Diagnosis: Trisomy 21
By Yin-B's Mother
My husband and I made the heart breaking choice to terminate our pregnancy at 11 weeks, after our baby (nicknamed Yin-B)
was diagnosed with Down's syndrome. It has been 6 months since the termination. Recently a growing sense of grief has
overshadowed me. Yin-B would have been born around this time had she still been in my womb.
I have had depression before due to family problems and work stress. The last thing I wanted was to fall into depression again.
My brain was working hard to defy my negative emotions: "I have a loving and understanding husband," "pregnancy is just one
aspect of life," "I should focus on what I have, not what I have lost," "we can try again" etc. However, my tears kept rolling down
my cheeks every day, and I chose to hide it from others. I didn't want them to tell me to look forward. I wanted to look forward too,
but I didn't have the ability to do so at that moment.
I was 38. Yin-B was our first. I did the scan at 11 weeks and was advised by our doctor to do a CVS, since the scan results
together with my age indicated a high risk of Down's syndrome. The result was positive. Over a few days, we met with our doctor,
a social worker from the Down's Syndrome Association, our pastor, families with children who have Down's syndrome, we talked to
friends and families, obtained information from books and the internet. We wanted to do our best to understand this diagnosis before
making any decision. We did not want to make a decision out of ignorance or fear. From happily going to our doctor's clinic for a
regular scan to the termination, it was less than a week's time.
After the termination and a certain grieving period, I was doing fine. Our doctors advised us to rest for 3 months before trying to
conceive again. I was focusing on having good physical, mental and spiritual health in preparation for the next pregnancy. Until one
day, I was severely judged by a troubled acquaintance who repeatedly asked me if I would repent for what I did, and what I would do
if my next baby were to also have Down's Syndrome. I was a bit upset but answered her patiently out of love. As time passed, I
found that I could not get her two questions out of my mind.*
Two friends who got pregnant around the same time as me have given birth. I have not been jealous all along, but I do feel sour
now when other friends happily congratulate them...can't they be more sensitive about my feelings? Life moves on and they don't
remember my loss. I do.
I am learning to face and cope with my grief, rather than burying it. I know I can do it. So can you.
*Administrator's note: We are often confronted by people who do not understand or agree with our choices. That is why making "A
Heartbreaking Choice" is so difficult, as parents, we make the best decision that we can, for ourselves, our children and our families.
Others will judge us, but it is not their place to do so. Please remember as you go through the grieving process that this choice is
between you and your partner. How you choose to respond to the opinions of those who do not agree with your choice is up to you.
The author of this story does so in a loving manner. Remember that you are not alone in your choice. May you each find love, peace