We received some terrible news this week. A close family member has lost their baby to severe complications from Downs Syndrome. My first reaction to this news was one of heartbreak for the parents. Then I was hit by a wave of fear for my own unborn baby.
Rob and I declined the standard AFP test because I knew that even if our baby were diagnosed with such a condition I simply could not bring myself to abort the pregnancy, but I have often worried that this allowed a condition to remain undetected. (We did learn that the secondary conditions leading to the pregnancy loss were detected on a standard ultrasound, which somewhat allayed my fears.).
I don’t know how to express in words how this news affected me. I felt terribly saddened by their loss, completely helpless to do or say anything that might be of assistance and was at the same time relieved that as far as we know our baby is doing fine.
I worry now that, for a time, family relations will be a bit strained. I’m sure that if the tables were turned, the last thing I’d want is to spend time with someone who is as obviously pregnant as I am. Yet, I don’t want to offend in any way by keeping my distance. I suppose all we can do is offer our sympathy and support and see what happens from here. In the meantime, I continue to pray daily that our baby is healthy and that I am able to refrain from any activity that may hinder its chance at a safe and healthy arrival in a few weeks.