Ignorant quetion, and not sure how to put this tactfully, but why do people not want to have a baby with DS?

(386 Posts)
LesAnimaux Sun 10-Apr-11 20:59:55

I don't want to offend, or be flamed, but I am curious.

I've seen several threads where posters have terminated a pregnancy when they have found out their baby has Down Syndrome, and then gone on to ttc a "normal" baby.

Now, I don't personally know any one with DS or any parents of children with DS, so I genuinely don't know the difficulties they face. Is life with downs syndrome really so bad? Or is it the thought of a child growing into an adult with SN and having no one to care for them when the parents are no longer capable?

Out of all the things I worried about when pregnant, downs syndrome wasn't one of them.

maddy68 Sun 10-Apr-11 21:02:55

because they have concerns for the childs future, who will are for it when they are gone if they cannot live independently, etc etc.
many reasons

HecateQueenOfTheNight Sun 10-Apr-11 21:06:36

I don't know. Ignorance? Fear? Wanting a Perfect Baby and thinking disability means not perfect?

I think that, as with other conditions, people who have downs syndrome are individual and as such, each has a different potential and a different life, so you can't possibly know what difficulties an individual with ds will face. I mean, there are people with ds who require full time care and there are people with ds who are actors! so <shrug> who can know?

When you think of all the conditions that you can't test for, or all the things that can happen to a child after birth that may result in a disability, then it seems silly to me to even bother about ds. Unless you would give up a child that had a disability come to light after birth of course.

I dunno. I'm probably the wrong person to be answering grin because I don't understand at all why anyone would go to such lengths because of a mere disability.

EllAEllO Sun 10-Apr-11 21:08:43

I don't know either.

But I thought this thread was a mother wanting to know why no-one would let her son impregnate them. shock grin

EllAEllO Sun 10-Apr-11 21:09:23

Sorry, that was a bit flippant.

Don't mean to make light.

collision Sun 10-Apr-11 21:09:33

I think that as a parent you have hopes and dreams for you children and presume they will be 'normal' and healthy and you will prepare them for life in the big bad world!

When you have a child with DS then you must worry about what they can achieve and who will care for them and that life will be so much more difficult for them.

I have no exp of DS either but would never have terminated a pregnancy anyway and am grateful to have 2 healthy boys.

I suppose you just expect everything to be OK........

expatinscotland Sun 10-Apr-11 21:11:05

What hec said. I think it's because DS is one of those conditions that can be pinpointed before birth - as opposed to my depression which developed later and life and almost completely destroyed it and me, or the car that drove into a 19-year-old friend of mine 27 years ago that left him with the mental capabilities of a 4-year-old, or the schizophrenia a friend from high school developed in our last year, when we were 18, and she is now 40, in terrible health and unable to live independently.

I guess I was never one to expect guarantees in life so, like hec, I'm the wrong person to ask.

StealthyKissBeartrayal Sun 10-Apr-11 21:12:32

fear and ignorance, fear of the unknown
Knowledge that the plans you had now have to be altered drastically
For me (and again this may be ignorance) I think lots of babies with DS also have heart problems - is that right??? SO stress of that.
That said, I wouldn't have terminated for DS, and didn't have the tests.

I did too EllAEllo! shock

DH and I have always said we wouldn't care either way if we had a baby with Downs--of course, we are in our mid twenties and our chance with DD was something like 1 in 4000 so we're pretty "safe", which might account for our blase attitude.
My mum on the other hand who is in her early 50s believes that it is better for babies to be misscarried than be born disabled. sad I guess its very personal.

FanjOeuForTheMammaries Sun 10-Apr-11 21:14:32

Collision - my DD has a chromosome disorder and I wouldn't say she was 'abnormal' or 'unhealthy', not the best choice of words there

PonceyMcPonce Sun 10-Apr-11 21:14:39

I did not have any invasive tests for ds as we knew it would not affect outcome.

At 41, my big fear would be dying and leaving a child who still needed me. I am old enough to remember when people with ds did not make old bones often due to heart probs, so think this fear is fairly new.

FanjOeuForTheMammaries Sun 10-Apr-11 21:16:39

Littlewhitewolf, your mum needs to meet my DD- the happiest child I ever met.

FanjOeuForTheMammaries Sun 10-Apr-11 21:18:18

Probably this is not the thread for me, will end in people saying children like my DD are inferior and undesirable <steps away>

StarExpat Sun 10-Apr-11 21:18:56

So did I, Ellaello blush
But that's what the title implies!

On a serious note, I personally wouldn't terminate, but it's a very personal decision that an individual/ couple has to make and I don't think I could possibly be right to judge anyone else's decision to do so. Everyone has their own reasons for their own choices.

I would worry that it would affect the quality of my DDs life to be perfectly honest, having another child you know is going to be ill. It's not the Downs Syndrome, as such, it's the risks that come with it. The heart problems, the fact that if I died young, the responsibility of caring for her sibling would fall on DD.

I think you don't know how you are going to react in that situation until you actually face it, and I imagine it must be heartbreaking to terminate a wanted pregnancy, if you feel you couldn't cope with knowingly bringing a disabled child into this world.

collision Sun 10-Apr-11 21:19:42

That is why I never post on threads like this as I hate saying the wrong thing and that is why I put 'normal' in inverted commas.

sorry if I offended

will leave thread............

FanjOeuForTheMammaries Sun 10-Apr-11 21:22:35

Collision, I know you didn't mean it . I just wish people would think deeply before posting/posting on threads like this.

FanjOeuForTheMammaries Sun 10-Apr-11 21:23:11

Now I really will step away..

fortyplus Sun 10-Apr-11 21:23:54

DS babies do often have other health problems too - hole in the heart etc and weak smooth muscle so circulatory and respiratory problems are common. However it's all so variable. I remember a few years ago the first DS student graduated but in my limited experience I've helped care for ds girls with apalling problems. Once puberty kicked in things became nightmarish for the parents.

I suppose parents fear for the future of a child who couldn't look after themselves or make a living for themselves?

Would the parent who would terminate a ds pregnancy do the same with - just as an example - an otherwise normal baby with a physical problem such as a limb deformity? I guess everyone is different.

With my first pregnancy I had no diagnostic tests and accepted that I'd love whatever baby I had whether 'perfect' or not. When I was pg for the 2nd time I did have tests because I didn't want ds1 to go through life in a family with restrictions placed upon it by caring for a chid with abnormalities. Having said that, of course children can be damaged at birth and we would have loved any child equally.

FanjOeuForTheMammaries Sun 10-Apr-11 21:25:20

Just remember, would you all like a thread listing reasons why people didnt want a child like yours? Nice..

computermouse Sun 10-Apr-11 21:25:20

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Thing is - if you are worried about leaving your children with a sibling to care for then nobody should have more than one child because cerebal palsy at birth can and does happen to anyone.
The presence of people with Down Syndrome in our soiety is being removed by the testing programme. I know of two children born with it - their parents did not have tests. As the number dwindles then people will become more and more afraid of the syndrome. At the same time though the treatments for the particular problems the syndrome carries such as heart defects are improving. Ironic that - science could keep those people alive for much longer but is also used to identify and remove them.
I have three children. All NT at the moment and of course I hope they stay that way. Nothing is guaranteed though and if you want to be a parent you have to take that risk.

StealthyKissBeartrayal Sun 10-Apr-11 21:28:09

"The presence of people with Down Syndrome in our soiety is being removed by the testing programme."
That's quite an unpleasant thought

naturalbaby Sun 10-Apr-11 21:30:57

I worked with disabled children before I got pregnant so to be offered a test for DS seemed a bit pointless when I was well aware that there are so many other disorders, illnesses and conditions which babies can be born with or even develop during childbirth. At the time DS was the least of my worries seing the severe disabilities other children had which were more life limiting. A lot of them only developed post birth so even now I know that just because all my children are healthy it doesn't mean they will always be. sad

SanctiMoanyArse Sun 10-Apr-11 21:31:33

I think a lot of it is due to exposure.

I knew people with Sn as a child, a close mate was blind and had what I am fairly sure were asd behaviours (brother of a mate, in that all-estate-kids together kind of way mate- a good, close way). We lost a cousin to leukemia, by 16 I was helping in an SNU so whilst it was a shcok to be told ds3 was high risk for DS it didn't take me into any scary unknown: i've seen people with ds achieve and i've been lucky to 1-1 a great bloke who needed 24/7 care but certainly added to other's lives and enjoyed his own.

DS3 didn;t ahve DS but he has a non testable SN and I am fairly sure that I managed to do the whole SNU / dx thing far more coherently than DH because of my own life; DH OTOH was raised that people with Sn should be hidden away. he struggled a lot.

Now I am not saying that everyone should have a baby with an SN; it ahs to be individual even if I wouldn't make the choice- but I do think if people were exposed to more variance in life a lot of things, not just Sn, would be a lot easier to handle.

Of all the reasons the only one that strikes much resonance with me (as opposed to sympathy) is the one about affecting siblings. I cannot honestly say ds2 hasn;t been affected by his 3 sn siblings (maybe 3, we will see after assessment about ds4) although I hope as an adult he will still be glad of his brothers.

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