A Day in the Life of Emily 2 - Choices - Abortion or the Gift of Life

Abortion or the Gift of Life

It is my belief that abortion and the gift of life should not be entwined in the same sentence but that is exactly what I have done. I don't know how to voice the sentiments I feel. No doubt what I am about to write will offend and upset some people. But I have to put it out there - for Emily.

All of us are given choices at various stages along the path that represents our life. There are different roads we can follow at any step of the way. What is important to understand at the beginning of the journey is that those first crucial steps toward one way or another may represent outcomes that will ultimately lead to significant repercussions that come about because of those decisions.

Eleven Week Ultrasound

This is the Beginning of my Journey

It was a few weeks after the eleven week ultrasound that I was told my baby had a chromosome abnormality. This left me with choices. I could proceed with the pregnancy and hope that all may turn out well or, and this was the point that was stressed, I could, no should terminate the pregnancy.

There are possibly as many women who feel as I do about abortion as there are those who have a strong view toward the opposite option or opinion. While I accept that it is a divided issue I cannot accept flippant reasons for ending a possible life. But it is not for me to judge or determine what is a flippant excuse. All I know is I am pregnant. I have given birth before and not only know but fully appreciate the wonder of introducing another life into this world.


Amniocentesis Test

My doctor had advised strongly in favour of having an amniocentesis test after the ultrasound. He couldn't say for sure but thought our baby may have Down Syndrome. Did we need to know for sure? We already knew there was every chance of this baby having a chromosome abnormality. What difference could it make knowing what it was? Because of the risks of termination I chose not to have this test.

Not everyone agreed with my decision and put forward a number of questions before the next doctor’s appointment. I was confronted with questions that perhaps for someone else may have changed their decision. But it was as my sister had stated on that first day, abortion is not an option, for me.

“Have you really thought this through?

“Let’s say the baby is born with Down syndrome. What happens as it gets older and you two both get older?”

“How are you going to manage looking after a child with a disability?"

“It’s one thing to carry a baby around, what about when that baby develops into a child or even a young adult? You would be looking at things like feeding, changing nappies for years.”

My only response to all the questions had to be, “I know, I’ve thought about all of that. To me, that’s just what you do as a parent isn’t it?”

There is no Guarantee For the Perfect Child

In a perfect world, babies are born without any abnormalities. We don’t have the luxury of that with this pregnancy, so, what, we’re supposed to say, well we didn’t get the perfect baby we’ll just throw this one out and try again? This line of thinking does not sit well with me.

We are at the hospital and two weeks before the baby is due and the Doppler Flow is of concern. I am told to report to the maternity ward where a midwife hooks me up to an ECG to get a better look at the baby's heartbeat. After an hour several doctors have come and gone before a decision is made. This baby needs to be born. There is distress. I am distressed. The baby's father is distressed but most important of all, the baby is stressed.

I have always been such a supporter of natural child birth, but now I am being faced with the prospect of this, my third baby needing to be delivered by way of Caesarian Section. We have an emergency situation. If I want my baby born alive I have to hand the controls over to the medical profession.


Emily's Story Available on Amazon

© 2010 Karen Wilton

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Comments 14 comments

American Romance profile image

American Romance 6 years ago from America

Great courage,more than most have, An older man at our country club plays gold every day at noon with several other men, Every single day he brings his severe 25 year old Down Syndrome daughter with him, Everyone talks to her, she never gets out of the cart and cant say one clear word in English, but when people come by that she recognises she gets very excited! His courage and faith are strong and to be commended!............Not to mention what God has in store???


Karen Wilton profile image

Karen Wilton 6 years ago from Australia Author

Thank you so much for your comment American Romance. There is so much out there that we have no understanding of but to give a life a chance regardless of the outcome is simply to give a life a chance. What more is there?

Give that man and his daughter my very best wishes. That, has to be commended. Never met them but I love them both.


WannaB Writer profile image

WannaB Writer 6 years ago from Templeton, CA

You trusted God in a difficult decision. I'm off to read the rest of the story.


Karen Wilton profile image

Karen Wilton 6 years ago from Australia Author

Sometimes the hard choices need to be taken out of our hands. I have always believed things happen for a reason, even if I haven't always known what those reasons are, but one thing I do know, is that this baby needed to be given a chance at life.


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina

Karen, you obviously are a strong woman who trusts and has a faith in life's unfolding journey. It is not anyone's decision but yours and your partners. Too many people automatically think of what 'should' be done, which is often a matter of convenience.

Beautifully written. Your daughter has an amazing smile in this photo.


Karen Wilton profile image

Karen Wilton 5 years ago from Australia Author

Thank you Denise. I have always believed it is best to let life unfold no matter how hard or painful that may turn out to be. This photo is one of my favourites.


jonathannatural2 profile image

jonathannatural2 5 years ago

We just got news from the blood test that our baby may have a chromosome abnormality. I am very stress and saddened by this news. We are going to be having another test today. I don't think I could live with having a child with these kinds of problems. No one wants this baby to be happier and healthier than me. I just don't think I could deal with this for the rest of my life. People can say it is best to live and let live, but wait till you have this kind of situation in your life.

We are very hopeful that the test was a false positive. I am very scared and depressed about everything.


Karen Wilton profile image

Karen Wilton 5 years ago from Australia Author

My thoughts are with you and your family. This is a troubling time, I know first hand the stress and sadness you must be going through.

Having a child with a chromosome abnormality is not easy but I have never regretted my decision to go ahead with the prenancy even though I knew there was something terribly wrong with my baby. For whatever reason, I was pregnant and I felt that my baby had a right to being born and have a chance at life. For me, it was her decision not mine.

It's not for everyone though and I can understand how some people might struggle with the idea. Only you and your family can decide what is to be done, afterall, it is you who will have to live with the choice either way. I'll be thinking of you and hoping for a negative test result.


jonathannatural2 profile image

jonathannatural2 5 years ago

Thank you for the response. I'll let me know what happens. We are having an ultrasound on Wednesday and hope to have some news from the blood test back tomorrow.

When were you 100% positive that your baby was going to have DS? Was there any hint before you did the ultrasound that something might be wrong?


Karen Wilton profile image

Karen Wilton 5 years ago from Australia Author

We were never sure that our baby would have DS because I chose not to have the amniocentcis test to confirm or deny. The ultrasound at 13 weeks told the doctors there was a strong chance that our baby had a chromosomal abnormality. It wasn't until she was a few days old we were given the full diagnosis.

We were expecting a baby with Down Syndrome but Emily was born with Edwards Syndrome, Trisomy 18, much worse in that the baby is unlikely to be born. For those pregancies that do eventuate the babies usually die within the first few weeks.

Emily was our miracle. She survived the odds. She arrived into the world with a fighting spirit for survival so we did all we could to help her. We were able to take her home, care for her and, hopefully give her enough love to support her through her destiny.

As heartbreaking as it was for me and all who loved her, I have to say again, I have never regretted my decision to let the pregnancy go it's own way. I always felt my child had a right to her own journey in this universe.

I will be thinking of you and hoping for a good outcome for you amd your family.


jonathannatural2 profile image

jonathannatural2 5 years ago

We got some really good new yesterday. First, according to the blood test we only have 1 in 151 chance of having any problems. That means we are 99% sure of having no complications. Second, we got an ultra sound 2 and the doctor said everything looked good. Third, we are having a boy. I could not be happier.


Karen Wilton profile image

Karen Wilton 5 years ago from Australia Author

This is very good news indeed. I am so relieved for you and your family jonathannatural2. I'd love to follow your journey with this pregnancy so I hope you are writing about it somewhere. All the best.


Dolores Monet profile image

Dolores Monet 4 years ago from East Coast, United States

Thank you for sharing your story. I hope that others find this article as you've given people a lot to think about. As a mother of a daughter with DS I would advise women to have an amnio whether or not they would have an abortion. The answers that an amnio provides can help the family prepare for a child with disabilities. They will be more understanding of the specific disability. The actual birth of the child will then be easier and the child more cheerfully welcomed into the world. I look forward to reading more.....


Karen Wilton profile image

Karen Wilton 4 years ago from Australia Author

Thank you Dolores. The ultrasound is an easy unintrusive test to decide if the amnio is necessary. I agree that the amnio is a good idea to help in preparing a family for what may eventuate but I have no regrets in not having that test as there were too many risks of miscarriage in my circumstance.

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