13 weeks pregnant, the last 6 weeks a blur of nausea, exhaustion, surviving. We got the diagnosis our baby girl has Down Syndrome.
The immediate visceral pain was exacting, shameless and to the heart.
The 24 hrs that followed were, and I pray will remain, the most excrutiating of our lives. The following 24 much the same. We cried, writhed and wrestled with what to do? In what feels like a situation with no right answer and no clear way, knowing that whichever outcome we chose would be forever. Should we protect this soul from a life of frustration as others struggle to understand her? Would she forever feel different and limited? Would she be subject to further health complications because of this chromosomal abnormality? Or would she be the brightest spirit we ever encountered?
We will never know and that we will learn to live with. We chose to set her free, hoping it to be the most loving choice for her based on our current circumstances. Even though we made this decision almost immediately we battled with it for days. I clung to my belly hoping to save her, (and us from having to make the choice). I didn’t want to let her go.
There is no one that can decide this for you, there is no black or white.
We did some reading, I don’t know if that’s the right thing to do or not? Seems that up to 95% of couples that receive this diagnosis choose to terminate. That does not make it any easier. I found the Down Syndrome Australia website, that made me want to keep her.
I can’t say for sure but I think if it wasn’t my first child, or I’d been trying for years, I’d certainly lean toward proceeding with the pregnancy.
We discovered her existence on a full moon and as it turned out we let her go on one too so we named her ‘moon’. We marked her exit by offering flowers and prayers into the water at one of our favourite places surrounded by loved ones. It felt fitting to send her onward with so much love and tenderness.
It’s only been a few days since and although I’m still nursing the grief the intensity has lessened. Time really does heal. I also rest into the great mystery of whether she will return to us or whether we will see her one day in some other form or family.
I don’t believe the soul dies, I believe she was inhabiting that physical human form briefly and will come again in some other capacity. I don’t believe love dies, it transforms, it bonds you more deeply to your partner or your purpose, it deepens your compassion.
May you never have to make this choice and if you do may this be of service to you.