Sunday, April 8, 2012

A matter of time

I have thought before, wondering if anyone I have come in contact with has aborted a baby because of a prenatal diagnosis. With a 9 out of 10 abortion rate, I knew I would at some point know someone who did. Its not something that most people would be open about. Not something that would come up causally in conversation or one of those pregnancy stories that someone would be dying to share at a play group. But today I learned that someone I know aborted their baby. Who was diagnosed with Down syndrome. At the same time I was pregnant with Fiona.

My world tunneled visioned, slow motion, and I felt like I got punched in the stomach. This person said they miscarried. And then had to still birth. And I mourned for her. I cried for her, even though I do not even know her that well. I rubbed my belly and thanked God through all our problems, I still had life to be thankful for, unlike this grieving mother. And now, I learn that she willing ended that life inside her... because her baby was like mine.

I try to be understanding when peoples beliefs are different then my own. To see it through their eyes, so not to cast judgement. But when I look through her eyes, it stabs a knife through my heart. This is not a person who aborted because she did not want a baby. This is not a person who aborted because she could not afford another child, or a special needs child for that matter. In my view, there was no logical, responsible reasoning in this women's head that drove her to end her baby's life. This is a person who aborted because she didn't want to deal with a special needs child. Though it may never be said to my face, her actions tell me she looks down on my daughter- she sees her as less, as unworthy. I am not here to bad mouth her behind her back- in fact, this person is so far removed from those who know me, not even my personal friends reading this would know her. Our relationship is so minute that there is less then 1 percent chance she reads this blog. To my readers, she is just another anonymous 9 out of 10 who ended the life of a baby because of a prenatal diagnosis. I just have never felt this kind of pain so closely before.

She was not mourning the death of her baby, she was mourning that her baby was not how she wanted it to be.

I spent all day wondering when she sees or hears about Fiona, what she thinks. My bitterness wants her to feel pain and regret and agony looking at Fiona. That that big gaping empty womb feels the missing hole of the life that was supposed to be. Anger is so quick to strike with venom. But then my reason came in- I do not want her to be in pain, but I do want her to know. I want her to know what she missed out on. I want her to be able to turn to a friend who may be thinking of doing the same and say, "Don't do it. I did, and I was ignorant and I wish I had my little baby in my arms now". I want her to learn acceptance. Learn unconditional love. Learn true beauty. Learn different/ harder does not equal suffering. And that the loss was not losing a dream for a perfect baby, but losing a baby who would have become perfect in your eyes.

My heart aches in a new way tonight. This strike was too close to home. It makes me feel the need to be that much stronger for Fiona. So that those I come in contact with grasp her value before another life is ended.

I wish, friend, that I had known you better. That we could have walked this journey together, and experienced the indescribable joy of having a child who challenges you. I wish your doctors hadn't told you that your baby had "severe" Down syndrome- as there is no prenatal test that can tell that. I wish they had directed you to the Down syndrome community and sources of truth. Your baby holds a place in my heart.

Worthy of love. Worthy of joy. Worthy of life.

What if I had been ignorant...


  1. Wow. I can't imagine how strong your feelings must be about that news. Beautifully written post.

  2. I always wonder this about people I meet sometimes too. Especially when they are either looking at me funny - or not looking at all. This is sad. So close to home for you. xoxo

  3. I can't imagine the emotions you felt finding out. Your post was beautiful...I'm afraid my thoughts would have come out too harsh or too judgmental.

  4. This breaks my heart. I hate to think that someone could make the decision to end their unborn baby's life, just because they aren't they way they hoped they would be. You are obviously so blessed by Fiona, and I'm sure you can't imagine life without her. I'm glad she's alive and well and that you're her mother. :)

  5. I wonder this same thing and I worry about what I'll say if they day ever comes when someone hints that I should have followed that same path. With statistics like 9 of out 10, I sometimes wonder how many celebrities have made the same decision your acquaintance did. Can you imagine how much more accepting this world would be if someone in the spotlight started saying, "hey, this is okay?"

    I would marvel at your strength if you decided to stick around and show her how wonderful Fiona is, but I do not think you'd be wrong to cut her out of your life either. It breaks my heart to think about the day our babies are old enough to understand the things people say.

  6. How sad. I hope as she watches Fiona go through life, growing and learning, and being an absolute joy to all those around her, she will realize the worth the baby she chose not to have, had. Beautifully written, Shannon. This situation would have hurt my heart deeply as well.

  7. I am so sorry you have to even wrestle with these feelings. But, unfortunately, in today's world this is the harsh reality. You are blessed...she missed her blessing. Really, that is just sad for her. What a heartfelt post I loved reading...

  8. I have thought about the possibility of this happening to me too. I'm not sure how I will react. All I know is that Fiona and my Ben have every right to be here with us. Their lives are so worth living!!


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