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Temperamental 10-23-2002 03:28 PM

What are my odds?
Hi everyone. I stumbled across this board with curiousity as one of my boyfriend's sisters has a Down Baby. I have to admit I have really never spent alot of time with anyone with a disability like this nobody in my close family has this and I do not know much about it. His sister has 3 kids and the 3rd one/girl/has Downs. Shes around 2 now and I think her mom was around 34 or maybe 35 when she had her. As far as I know she is the only Downs baby in the whole family and there are alot of kids on my boyfriends side.

We will hopefully marry sometime late next year and I'm 30 so my biological clock is ticking big time. I am very anxious to start a family. I hope to get pregnant sometime next year. My boyfriend has 3 healthy kids from a previous marriage.

What makes me nervous is I'm 30 and never had kids and already Downs concerns me. I honestly don't think I could handle having a disabled child. I know this sounds horrible but if tests came back with a problem such as Downs I would probably terminate even though usually I'm anti-abortion. I feel bad for thinking of this. I know this would be an issue with my boyfriend who is also anti-abortion. With my boyfriends sister, this child is her husbands first and only, and its been very stressful and hard on him and their marriage is having problems. Being a mother is going to be tough and alot of responsibility,multiply that by 2 or 3 with a disabled child.

I guess my question is..if I get pregnant at age 31 what would be the chances of a Down Baby? When do the odds go up? I hope there is still a good chance of me getting off my birth control and getting pregnant next year so I really hope I'm fertile. I've never had any problems gyno wise to make me think otherwise but I guess I should talk to my DR about it next time I see him. Has anyone had their first baby at around my age and where there any problems getting preg? Is Downs really something I should be worrying about?



Tifferbelle 10-23-2002 05:55 PM

None of us expects a disabled child. I always felt I could not handle it but it turns out I was wrong. My daughter with Downs was born when I was 24 and had a 19 month old already. Probably you won't have any more chance of having a Downs child than anyone else. Most cases of Down Syndrome are not inherited. The exception is with Translocation. If the child has this form of DS then it would be possible that it is in the family. This, however, is not very common. If it was Translocation there likely would have been blood tests to find out which parent was the carrier. Most women in their 30s have perfectly normal children. It is painful, however, to hear of someone who would terminate based on a diagnoses of Down Syndrome. I can understand why you might feel that way, but keep in mind that those of us who post on this board all have DS kids and many of us have had to fight hard for our children's lives. A new baby often places strain on a marriage even if it's a typical child. A disabled child may contribute a bit more to stress but our DS children are our children and we love them as much as our typical children. I am not trying to be judgemental, I do understand the fear, however I'm just trying to give you another point of view. My daughter is 8 years old now and I don't think of her disability constantly. She's just one of my daughters. Audrey is very popular among her typical peers at school and is involved in a variety of activities. Please take some time to get to know your neice. Before long you'll be able to see that she's just a little girl much like most little girls. Keep in mind that 2 year olds are often unpleasant regardless of whether or not they have a disabilty:}

mom8times 10-23-2002 11:38 PM

Tifferbelle puts it very well. I think if I had known I was carrying a Down's child back when an abortion was an option, I might have taken the easy route out. Everyone wants to have a perfect normal child. But....after 13 years of raising my daughter Amy, would I have an abortion if I had a chance to go back and do her conception and birth over again? No. I love her DEARLY!! Having been there and done that I have to say that having a Down Syndrome child isn't as bad as the FEAR of having one. And having a normal healthy child is not a guarantee against heartache and problems raising them. It just goes with the territory. Every child is an individual. God love them all.

Tifferbelle 10-24-2002 04:43 PM

Beautifully put Peggy. I wouldn't trade my Audrey for 10 perfect children. There isn't any such thing anyhow. And it's true that you never know what kind of blessings or maledictions any of your children will bring. All children will bring both though. I work sometimes at my local high school and I see all kinds of results. I've seen perfectly normal healthy kids who are lazy and make bad choices. I've also seen special ed kids work very hard in school and make a success of themselves. Both of these types of kids were somebody's cherished baby at one time. You just have to accept and do your best with what you've got!

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