Finn had his 9-month well baby visit this morning (a little late, as he's almost 10 months now!). It really was uneventful. His weight and height are both in the 50th percentile on the Ds charts (even though he's lost several ounces over the last week, I suspect from being sick). He's still got this nasty cough, although it's slowly getting better, but all in all the doc deemed him "great!" The most newsworthy item is that I told the ped how we have ben denied a consult with an OT twice now through Regional Center because of all the budget cuts, etc., and that Finn is still not eating solids, so he is going to get a referral to an OT for us via our insurance company - woot! Of course that will mean a co-pay, but whatever. All I want is a consult at this point - I'm not even saying he actually needs regular OT right now. I just want a professional to assess his feeding issues and tell me what to do to get him to eat.
I also wanted to elaborate on that last post, about how Finn's diagnosis was delivered to us.
I've said many, many times that I'm glad we didn't know about his diagnosis until after he was born, and I still really mean that. What is ironic, though, is that he was the only one of my pregnancies during which I chose not to do any prenatal screenings (except a 20-week u/s, which didn't reveal any anomalies). I did the screenings with all my other pregnancies: AFP screening with the first two, and the first trimester screening (nuchal-translucency u/s + accompanying bloodwork) with the twins and Lilah. Honestly, the only reason I didn't do any prenatal screenings with Finn was because I did 100% midwife prenatal care, and to do any screenings would have been a pain in the arse and expensive to boot (on top of the 100% out-of-pocket cost of the midwife). Although Lilah was also born at home, I did dual care (seeing an OB and my mw) through the first half of my pregnancy due to bleeding early on, so I did the screenings with that pregnancy.
So, where am I going with this? What Megan said in her comment touched a nerve with me, because like she said, I think when I did do prental screenings, it was always with some unconscious arrogance. I did the screenings fully expecting everything to come out "normal." I just couldn't fathom anything different, you know? That stuff happens to other people (har har - I could say that about so many things that have come to bite me in the ass). So I went through the motions and did the screenings because that's what you're encouraged to do. And I didn't do the screenings with Finn, and turned out he has Ds. But I'm glad I didn't know beforehand, I really, really am - for many reasons, mostly just knowing myself and what a freak I can be and how it would have cast a dark cloud over the rest of my pregnancy.
Anyway, the fact is, if I want to be completely honest with myself and everyone else, I have to at least ask myself what I would have done had I found out prenatally. I would like to think that I would not have chosen to terminate, but it's easy to sit here and say that in hindsight and when I was never actually faced with making such a decision. I've always considered myself to be pro-choice, but also I have never been able to imagine myself terminating a pregnancy. I waited too long and had to try too hard to get pregnant the first time, I love being pregnant too much, and I get attached to that fetus too early to imagine that I'd ever be able to rid myself of one.
I wonder how I would have reacted had I received a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome and then given a bleak outlook for my child. What if I wasn't given any resources? Or what if I was given outdated information about Down syndrome? What if I was actually faced with the choice? What if my doctor said to me, "If you choose to terminate, you must decide within the next two weeks," thereby putting the burden of an actual choice on my shoulders? What if I read that the termination rate for prenatally diagnosed cases of Ds was 90%?
These are things that I was never faced with, but many women are.
I don't know exactly what my point is, except to say that I don't know what it's like to receive a prenatal diagnosis and be faced with making a decision about embracing or rejecting my baby.
Adieu - After more than two years and 555 posts (556 counting this one!), I'm saying goodbye to Adventures in Motherhood. I'm ready for a change, and I've started ...
6 years ago