Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Brutal Truth

One of my mother's closest friends is a mother of 5. Their children are spaced out pretty well, and by some coincidence their last 2 daughters are close enough to my sister and my ages that spending time with them growing up was fun. It was liking having 2 older sisters who were cool and told us about high school and boys.

Their next 2 oldest girls were a league ahead of us, already finishing high school and driving and dating when we still were wondering why they needed boys all the time. It was interesting to watch them get ready to go out, but there was never any urge to spend time with them as they seemed older.

The oldest of the five was their only son. He was always home, and often hung around with us and his youngest sisters. He was born mentally handicapped, and they kept him at home and took care of him.

I remember him trying to learn basic sign. He has never spoken, and even now relies on his parents. I believe he is well over 50 today, and things have not improved other than now there are more programs so that he is able to get out with groups and go to movies and do things that weren't available when he was growing up.

Where am I going with all this?

We had to have a serious talk this weekend about testing. The doctor has given us the averages and the percentages. But in the end we needed to decide. We needed to tell him if we wanted more tests to check for genetic issues.

Including Down Syndrome.

What it all boiled down to was thinking about my mom's friend. She and her husband are retired, their girls married, their grandchildren doing everything from kindergarten to working after completing college. But they still have someone they take care of daily. They make plans for dinner out around activity schedules in order to be able to sit and eat without having to worry.

This is going to sound so selfish, but I don't want to be doing that 50 years from now. I would like to be taking my grandchildren for overnights. I would like to be retired and watching as my children grow old and lead their lives.

I told all this to A and he understood. He knows that I need to know, and he respects that it's my body and I need to choose how much I allow to be done. He also agreed that it would be a lot of work to raise someone with special needs, and it would be better to know now and decide then if it's what we are prepared to do.

So we've scheduled the amnio for 12/22. My FIL is driving us there and back, and work knows I will be working via laptop on the couch. The husband is prepared to handle dinner and take care of me.

I never though this would be the hardest decision we had to make as a married couple. And, honestly, it's not done. Not until we have the results and know what we do next.

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