Mom of 2 Shares How Devastated She Was When Doctor Assumed She'd Want to Terminate Her Child
No mother wants to hear that she should put an end to her child’s life due to complications or genetic defect, and when Emily McCain was told to terminate her daughter, Lily, she broke down in tears.
The Australian native's first pregnancy was considered high risk after she went for a test and scan at thirteen weeks. The analysis revealed a 75% probability of having a child with Down Syndrome, and at the time, the Non-Invasive Prenatal Test (NIPT) which is used to check for the syndrome was unavailable.
McCain was told to come back at twenty weeks for additional testing, and upon her return, she underwent amniocentesis, which involves removing a little fluid from the amniotic sack and testing the cells for possible health defects and Down Syndrome traits. The test also reveals the sex of a child; in this case, a girl.
The mother-of-two, together with her husband, Lucas, got a call from the hospital, informing them that their unborn baby has the condition, and had to come for a checkup.
The checkup showed that the baby was healthy, even though the condition results in heart defects. However, the obstetrician told the 34-year-old to terminate the pregnancy as she is young, and could have “A normal baby” later, which devastated her.
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Day 19 Guest post #3 By @being_bec Words are important to me. As an adult educator, I rely on effective wording every day. Words have power. Underestimated power. During this awareness campaign I would like you to consider the power and the construct of words around Down syndrome. If you haven't heard the terminology 'people first language' before, let me describe it to you like this; we consider the person before we consider the diagnosis. An example of this, is to say "Lily, who has Down syndrome". This allows the listener to immediately picture a little girl called Lily. Lily the little girl becomes the focus and the diagnosis becomes the minor detail. The concept of ‘people first language’ may seem trivial and insignificant to you, however, verbal prompts play an integral part in giving someone an identity as opposed to the diagnosis claiming the identity. If I were to say "The Down syndrome girl, Lily..." the brain takes the verbal cue to visualise its own personal perception of Down syndrome first, however that may look, and then the little girl Lily, becomes the secondary focus. You can see the problem. Lily is more than her diagnosis and the language used around Down syndrome affords individuals their own identity. Please be aware of your use of language and the way others around you use language. Remember, it's people first 🙂 #peoplefirst #languagematters #theluckyfew #downsyndrome #downsyndromeawarenessmonth #dsam #iamable #wordsmatter
The then-pregnant mother then sought a second opinion from a pediatrician who provided her with relevant information, while applauding her courage.
Reflecting on her decision, McCain told “MailOnline” that when the news came, it shocked her and Lucas, even though they decided to keep the baby; the proud mother said her life is much better because Lily is in it.
The Perth native also told the news outlet that although family and friends didn’t understand their decision, they stood by them, and now, she interacts with other parents on Facebook on how to best manage the condition.
Down Syndrome, otherwise called Trisomy 21, is a genetic disorder that brings about delay in growth, distinct facial look, and low intellect.
People living with it can lead a normal life, and according to a publication in the American Journal of Medical Genetics, 99% of those living with the condition see themselves as happy.
However, 4% of parents with Down Syndrome children regret carrying their pregnancy to term, and the syndrome is a justifiable reason for abortion.
In spite of this, pro-life advocates like the Governor of Utah are taking a stand against terminating a baby with the condition. The Governor recently signed a bill into law to that effect, and it will become enforceable as soon as a Federal High Court holds that the state has the power to issue the ban.