A Little Something Extra

Monday, October 20, 2008

90%

Approximately 90% of American families choose to abort a baby when they receive a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome. Do those 90% look at my baby and think he shouldn't be here? Or is it just that they didn't want to be "burdened" with a child like him? And if it's the latter, why couldn't they have just placed the child up for adoption instead of aborting the child? It's a sad reflection on our society that it's more socially acceptable to abort a baby than to carry a baby to term and place the baby up for adoption.

Is our life more difficult today than it was a year ago? Absolutely. But the smile that starts with a bright shine in his eyes... wouldn't trade it!

I've heard of some parents of little ones with Down syndrome who say they wouldn't change the fact that their child has Down syndrome. I confess, I'm not there. I would take it away if I could, especially since it would likely mean that Micah wouldn't have had to go through abdominal surgery when he was 2 days old and open-heart surgery when he was 4 months old. And he likely wouldn't have the awful digestion issues that he has. And...

I didn't mention much about his visit to the pediatrician except that his weight was down. I do realize that his actual weight is not terrible... the problem is that he hasn't grown in two months. I've always said he wouldn't be as big as he is if HE was the one who was deciding how much food went into his body (and I'm going to talk to the nutritionist about this when we get to Feeding Clinic on 11/5... more about that later).

Anyway... the first thing that happens at a well visit with the pediatrician is that the nurse brings you into a room and asks you developmental questions about your child. I wonder if I can request that they just don't do that anymore. It's heartbreaking to have to answer "no" to absolutely every question. "Is he pulling himself up on furniture?" Actually, he's hardly pushing up while on his tummy these days. He's never tucked his legs underneath himself while on his tummy. He only rolls from his back to his tummy going to his right. I know that "he'll get there, just at his own pace." But sometimes it's just really hard. I don't like looking at video or photos of Nathan as a baby because it reminds me of how delayed Micah is. And nevermind how it feels to hear someone "complain" about how their 6mo old is crawling and getting into absolutely everything...

So surely there's a prayer request in there somewhere. I guess it's really about being content with our current circumstances and not try to compare Micah with anyone else.

12 comments:

Cate said...

You absolutely should not have to answer those questions, at least not like that. Talk to the doctor about it. Of course they need to check up on things, but it's ridiculous (and unnecessarily hurtful) to use the "normal" milestone checklist. (The DS checklist is here, if you don't have it. Give them a copy for his chart.)

Rachel said...

Micah is wonderful and I wouldn't want to trade him for the world, other than to let him be MORE comfortable. Your are blessed....He is Awesome! I don't even know him, yet I love him! Be proud of that. He has impacted the lives of strangers, with healthy kids. I would love to have a beautiful Micah...I really would.

Your are a spectacular Mama! And you should be proud of yourself!

He will do as others do, in his own time. He will get to that crawling stage, the walking stage, the talking stage. Just in his own time.

I have four wonderful, healthy children, but they all developed differently. They cut teeth at different ages, crawled at differnet ages, walked at different ages, talked at different ages and academically (in school) they are all different!!!!!

Micah is one of us, he is going to develop when HE wants. Don't expect to much. He is perfect in my eyes!

Love you guys with all my heart and soul!

Rachel

Momma M said...

As the momma to one who rolled only to the right for a long time....I'll tell you that it will pass. You're dealing with MUCH more important things at this point. Tell the ped. to put a sock in it and realize that the first year of a kid's life, it's really just about keeping them alive!

Tracy said...

I can totally relate, Jeannie! Maggie is way ahead of Molly and that does bother me. I guess she is suppose to have "TWo word sentences" at age two--nope! One word. OK--she says "thank you". It is getting harder these days as the gap between the two is getting so big. Keep going--we love you! Micah is perfect and yes, "he will do it when he is ready". Hugs to you...

Tracy said...

Ha! Ditto to Rachel. I didn't even read her post until after I posted mine. Great minds think a like. It just shows you have a support system and Micah has his own cheerleader section.

The Allberts said...

I loved your post. Micah is a God's precious creation. Every time you post a picture of that sweet smile, I smile back at him. He is just adorable.

Melanie said...

I have also experienced the questions at the ped check-ups. The first couple of times it really hurt. I wish they would ask us the questions over again a few months later, because then we could say YES to a few. I guess they didn't think of that. Give Micah more time and he is going to make you SO proud. When I take Logan in now, after I say NO to the questions, I love telling them what he CAN do. The new stuff is finally coming. I remember when Logan was Micah's age, and I was getting SO impatient for him to do something, anything new. Hang in there. You will be able to say all the things Micah can do soon.

Jean said...

I ditto all the previous posts. Thank you for your frankness about down syndrome. Its horrific that 90% choose not to bring their children into the world.

I hope everyone is feeling better in your family soon.

Kris said...

The 90% stat is just heartbreaking, isn't it? As a mom of a beautiful child with Down syndrome, I can say that it's hard not to take that information lightly or personally. You are doing great Jennie. I just want to encourage you in your awesome job of mothering your boys. And yes, those smiles are more than worth it. Micah is a gift from God as all children are. Give him a little kiss from me :)

Anonymous said...

Oh Jenni,

I hear ya and I am right there with you! We have been going thru some stuff with Lauren (she has CP)- she turned a year old last week and weighs 14 lbs, 2oz and we are needing to look into a possible J-tube (she already has a g-tube) or a fundalplycation (they don't even have spell check for that word!)where they tighten up the esophagus. Yikes!

And the developmental stuff too, she is at 4 mo gross motor wise and 9 mo cognitively, for which we are thankful, but I also cannot look at Abby's old photos or videos since she was so far beyond at that same age. (Abby is 3 1/2 now).

My heart just aches for you and I would LOVE to meet you sometime. Isn't it so great to remember that we are only here but for a moment, our lives are but a breath.

I also love these few verses and they help me thru rough days:

Ps 112:6-8
For the righteous will NEVER be moved, he will be remembered forever. He is not afraid of bad news, his heart is firm, trusting in the Lord. His heart is steady, he will not be afraid."

Amen. God is GOOD!

Kristy Sterken

The Boltz Family said...

Well, Little Mr. Micah has a fellow friend who only rolls to the right. We call him the typewriter, because he'll roll to the end of the blanket, and I pick him up and put him where he started again. I should start saying "ding!" Just like everyone tells me, he will get there. Just know you have a friend out there who gets it. :o)

ATLKrafts said...

Thanks for being so transparent. Micah truly is a gift from God and has a purpose. I am sorry about the developmental stresses-- i appreciate what others have already said about how he will get there.