my husbands heart with love every day and her brothers ADORE her! We feel infinitely blessed every day. And yes, we felt scared in the beginning. IT GOES AWAY! It becomes replaced with a deep, warm, fulfilling, unconditional, amazing love. Nothing compares. DON'T DO IT.

cara said...

Dear Australian visitor,

I am just another voice echoing what Patti said. I could not write it more beautifully. Our baby with down syndrome is extra, extra special. Words just cannot adequately describe the love we have for him. It is truly overflowing!!! He is pure joy to us. I cannot imagine life without him. The biggest regret of your life would be ending the life of your precious baby. He or she is a life to treasure, and you will be blessed beyond words.

Patti- these pictures are just priceless. Lily is SO beautiful. She is growing and changing so much lately. xoxo

Megan said...

Patti, you're awesome. Off topic but I gave you an award on my blog :) http://girlmeetscamera.com/2012/05/catching-up-blog-awards/

Stephanie said...

WOW...just WOW. Awesome post -- I pray that the visitor comes back.

Stephanie Lynch

6cuorieunacasetta said...

Thank you for this post.

mummalove said...

Beautiful post Patti. I am an Australian too, but thankfully I am now on the 'other side' and am the proud mummy to a beautiful eight week old boy with Down syndrome. I know how hard it is to receive that diagnosis via amnio (which we did at 16 weeks) and live in months of fear and sadness, but I am so glad that I hung in there. With the support of family and friends and the amazing women on the DS Pregnancy board at Babycenter.com, I made it through the darkness and it's SO much brighter now. Every time I look at my gorgeous boy, I think about just how sad I would be right now if I had have chosen to terminate the pregnancy - empty and broken. But now I get to cuddle my little blonde, blue eyed cherub and think about how blessed and happy I am. I hope your Australian visitor makes it to the other side too.
PS. If you are reading these comments, Australian friend, DO go to http://downsyndromepregnancy.org/ and the Babycenter DS pregnancy forum for some support online.
And please feel free to contact me via my blog if you would like to chat x

Lisa said...

I thank god everyday he didn't give me this decision to make because even the slightest chance I wouldn't have my amazing girl today makes me want to weep. I am a better person because of her and the world is a better place because of her - period.

Kerin T said...

To echo a prior comment, I am SO grateful that I didn't find out about Levi's extra chromosome before he was born. I can imagine that I would have been filled with fear of the unknown as well.

Having Levi and his extra chromosome has turned out to be a blessing in so many ways. He's opened our hearts and minds more than we knew was possible. It makes "coping" with the challenges that can accompany Down syndrome more than worthwhile. He is LOVE, personified.

halfdanish said...

What a beautiful post! All children are a gift from God and they come in all shapes and sizes. Your Lily is Beautiful!

Becca said...

VERY well said, Patti.

Hansina said...

Beautifully put, Patti!

Janie Fox said...

So beautiful..I cried all through it. I am praying for that mama. I hope she trusts that God sent her that baby for a reason. xo

Becki Little said...

I am in tears. As a Mama that told everyone no and her baby yes. .. .repeatedly only to miscarry her precious child, it is every Mom's wish and responsibility to do all they can for their children. Don't let science tell you what you want is wrong. Science cannot trump a Mother's love for her child.

I pray for all the Mom's that are facing the same diagnosis nightmare that I did. . .I pray that they are not pressured to abort as I was. I pray for these precious amazing babies. . .

sasbolton said...

Absolutely beautiful. Praying for that visitor to return with an open mind and heart and for God to use your heartfelt post to give her hope and strength to choose life. Thank you for your bold voice on the Internet. Blessings to all of you!

Ric Rac and Polka Dots said...

I just found your blog. I am reading through this latest post on Don't Do It, and I hope that she can see how PERFECTLY beautiful and perfect this beautiful child is in the pictures, and that to be given a gift such as that should be considered a blessing. My son and his wife are expecting in September, and I will welcome that baby, with whatever physical conditions she might have, with open arms.
Julie

Mikaela said...

so SO beautifully said. i hope she comes back to read it. thanks for posting this. <3

Sherry Boas said...

What a beautiful blog! Sending my admiration from Arizona.

Here's what our "perfect Lily" inspired...

http://www.godtube.com/watch/?v=WLKYKPNX

Patti said...

Sherry, the trailer you sent was so sweet, now I need to find the books!

Kellan's momma said...

I'm in tears reading this. There is no positive outcome to abortion period. But a baby with Down syndrome? Oh my. I can't imagine why anyone would want to abort! Only positive outcome comes with baby's birth!! I'm praying for that mama!
Christina

Tami (aka Tamster) said...

Wow. Powerful. Beautiful little girl you have there, glad you are in this world to take care of her, love her and be her mommy.

When I taught school, I learned a lot from children who had Downs. The biggest thing I learned from them (other than bracing for their very strong hugs, lol) was everyone deserves a chance.

Lyn n Brian said...

Lily is angelic

Christie said...

Absolutely beautifully written and my thoughts exactly. I even had nurses suggesting we place our daughter for adoption even after she was born. :/ Lily is beautiful!!