from Public Raido Tulsa by Ari Shapiro:
And finally, we received a lot of emails about our segment on the difficult prenatal choices people make when they learn that a fetus may have a genetic abnormality. We spoke with two women, one who decided to carry her pregnancy to term, and another who terminated the pregnancy after learning of an abnormality.
Christian writes: My husband and I had genetic testing done with our first pregnancy because my test came up at an elevated risk for Down Syndrome, even though I was only 26 at the time. His first child from a prior marriage is severely developmentally disabled. When we learned our child would be born with Down Syndrome, we terminated the pregnancy, because it didn't seemed fair to bring a second special needs child into the family when there was no way of knowing how functional the baby would be, she writes.
Another listener, Lauren, shares her experience, writing: Today's show hits incredibly close to home. Six weeks ago, my husband and I went in for an ultrasound. Doctors proceeded to tell me about a heart defect they'd noticed in my son's ultrasound. They then continued to tell me how the defect is quite common in children with Down Syndrome. One week after the ultrasound, I got a call from the maternal fetal specialist saying the results from a test came back and were consistent with Down Syndrome.
Lauren writes that she plans to go through with the pregnancy, and she continues: The hardest part for us is still dealing with other people's reactions from hearing, bummer, we'd really hope for better for you to, you'll never be able to have time alone in retirement, or raising a child with special needs will bankrupt you as they reach adulthood. It's very hard to deal with loved ones whose opinions and outlook are openly pessimistic, she writes. For us, besides the fear of the unknown - open-heart surgery on an infant, raising a child with special needs - the fear of the familial negativity and distance is much greater.
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