WHAT A POSITIVE EXPERIENCE RECEIVEING A PRENATAL DIAGNOSIS OF DOWN SYNDROME LOOKS LIKE: HOW TO FRAME THE MESSAGE
In the beginning, there were only pieces of understanding, and we had yet to put together the puzzle to see the bigger picture. It began with an unexpected call from our midwife. An affront. A soft marker announcing the possibility of Down syndrome – Down syndrome? Uncertainty, shock, doubt, fleeting moments of glass because – what a caring and compassionate big sister our first-born would become! Sadness and fear – fear? Of what? Or of whom? I later ask myself. Of the unknown. Fragments of worry stab at my chest every day we do not know. Waiting. Until we know for sure, we don’t know. The circularity of this thought is, by definition, insanity. A blood test, a repeat ultrasound. We still don’t know, more waiting. A scheduled appointment at the Genetics Clinic in the hospital to discuss the results. In person. This is a life we are talking about. The baby’s and ours.
A genetic counsellor leads us into a sterile room. It’s been two weeks, and we still don’t know. She fumbles, “the ultrasound images look good to me, from what I can see,” she leans in conspiratorially, “nothing here suggests Down syndrome.” She doesn’t know. Anything