The One In Which I Hack Off My Readers and Kill My Own Blog

Myth: Down syndrome can never be cured.
Truth: Research on Down syndrome is making great strides in identifying the genes on chromosome 21 that cause the characteristics of Down syndrome. Scientists now feel strongly that it will be possible to improve, correct or prevent many of the problems associated with Down syndrome in the future.


I don't know how I feel about this. On one side of me is the mom who says "yeah!" How awesome would it be to reverse low muscle tone, to improve fine motor skills, to ward off heart defects and other serious internal risks? Life could be so much different for these kids.

And yet, something in me isn't so sure about all this. What is it that they're wanting to improve? Is it the look of someone with Down syndrome that they'd change? Or would they go deeper and actually do something to help the child?

Sadly, I think it's the first. Parents that would not accept a child for who it was created to be are the ones that would have aborted it in the first place. These parents are giving a very clear message that they won't be seen with a child that is not perfect in everyone's eyes. They won't be bothered with a child that could be a little more work than another one would be. They don't want the burden of caring for a baby that has health issues. That's what it comes down to.

I am here to tell another story, and I make no apologies for it. My son has Down syndrome. I didn't choose this, I didn't want this, and I didn't plan this. When Micah was born I was afraid of what his future would be. For him, for me, for all the unknowns out there. And I still am. I am afraid that people won't accept him for who he is. So I am constantly amazed that everyone who's met him has embraced him in a way that brings tears to my eyes. The kids at church and school absolutely love him. Little girls name their doll babies after him, older children all turn into mother hens when he's around, and younger kids treat him as one of their peers.

I fear for myself. And I had no idea what his condition would entail at the time of his birth. I'm pretty sure that I am still rather clueless in this, but am willing to learn and grow right along with him. He's my son. I love him fiercly, and nothing will stand in the way of what I think is right for him. Isn't that what you do for your own kids? What's the difference? So we're at the doctor a little more frequently. So he has therapy, and is delayed in some areas. Is that such a big deal? What about those children with autism? Or childhood diabetes? Or leukemia? Or even dyslexia? You can't diagnose for those before birth. And yet by the time you get a diagnosis for something, you're deeply in love with that child and will do everything in your power to help them. And yet if we would "abort" a child that's just been diagnosed with any of these things, it would be called murder.

I got so mad at doctors who called my yet-to-be-born babies a fetus. A fetus will always grow up and become a child. Every single time. It doesn't matter if the fetus wasn't planned, it doesn't matter if the fetus has a disability, it doesn't matter if the fetus's mother is in danger, or if that fetus was the result of a rape. That fetus is a baby, and aborting it is ending a life. And yet in society today we have justified that into something legal. We will fight to save dogs from being humanely put to sleep in the shelters, but we will kill our own children in unspeakable ways. What is wrong with us?

We talk about women's rights, and giving them empowerment to use their bodies how they want. What about the rights of the little girls they're aborting? They will never have the chance to choose because someone thought their conception was untimely. We are so incredibly selfish that we cannot see the fact that we're practicing genocide on a different playing field. We're choosing to end the lives of those that we do not want. Those we did not plan. Those who will look different than we do. Those who have health problems. And we think it makes it alright because we haven't yet seen the baby we're about to kill.

Many years ago my mother was raped, and as a result she gave birth to a baby girl. In today's society she would have been encouraged to "get rid of" what she didn't want. Of what was imposed upon her. But she didn't. She chose life and gave that baby to another family to raise. No, she didn't want it. But she knew that she wasn't the one in charge of determining life and death. That girl is grateful for the choice of life.

Every person should have that basic right. It's what your mother gave you.

33 comments:

http://anglophilefootballfanatic.com said...

Smooches. You are such an amazing mom. And, you know how I feel.

Aimee said...

Oh my heavens, Karen.

You DID NOT hack me off.

You made me love you more, mama :)

Irene said...

I am so proud of you. This took major guts. Guts I should have, but don't. I never could approach this subject on my blog.

And don't worry, I am not going anywhere.

Karen Deborah said...

Preach it sistah! AMEN AMEN the truth brave woman and it is truth! WHO do we really think we are?

the planet of janet said...

amazing doesn't even come close to describing you.

hugs

Bluepaintred said...

I hesitate to comment becuase I do not want to cause trouble. I just want to know, and any of you can comment on this, but I am honestly curious.

it doesn't matter if the fetus's mother is in danger

In this scenario:

A mother of three boys, who finally after a year or two trying gets pregnant. Ahh yes! The baby girl she has dreamed of! Finally! The nursery has been decorated, the little lacy layette has all be washed and is proudly displayed from the new baby's closet to every visitor, whether they want to see it or not. All of a sudden, in her fifth month of pregnancy, her blood pressure sky rockets. A late night emergency trip to the hospital where she is given drugs upon drugs, but none of them work. Her kidneys begin to fail and the doctors are worries she will either have massive seizures, she has had several "small" seizures in the hospital already that night, or a heart attack. Every minute she remains pregnant with her most precious and loved baby girl, is a minute closer to her own death. And make no mistake, she WILL die.

Who do you chose? Do you keep her pregnant, hoping that her baby *may* be viable? that it *Might* live? Knowing that due to the woman's blood pressure she WILL NOT survive a C-Section? or do you make the heart breaking choice to abort the baby? An abortion that would send a mother - heartbroken for sure, scarred for the rest of her life with the loss of her child- but would send her HOME, Home to her boys. To the little men who are already on this earth and need her love?

What would YOU do?

Mommy to those Special Ks said...

Ohhh that was the BEST blog post I have read in a long, long time! Kudos to you, my friend!

Michelle said...

I'll leave the rest of the post for others to discuss, as many are. However, I do think that those who are looking for a way to avoid or correct many of the problems associated with Downs aren't trying to get a better looking baby but trying to help. Take a look at your own pain that you've gone through on so many levels... yes, I'm sure there are those who are in the industry and research just to make a name for themselves or just to make more palatable babies. But take a look at all those you mention who embrace Micah. You don't think that any or many or all of them would find a way to reverse some of the delays if they could? That they wouldn't find a way to allow Micah to talk to you and others if they had it in them? I certainly hope so. Otherwise I've got some faith issues in the human race!

Karen said...

Karen....I have a family I would not have, if two woman who are very dear to me, had chosen abortion. The one had had an abortion before she was even 18. (She was raped in a group home.) She has 7 children and none of which she has custody of today. My three girls come from this woman, all of them at birth. Her life has been hard. Nothing has been easy. Most of us given her lifes circumstances would have buckled from the pressure, yet this woman picks herself up and continues to try and make something of herself, no matter what she's been given.
My son's birthmom is just as amazing. She knew she couldn't parent another child. She has two beautiful daughters that she is an incredible mother to. She was given the option to have an abortion and chose another route. We had a choice to when my son was born. His birthmom had chosen us and we knew that there was a no big deal medical issue. That was fine because we knew he was ours. After he was born.......it was apparent there were many medical issues. The adoption agency assumed that we would want to back out of the adoption and wanted to know how to proceed. (They wanted to know if they should start presenting our names to other birthparents or if we wanted to take a break.) This was unthinkable to us. There are no guarentees on what you are going to get when you are able to concieve and carry a child on your own, why would this be any different. We KNEW he was and is OUR SON. I wouldn't change him. God has a purpose for why we all come with our own set of challenges. I try very hard not to second guess my Heavenly Father.
I love that you are so willing to put your thoughts and feelings out there.

Leanne said...

Wow. Great post. I'm not sure I agree with everything you wrote but you DID give me a few things to think about. I like that.

AND I agree with your right to post what you feel...

Great day to read you. :) But I still want to know what happens when that package arrives tomorrow.

Cecily R said...

I admire the heck out of you.

The world is a better place because of children like Micah. I truly believe that.

Anonymous said...

I realize I'm a man stepping into a traditionally womens' issue, so forgive me, but I have an opinion.

Karen (Rocking Pony), you're words are powerful.

Bluepaintred, by acknowledging that female "fetus" as a "baby girl", the family that makes that decision acknowledges that one life is being traded for another (I don't think that is wrong...in fact, it's absolutely right and a decision that gets "what-iffed" forever). By limiting the status of an unborn child to "fetus", it allows people to remove self-accountability. In the scenario you described, accountability stays with the family who makes the decision...hence the reason it gets what-iffed.

Since you asked, "What would YOU do?", I thought I'd respond. Personally, since I'm a physicist, I have to analyze all the numbers...likelihoods, probabilities, consequences, risks...and by the time I'm done, someone would have already died. (Just kidding. I actually do well at may decisions under pressure. It's what I do.) But based on the direness of the situation as you stated, I would, without a single regret, save my wife...even against her will. Because I don't think I'd get over the misery of being without her enough to make a decent life for the remaining 4 or 5 children. However, if there was anyway I could save both (viable baby, baby with major challenges) I would. I think most would.

When I look back at what my Karen (Surrounded by Sea Monkeys) and I have been through, I what-if the other way. "What-if we had not adopted the Little Jamaican?" "What-if we had not adopted my son?" I even what-if the decision Karen and I made to NOT adopt another biological to our three girls. No regrets on the decision; I know it was the right one...(another family is raising her well). But I still ask myself, "What-if...?" (She looks like the Little Jamaican.)

Back to the womens' network.... Sorry for the intrusion.

-- The Rocket Scientist

The Sports Mama said...

This ended in a totally different spot than I pictured it going. Huh.

Regardless.....

Our situation with Bug is different, but yet... not. When he was born with his cleft lip, the doctors labled him "defective". He had a "congenital abnormality".

What?? My beautiful baby wasn't deformed or abnormal!! Not in his parents' eyes, and not in his big brother's eyes. In fact, we were all about showing him off every chance we got. And so when my dad told me once when Bug was just a couple of weeks old how proud and impressed he was with Coach and I for taking Bug out all the time, I remember just standing there and looking at him like he was nuts. I said: Why wouldn't we? He's beautiful.

The thing about "defective" or "abnormal" children? They make the rest of the world stop and take a look at themselves. And the people who object to these miracle children of ours are the same people who simply can't find that same beauty within themselves that we, and the rest of the world, see in everything our babies do and say.

I really think your family is going to make the most awesome in-laws EVER.

And? I'll un-hijack your comments now.

Flea said...

Bluepaintred,

Is this a scenario you know of which actually happened? Why would a C-Section kill the woman via her blood pressure, but an abortion would not? Everything I read on medical websites points to a C-section, or magnesium sulfate injections. But I'm not a medical expert and haven't been faced with this.

I'm not saying there aren't life threatening instances for the mom. Just asking about your particular one.

We all make choices based on our experiences and our moral foundation. Helping someone is a choice. Murder is a choice. Defending your life is a choice. Over eating is a choice. Jaywalking is a choice. Our choices nearly always impact someone else. Karen posting this passionate enunciation of what she believes is a choice. A brave one. Bravo, Karen.

mommaof4wife2r said...

ok, you soooo know how i feel and support you on this. remember my stat from last week? crazy. so, as an adoptive momma, two of my kiddos were 'choices' to keep life...and i can't imagine the world without them in it. neither of their situations were good, but their bmoms knew they were kiddos, not fetuses...and that the world needed them. amazing...i have 4 kiddos, and not all of them have 'diagnoses' but they all have their own issues...heck, i have many of my own. each of them are a beauty in a way that only they can provide...

there are 3,700 abortions every DAY in the US. That equates to 1.37 MILLION per YEAR. Worldwide, there are approximately 46 MILLION per YEAR.

that's 46 million smiles and love and hugs and solutions and potential leaders that will never grace this earth alive. that's just sad and it makes me groan...

ok...off my soapbox and on to pray for those who are making this decision...

mommaof4wife2r said...

sorry for highjacking ur comments karen...

for bluepaintred...

that scenerio actually happened to me last year with my daughter sofia. i was on mag sulf (terrible), but i would have done anything to give my #4 baby girl a chance to meet her daddy and sisters and me. i did have a c-section and at the time my bp was 210/180...i was 34 weeks prego to the day and my sofie was 3# 10oz...medical experts believed she was in good enough shape to deliver...and they were right. she was in NICU for 10 days and home. no breathing problems, no feeding issues...she's just tiny.

so i guess i just stand on "my grace is sufficient" and know that my moral fiber is based solely on my creator...and not on my fears. just my thoughts...and good thought provoking. i like it.

Becoming Mommy said...

Didn't hack me off either.
It shocked me when I was pregnant that they assumed that I'd abort if I got a positive on those test they run on you. I thought that you got them so you could be prepared and have time to get your specialists lined up.

Michelle said...

I don't think you'll kill your blog with this topic! Yes it is controversial and people feel strongly about the issue no matter what side they stand on - but it's your blog and you have every right to express your own opinion! and I think you did so very well.

On the first part - cure for Ds...I'm all for advances in the medical field that would help Kayla with weakness in fine motor skills, for speech enunciation etc...if they can find the genes to "turn off" the extra material so our kids wouldn't have so many issues, I don't see anything wrong with that. If, like you say, it's for appearances, well that is something else altogether. I think Kayla is beautiful as she is and wouldn't change anything about her physical appearance!

I agree with you on the rest. I hear the other side's arguments that it is the woman's body and her choice of what to do with it, but I've always thought, what about the BABY'S life and choice? The baby is given no choice and I do believe life begins at conception. Adoption is such a viable option for an unwanted pregnancy; so many couples who can't have kids for one reason or another would be so grateful for given the chance to raise a baby that wasn't wanted - just like the girl your mom put up for adoption.

utmomof5 said...

AMEN!!

Kim said...

I hate when women say, "It is my body, I can choose what I want to do with it." No, it is not your body, it is a babies body. Who gives you the right to choose to murder that baby.

My sister is all for abortion. She told me she has respect for women who are strong enough to go through a pregnancy and then have to go through the pain of giving it up for adoption. I think it is just sad that someone can think it is harder to give a baby up for adoption than it is to kill it.

Good for you for speaking your mind. Oh yeah, I have been lurking here for a long time, sorry for not saying hi sooner :)

Caution Flag said...

When we were in the midst of discovering our child #2's challenges, I was pregnant with child #3. A speech therapist asked me if I would have gotten pregnant with child #3 if I had know how consuming child #2 would be at that time. I wish now that I hadn't answered like I did.

Karen said...

Amen Karen!!!!
I was highly encouraged to terminate my monoamniotic twins based on the fact that they were missing a dividing membrane between them. They were perfectly healthy but were at risk for cord compression because nothing was separating their cords. The jackass doctor gave them a 50 % survival rate thus telling me I should abort in no uncertain terms.

I fired him immediately from my care and found a new doctor who delivered my 13 week too soon bundles of joy.

I don't understand abortion and never will. Just because a baby is not perfect by worldly standards doesn't mean it is not perfect by godly ones!!!

God bless you, Karen for this post. It was well said!!!!

Keri said...

I was 17 and felt i had no options... no one to discuss things with, no family to open up to. There was no webb of information that many years ago. The father was physically and mentally abusive to me and forced the decision on me.
There is not a day that has gone by that i don't regret that horrible decision and day. Not a day where i can't close my eyes and see every last frightening detail of the coldness. I found the clinic because of the huge picketing going on outside. I cried, withdrew, and fell into a deep depression tuning only to alcohol.
My life has changed in many ways.
I struggled greatly to concieve and carry my two children. I lost 3 babies at different times during my pregnancies.including one at 15plus weeks, alone and by myself in my bathroom. I almost lost my son several times during my pregnancy and delivered him during an emergency c-section 2 mths early.
I feel in a way, i had to prove to our heavenly father that i did indeed deserve my children... that i wanted and needed them...
That my past sin had to be paid for in some way.
I would do anything to wash away that time in my life, to make different choices to begin with... not after the seed was already planted.
You are a beautiful mom and our father choose you for Micah for a reason.
He only gives our most special children to special moms.

Karen said...

Keri - I'm so sorry. I wish these stories would get out more often. Nobody ever tells women that they will never forget. That they cannot just turn their back on what happened and pretend that it never did. That the unborn child will keep them up at night for a lifetime. They only say that it's the right solution to a problem.

ALF said...

Ohhh. Touchy subject. I won't comment. I'll just say hi.

Trannyhead said...

Well, dear, I'll be honest with you and tell you I have different views on abortion than you do even though I was adopted (the product of an unwanted pregnancy). I realize you probably already knew both of those things, but I want to put them out there in the interest of disclosure.

BUT I will say I respect you infinitely. AND that I love your attitude and that you don't apologize for your son and that you let him be what he is. I think he's fantastic, I love reading about him, and I hope very much that I'll get to meet him one of these days.

Allison Says said...

I very strongly disagree with your views on abortion and how you come by them; however, you haven't hacked me off as a reader, and I hope that the people who disagree with you on this topic understand that there is so much more to you and your blog.

Debbie Yost said...

Thank you to both your mom and to you for having the courage to write this post. I admire you mother and her strenght. I'm assuming her mother was by her side during this difficult time, and I am grateful to her as well. Many women who chose abortion do so because they feel they have no other options. They may believe it is wrong, but the feeling of loss and confusion clouds their judgement. It is a decision they will have to live with for the rest of thier life and may have other mental and emotional problems because of it. I don't know if abortion can ever be illegal, but I think it is too easy and not enough information or counseling is given. I think it is important to educate our children and let them know we will always be there for them no matter what! Sometimes too much emphasis is given on the after the fact instead of prevention, whatever your family feels is the right way to that.

As for Micah, you are a wonderful mother and I love all the things you said about him. We had the courage to raise our children, but the women who feel they do not have the strength to raise a child with Down syndrome and choose to give that child up for adoption are no less courageous. I am grateful to them for having that strength as well.

Karen MEG said...

Not hacked; amazed.

Amazed at the respectful way you've posted, and the respectful way your commenters have stated their views.

You are a wonderful mom, Karen, and so brave to share this (your mom sounds pretty special too).

My Two Army Brats said...

Bravely and beautifully written. My opinions are not as strong as far as the choices of others. But for myself it was never an option. I knew the risks of having sex and accepted responsibility if I were to end up pregnant. I never did. In fact we tried for months to get pregnant. I could never understand the decision to have an abortion but who am I to judge?

Good post! Thanks for sharing!

Shellie said...

I'm still here. I think we do need to save our species before we save the whales. If only people could see how wonderful all different kinds of people are. We need them all! I can understand people's choices but I wonder if they understand the impact of that choice, before it's too late.

Colleen said...

I am so proud of you for standing up for your beliefs. You know I am right there with you 100%.

I feel if you think you're ready for the responsibility of sex, then you should be ready for the possible responsibility of a having a baby. If you don't want to have a baby, then take all necessary precautions...double-up contraception...abstain. Whatever. It's about accountability and not just discarding a "mistake".

And I really wish more women would do more research on abortion before just deciding to do it.

Besides the psychological scars and the obvious medical risks, they seem to forget or negate the fact that the baby can feel pain as early as 7 weeks gestation (that's when the brain stem has been formed). These babies are not given anesthesia or pain blockers or sedatives. Not to be terribly graphic or gross, but depending on which abortive procedure is used, it is tatamount to being ripped apart by a shark or being brutally stabbed. How we, as a society, are so shocked when that happens to teens and adults, yet hardly phased when that happens to a helpless infant.

Also, those prenatal tests are not very accurate. My doctor told me about how she had 8 patients all get positive Downs tests. Then they all had positive amnio tests. All eight babies were born perfectly healthy with no physical or genetic signs of Downs. Thankfully none of these women opted to kill their babies. It makes me wonder how many other women chose to abort what turns out to have been a perfectly healthy child just because they thought they weren't up for the possible challenge. In fact, one of the doctors in the practice I go to was very pushy in trying to get me to have the test done. I indicated to her politely, yet firmly several times, that I was not interested in the test because of the lack of accuracy and because above all, it didn't matter. When I finally said, "we are ready to accept whichever child God gives us," she finally shuttup about it.

SuburbanCorrespondent said...

Women deserve better than abortion. They deserve compassion, medical care, moral support. They don't deserve people advising them to kill their babies. It seems more expedient in the short run; but as we can see from Keri's story, it creates more suffering in the end.

But I'm still voting for the babykilling Socialist!