Wednesday, January 24, 2007

A lonely place

Several people have asked about the nuchal translucency screening we underwent, regarding both the technicalities and the reasons.

So why did we go for this screening? Simple. We wanted to know what we might be faced with. At our age the NHS test doesn't really give you anything like an accurate enough prediction. So we decided to get a clear picture of what we could expect.

And what did we plan to do if the test said we had a Downs baby? We can't possibly answer that question because it's a place we've never been.

I won't pretend it wouldn't have mattered to me. Frankly it would have mattered a lot. The news that your child will never fully develop into a fully independent adult should concern any responsible parent-to-be. I won't claim I know exactly how we would have reacted either because I have never had to face the reality of it.

Of course I'd sound very decent if I said that we would have carried on regardless. But it would be a bit too easy for me to make such a claim when it's only ever been a theoretical possibility. In much the same way that the reality of pregnancy was different to the hypothetical consideration of it, until being faced with that situation I know I won't have considered it as fully and with such urgent importance as I would have to if it was real.

Of course some people will know absolutely what they would do, one way or the other. I can only tip my hat to their unshakeable self-assuredness.

What I do know is that we talked about being prepared for whatever lay ahead. We talked about how we would feel as relatively old parents leaving behind a child that would never grow to full independence. We also talked about all the love we could give to any child no matter what was special or different about them.

All ifs and maybes. The truth is we've never been to that lonely place where we would have to face the alternatives.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Steve said...

Dear anonymous.

Firstly I am sorry that you were offended by the post. None of my posts set out to offend. (In fact you are the first negative comment in this blog's 2 year history.)

You may be surprised to hear that I suspect there is little in your own expressed views that I disagree with. Unfortunately you have misinterpreted what I said and projected onto me opinions that are rather distant from my own. Perhaps if you read the post again you will see it is actually rather neutral.

That was rather the point of the post: I don't claim to know either way what I would have done if faced with a pregnancy that looked certain to be Downs. I have good and bad feelings about it. I see positives and negatives. I am human and flawed and in this situation I am uncertain. But I don't apologise for that to the world. I simply try to improve upon it.

If my uncertainty still offends you then there is little I can do.

As I said in my post I admire those who can express certainty about the situation and I certainly have enormous admiration for those who raise disabled children.

You sound a very positive person who appreciates all they have in life. That is certainly how I feel about every new day with my own family. As you say yourself, "a parent's love is unconditional" (even though you then go on to doubt that mine is).

Being able to express my feelings honestly is important to me as I journal my journey through parenthood. If you still find something in that offensive I will have to bid you farwell and hope you find happier reading elsewhere.

I regret to say that I (and my partner) did find some of your comments offensive and very unrepresentative of my position and so have removed your comment. Remarks such as "Just because this test came back with a low risk doesn't mean that the child is 100% healthy" and "Perhaps you should take a step back from your own world and think of others" are in my opinion entirely uncalled for and inappropriate from a complete stranger.

Dan said...

It's funny how the unpleasant ones are always anon.

i have sympathy for your dilemma, i'm not really sure what I would do. But we had the tests because we wanted to have the option.

jen Millington said...

Unfortunately you have misinterpreted what I said .... I was not in my comments offensive, and if my remarks caused offense to you and your partner then I too apologise. If you had left my comment posted you would have seen I was not horrible as you seem to say I was but just a parent like yourselves,giving my unworthy opinion to the world. I would never wish for any child to be born with a disability, but in this cruel world we live in it sometimes happens. I really do wish you all the luck and joy you can imagine, as I do for us. Please accept my apologies and my name as a token of the fact you think of me as malicious.
Jennifer Millington

Steve said...

Jennifer,

I can't undelete your comment because Blogger's so called temporary deletion isn't offering me an option to un-delete. Nonetheless, apology accepted.

Dan, Ditto your comment. How come you can say in one sentence what I say in a whole post.... and without upsetting people! ;-)

Let's move on people...

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