Flashback: Prenatal Diagnosis Video

It’s almost been a year since I first heard the word mentioned.  I cringe now like never before, because all of a sudden a word that once was so distant to my thoughts was now relevant to my very own life.  A word so earth trembling it makes my Jesus- Lovin’ mother bear soul shake with pain. Pain for the babies who never got a chance.  Pain for the mommy’s who never had a chance. Pain for the word a Doctor reasoned an option for my own son. Pain because I often think of the word when I see my beautiful baby boy.

So I have these flashback and my world trembles. When I think of the joy that Grady brings us i’m brought to solid ground again. I hold him close to me sometimes rubbing our cheeks together, I take a deep breath of his sweet smell, or I nibble on his cute toes. I am grounded again. Never forgetting to take the opportunity to praise Jesus in the midst of it all.

As one year since our prenatal diagnosis was delivered gets closer, i’ve been in a state of reflection. I’ll be in the shower lately (usually one of the only completely peaceful moments in my day)  and I’ll flashback to sitting in the Doctor Office and having him offer up Abortion. (washing my hair for the third time as I think)… How so easily the word Abortion flew out of the Doctor’s worldly tongue, how he said he was sorry while giving me a timetable for death. To be honest it actually haunts me from time to time. How could it not when looking into Grady’s beautiful eyes?  It’s a reality I live with, an experience we lived through, a reality I thought I would share. Sharing is: Advocacy.

From time to time when I think about the prenatal delivery at our original OB’s office and at the Genetics Counselor’s office, I am shaken. It puts me into a prayful state pretty quickly. ..and while our reaction was steadfast and direct that it was not an option…his fidgety counter response from our abrupt “asbolutley Not” reaction  was a failed attempt to salvage his  diagnosis delivery with a few positive thoughts, none of which mattered after already offering our child up for slaughter.

It haunts and torments me to think his life is deamed unworthy in certain eyes of the “world”. His warm soft skin, his infectious laugh and breath taking eyes are everything Jesus intended them to be.

I need more Jesus, more prayer when I have these thoughts. I am sure of that.

1. In no way could I of had the same OB practice deliver our son into this world with the joy & celebration that he so deserved that offered up Abortion a few months prior. So I switched OB practices. One of the best decisions I made prenatally.

2. Soon, I plan on writing an open letter to our original OB Practice, including our son’s picture and the “Prenatal Diagnosis of Down Syndrome: How  Best to Deliver the News” written by the American Journal of Medical Genetics, in my effort to promote better procedures to delivering a pre-natal diagnosis in their practice. (based out of a christian/catholic hospital)  Great Article Check it out!

3. Knowing Jesus remains to be a driving force in my advocacy and experience healing, I am pro-Jesus (broken down into Pro-life, Pro- forgiveness, Pro-Hope)

4. I have slowly started to push my frustrations aside with the diagnosis delivery and start praying for that Doctor and practice and their openness to accept my letter. I hope our one year anniversary & my letter will be part of the closure for me.

5. God is Good (<—Grady’s Secret Post)

Doing what I know how to do, a form or therapy for me, This is how my flashbacks play out…


14 thoughts on “Flashback: Prenatal Diagnosis Video

  1. erika says:

    Pro-Jesus… I love that. Thankfully, I always remember our Ob fidgeting with trying to say the words, showing that she was uncomfortable with the thought of an abortion, and I will always remember her smile (of relief) as she repeated what I had just said “if he has Ds, he has Ds, abortion is not an option” (our diagnosis was unconfirmed since we opted to not do the amnio)

  2. aprilnarretto says:

    THankfully our OB was not the one delivering the news, nor did he mention abortion but I found out about W’s “diagnosis” at the cardio. dr and they pushed it and I was 20 weeks, ugh, the thought makes me sick to my stomach. I just want to go to that office and say “look and this precious boy and all he CAN do” I wish I could be in that office offering support to every parent who gets that news. I want them to see what a wonderful life we have BECAUSE of william

  3. Courtney B says:

    This is my favorite video so far…possibly my favorite post. Thank you Erin…Thank you for being you and having the faith in Jesus that you have. It truly is inspiring, you are inspiring!

  4. Ashley says:

    What a beautiful video, Erin! Advocacy is a great thing. My mom loves telling people that Laura has down syndrome in hopes that it will change people’s view on DS 🙂

  5. Jennifer says:

    Erin- I feel so much of what you shared in this post!!! It was our perinatologist who offered up the option of “termination” and we cut him off mid-sentence. He countered by saying it was part of his job and his obligation to give us our “options”, but over time I came to understand that he has a genuine love of babies…no matter their diagnosis…and I feel sad that part of his job entails “educating” mothers on their options to end their child’s life. I also made a change from the original doctor who shared the news with us (well…actually he couldn’t be bothered to pick up the phone, it was his genetic counselor who made “the call”) and have also fantasized about writing a letter, complete with photos. Since I changed practices immediately after the news, there is no doubt in my mind that they assume I terminated. I plan to make sure they know otherwise, and that our beautiful son lights up every life he touches.
    Lastly, and sadly, I have a couple of friends that admitted to terminating a baby with Ds after we shared our news. It hurts my heart to the core that they were so ignorant and uneducated about what a Ds diagnosis really means and that they decided a life like my son’s was not worthy of life at all. It’s not at all that I hope they are overcome with guilt, but I do hope that their worlds are rocked in a positive way by seeing the beauty, love and life that our little guy brings!! (I haven’t really been able to share my thoughts about these friends in my own blog, so it is nice to be able to share with someone who is affected by it as I am.)

  6. Jill says:

    This is so awesome, thank you.
    I feel the same way you do.
    I have had several heart-to-heart conversations with my own doctor about “the news” and how it’s delivered, and have offered myself to him for any purpose or reason appropriate, if there would be anyway I could help or be involved in his necessary delivery of Ds.
    The sub-title on my own blog has always read, “there should be no more hushed tones, somber faces or sorrowful apologies. the news of Down syndrome ought to be delivered with smiles, congratulations, a heart slap on the back and a look of envy from every doctor in the world.”
    I couldn’t agree with you more.
    I’ll join forces with you in this endeavor in any way I can or you need.
    Thank God for you! (and Grady, too…the little cutie pie)

  7. Laura Kraengel says:

    Hi Erin,
    I finally found your blog!! I don’t get to spend too much time on the computer, so it took me a while to learn how to navigate on Facebook.
    I had the same horrific experience with my OB. Unfortunately for me and my beautiful Shawn it was right after his birth. My heart brakes for him and all the beautiful children born around ignorance and selfish fear. I didn’t have any prenatal tests (other then the 9 month ultrasound) because I don’t believe in abortion and trusted god was sending me the child I was ment to love and nurture. Shawns birth was beautiful and happy, the first day everyone in the hospital was wonderful, until…….. the second day when the pediatician called and said Shawn has 3 of 7 signs of Down Syndrome and they were sending in a genetisist to talk with us. Suddenly everything changed. Nurses started tip toeing around us like someone had died!!! They couldn’t understand why Chris and I weren’t upset. And like you, we weren’t. We were overjoyed with this beautiful being, this beautiful gift that god had entrusted us with. We confided in eachother later, that both of us at some point in our lives, before we even met, knew we were destined to have this special child. I know that sounds hoky, but it’s true. We had both had past experiences that had led us to believe that god would give us this gift. While we were rechoiceing my OBs were acting horrible and ignorant , they turned my hospital room into a dark place that I ached to get my bright and glorious child away from. When one of my OBs came to check my stitches, my beautiful Shawn lay sleeping in his basinet, the doctor literaly avoided looking at him!!!!. I had to say “look at my beautiful Shawn that you helped bring into the world.” He looked at me with such despair, my anger was palatable. Then later the OB in their office who actually delivered Shawn and was happy at his intial entrance into the world, came to my bedside with the female OB (who’s a Mom which somehow makes it worse to me) they took my hand, oh so disgustingly solomly, and said so dark ” if there’s anything we can do for you.” I could not understand how everyone who loved Shawn the day before had now acted like there was a death. I decided I could not waste energy on these people right now. My energy and wisdom was all going to Shawn and Ryan my beautiful amazing boys. But I vowed to myself that one day I would go back to the doctor who brought Shawn into the world and educate him so he would never do what he did to us, or what was done to you, to another family. I didn’t go back to that OB for my post birth appointment, I was so angry with their office, and it was not a time to feel anger. Then when Shawn was four I was reading this article that was saying how things have changed over the past ten years and how doctors are educated now about Down Syndrome and tell parents if they learn at prenatal, how far early intervention has come, etc. I got so mad! I thought “really, that was not my experience and I’m sure if I had found out while I was pregnant with Shawn, I would have had the same horrible experience with my Ob that you had.” Right then I made an appointment with the Ob who delivered Shawn. When I went I brought a photo album of Shawn from birth through present time. After my exam when the doctor brought me into his office I handed him the album and said this is Shawn, I want you to see this beautiful amazing child that you helped bring into the world. I told him how wonderful Shawn was doing, every aspect of his sweet , unique, fabulous personality. I educated him on early intervention, and I let him know how his behavior turned the most bright and wonderful time of our lives into something dark, and how I almost sufficated, and felt I was doing Shawn a huge injustice every minute I was in his hospital. He didn’t really own up to the attitude he had back then, but I saw the look on his face when he looked at the pictures of this beautiful little boy that four years earlier he had dismissed as being unworthy of proud and happy parents. I asked him to promise me that from now on when one of his patients was told her baby would be born with Down Syndrome he would remember Shawn and make it all positive for the parents and educate them about early intervention etc. and let them know that their pregnancy is a blessing. I don’t know if he will or won’t, but the smile on his face when he looked at the pictures of Shawn let me know that his additude was forever changed. My goal is to educate people, change perceptions, even if it’s one person at a time. I have learned many things from my Shawn, but I thank him so much for teaching me the gift of patience. Four years was a long time to wait, but it felt so good, and it gave me so much more to say and so much more to teach.
    Anyway, you share so much of yourself, your feelings and experiences with everyone, I wanted to share mine with you. It was great to see you at the picnic. Your enthusiasm, energy, and oh so much love is wonderful to be around. Grady and Mason are two very lucky little boys to have you for a Mama.
    ~Laura Kraengel

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