By Sarah Terzo
Sherrill Rechner found out her son had Down syndrome after he was born, and was angry she hadn’t had a chance to abort him:
“The geneticist calls. No, I don’t want to speak to her. I am furious with her, with all the doctors who caused this mess. They signed a paper saying my AFP results were normal. The perinatologist told us it was just his heart that had a problem, and that we didn’t need an amnio done.
“You didn’t give me any options. I want to scream. Now you can’t make it better and you can’t make it go away.”
Two months later she wrote:
“My son is nestled comfortably in my arms. He is watching me as I watch him. I can’t imagine not having him here with me. Tears come at the very thought; my heart feels like it will explode… He will never understand the impact he has made on us. He will only feel comfort and love. He reaches for my face and a tear runs down his finger. These are tears of love for you. I need you to know that, my dear.
“The geneticist saved his life – I realize that now. She had eased my fears about my risk factor for down syndrome. She led me to believe an amnio wasn’t necessary. She saved his life. I must let her know how these events have changed me. I may never have known this life, his life.”
Kathryn Lynard Soper, Gifts: Mothers Reflect on How Children with down Syndrome Enrich Their Lives (Bethesda, Maryland: Woodbine House, 2007)pp. 179, 180.
Editor’s note. This appeared at Clinic Quotes and is reposted with permission.