A Mother’s Womb: The Most Dangerous Place In The World For A Baby With Down Syndrome

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sanctity of life sunday

Most kids known to have Down syndrome in their mother’s womb don’t make it out alive. I’m thankful ours did.

The third Sunday of January is National Sanctity of Human Life Day and since that happens to be today I thought I’d share a few things that constantly weigh heavy on my heart.

A Reminder Of Brokenness

This website and our other social media channels have a wide reach and we regularly receive messages from people all over the world. Most of these messages are overwhelmingly positive and give us great encouragement. But every once in a while we receive a message that reminds us that our world is deeply broken and in desperate need of repair it. Here’s an example of one of those messages that we received just yesterday:

I wouldn’t want the burden of having a child with Down Syndrome. I would have terminated the pregnancy.

Sadly, this isn’t just the opinion of the person who sent me this message. In fact, 92% of children with Down syndrome are aborted (yes, 92%!) This means every time you see one Noah (my son) there’s 9 Noah’s you don’t see as a result of people not wanting the burden.

In other words, if you’re a baby with Down syndrome, your mothers womb is a very dangerous place for you.

And it breaks my heart.

down syndrome sonogram ultrasound

“Get me out of here QUICK!’ – Every kid with Down Syndrome, ever.

My Son Wants To Ride A Dinosaur…Not Become One.

down syndrome abortion stats

“Yo, we don’t want to be extinct. We sort of like living.”

My friend Gabe Lyons notes, “people with Down syndrome have been targeted for extinction.” Our culture has become obsessed with making it easier and easier to detect if a child has Down syndrome in the womb so parents can murder their child make an informed decision. 

I couldn’t begin to count the number of stories I’ve heard from parents of children with Down syndrome about how their OB/GYN”s repeatedly tried to get them to make an even more informed decision after telling them they planned on bringing their child to full term. In fact, one dad told me he was so upset by the repeated pressure of their OB/GYN to abort their child he told him if he suggested they abort their child one more time he was going to hit him! This is why I highly recommend every OB/GYN / Pediatrician in the world read our letter on how to correctly deliver a Down Syndrome diagnosis.

Even after a child’s birth this discrimination and blatant disregard for human life continues. In Noah’s birth story we shared how our OB’s first words to us were,

I’m so sorry.

followed by,

I’m going to prescribe you some antidepressants.

to which we politely declined. :)

Our culture reminds me almost every day that it’s on a mission to exterminate everyone who they deem a burden, or less than worthy of life.

So What Do We Do?

I don’t have all of the answers. In fact, I have no answers. But I have a few ideas…..

1. Pray

Every since man first decided to trust their way over God’s our world has been going down hill. The Bible is clear that our world isn’t getting better, in fact quite the opposite. There are some problems that are so big that our best efforts to change them will never be enough.

The good news that we have access to The One who created the world and all that’s in it. When we reach the end of our gifts, talents, abilities, and creativity that’s where the true power begins.

In other words…

Prayer changes things. We should pray often for God to protect these little children in the womb, and that He would change the hearts of our culture to view all people as worthy of life, and recognize that all people are created in the image of God (in the womb or out….Down syndrome or no Down syndrome.)

2. Be Kind

Mean people rarely change the world (for the better.) Enough said.

3. Tell Your Story

If a tree falls in the woods…..

Stories have power….but only if they’re shared. The internet is a powerful place, and these days we all have access to a global audience. If you have a child with Down syndrome (or other special needfind a way to tell your story. You are your child’s biggest advocate. You have to find a way to help the world understand that your child has more in common with a typical child than people think.

Start a blog. A Facebook page, twitter account, heck, even an Pinterest page. Call up your local college and offer to come speak to a class about your family’s story. The possibilities are endless and every family had a different way of telling their story.

Different is ok. Being silent isn’t. So share your story…as often as you can. Here’s 14 ideas to get your started.

Oh, and just in case you think God doesn’t use stories to change lives, here’s a quote from another message I recently received:

“I just got the phone call last night that my blood work was abnormal and my child may possibly have Down’s Syndrome. After the initial shock and confusion I buried myself in research looking for more info and a better perspective on what this could possibly mean. While my first thought was to abort if DS was confirmed all that has changed thanks to your story and others like yours.”

That little kid’s life is forever changed. All because of a story. Look for ways to share yours today.

5. Constantly Reflect On Your Own “Burden-ness.”

Never forget that you were once someone’s ‘burden’ (who knows, maybe you still are!) :) Let’s be honest for a second, all of our life’s are train wrecks in some way. We all have flaws. Issues. Hang ups. We’ve all caused our parents headaches and heartaches at some point in our life. In fact, a few people’s parents probably wish they could go back in time and abort them. (I’m joking….kind of.)

People aren’t burdens. People are gifts from God. Created in His image for a purpose. Every. single. person. on. this. planet…..in the womb, or out. Let me say it again, this time read it slowly.

Every person on this plant is a gift from God, created in His image for a great purpose.

Only 1 out of 10 kids with Down syndrome make it out of their mother’s womb alive which make a mother’s womb a very dangerous place for a baby with Down syndrome. Thankfully our son was one of the lucky ones. So was Cade. And Seth. And Julian. And Ellie. And all of these kids. And these.

My great prayer is that God will change the hearts of our culture. That our culture will come to understand the value of human life (even little bitty lives.) That more children like my son will be brought to full term. That we will stop aborting children in the womb for any reason…especially simply because they have an extra 21st chromosome.

1 out of 10 is pretty bad odds, but thankfully God likes bad odds.

In God I trust,

Rick (Noah’s Dad)

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About Rick Smith

Hi, I'm Noah's Dad and I'm passionate about giving the world a window into our life as we raise our son who was born with Down syndrome. I also enjoy connecting with other families, so let's stay connected.

Comments

  1. I do remember & I mentioned it before, sitting with two friends and the topic of what we would do if we had a challenged child came up. I was the only one who wouldn’t terminate. I was shocked really. I have a little boy who has a serious disability. Its not visible but as I read you say, you fall in love with your baby.

    We were in Iran and you could get as many ultrasounds as you wanted. They were like $10 each. My husband would say Heleeen, let’s go visit Taher…and there I would be drinking fluids and getting goo all over my tummy…just to see bug-a-boo.

    I was dying for him to be born…not just so he would stop finding new and more hideous places to kick me, but I wanted to hold him and tell him each day he owes me 999 kisses..like I do.

    Its all about societal “norms” . All through our history individuals follow the current trend like ..well sheep. They follow the leader. When my Grandfather was young, it was trendy for women to be chunky. Chunky meant you were healthy. It was trendy to be modest too.

    Now everyone runs around half naked and the ideal girl is not Miss piggy but Miss twiggy. My Mom was the one who taught me not to follow. She said not to let anyone push me into following something I feel is wrong. Sometimes that can be really lonely but she also said sometimes being alone is better.

    We need more people like you to lead the followers away from the trend that causes them to make bad choices. I am always happy and inspired by seeing you both with Noah and your honesty and bravery are commendable.

  2. I’ve known very few people who have Down Syndrome, and I think a big reason why is because I was born at a time that prenatal screening was common. My mum had me when she was nearly 35. She often tells the story of how the doctors encouraged her to have amniocentesis because if the baby had Down Syndrome she “may as well have an abortion”. My parents refused the testing because of the risk of miscarriage and because they knew they’d never abort me. The fact that the doctors preemptively encouraged an older mother to abort a potentially “defective” child is a telling and worrying indictment on Western society. As it happened, although my parents would never abort, the doctors had sufficiently scared my mother into thinking that I would have Down Syndrome that when I was born with a protruding tongue she thought I did have Down Syndrome. I don’t.

    Despite my siblings and me growing up with this story, I remember an occasion when I was talking to my brother shortly after his first child was born, about how he and his partner had chosen to have amniocentesis. I asked him what they would have done if his daughter had had Down Syndrome and he said “who would want to bring that into the world?”. My brother has been humbled, however, by this first child of his, who was found to have an intellectual disability and other special needs. I wonder if we would have my wonderful niece here if they had known.

    I’ve been following Noah’s story for some time now, and it’s obvious how much of a blessing this little boy is. If only there were more Noahs running around.

    • Mary Francis says:

      I respect any mother who has to make a choice. I know that for some choosing to bring your child to full term is the right choice, but for others it is not. Having a child with Down Syndrome is not the normal 20 year commitment of raising a child. A forty year old woman who finds herself carrying a DS child has to think about the next 50 years. And then what happens when the parents die and the child is left behind? I cannot judge any parents for their very personal and private choice.

      • I was 39 when I had Gracie, a child with downs, and i’m thankful that when i’m gone she has two big brothers and a big sister that will take care of her! I also wanted to terminate when I found out she had DS. I cried to the Dr and screamed that I didn’t want this monster inside me but because of my christian upbringing (THANK THE LORD) I didn’t. I was the monster for thinking such a thing! Now I have my Gracie who is now 5yrs old and is a blessing. I respect peoples decisions too, but not if it’s just because they have downs. They are, after all, human beings. Not monsters!

      • Hearing the lie “personal and private” has resulted in our holocaust [abortion] sadly being accepted as truth by much of the world. The lie pervades the reality of tough choices where a “lesser” life stands in the way of another person. The lie will continue to spread as the difficulty of one person’s life has a negative effect upon his/her caregiver. So, suicide is accepted as personal and private – old age is accepted as justifying elimination of a person – paralysis is another reason to end someone’s life and on and on. The truth will not change nowever. We support oives that God creates and He alone decides the lifespan of all.

  3. I just updated my blog with an entry about prenatal screening. I’d really like to see more balanced views of people with Down Syndrome by doctors and genetic counsellors, and also it’s important for the parents to speak up, so people can see that they aren’t headed for a life of misery if they choose to keep a baby with a disability. http://babyfight.alwaysmad.com/?p=172

  4. Oh how I love this post! Thank you for speaking out–especially since you have quite an audience! I, too, want to share about little one, and do everyday in person in real life. Still want to reach others–so many of them out there–so many people unaware. Thanks for the encouragement to do so!

  5. Kerry Bertram says:

    Shocking. Truly appalling. Having a special needs child is such a gift and it’s beyond belief that people don’t recognize it. The same horrible thing is happening to children with cleft lips & club feet.

    • Very sad indeed. Our hope is that our site will help give people hope and encouragement, and in turn bring more babies to full term. We should keep praying for protections for the unborn.

  6. After reading about the potential ‘cure’ for Down’s today, I decided to read as much about it as I could. This is a great post and I’ve learned a lot about Down’s from your blog today. I have no children, but was recently pregnant (miscarriage @ 10 weeks). Early on, my OB offered prenatal testing and since I’m low-risk for most issues, I declined. I don’t like unnecessary medical intervention, especially if nothing much can be done to help a fetus in utero. Anyway, I just wanted to bring up that I think your statistics may be incorrect because taking into account people like me who do not get genetic testing, the number has to decrease the percentage from 92%. I would not know until much further along (probably 29-30 week sonogram) if I were carrying a child with Down’s.

    • The 92% statistic is misleading – it only reflects women carrying a fetus with a confirmed diagnosis of Down syndrome. Up until a year or two ago, that meant that it really only included women who had undergone amniocentesis or CVS, both of which carry a substantial risk of miscarriage and both of which women frequently opt to undergo if they know there is a possibility that they might choose to terminate if the results are positive. So the 92% number is self-selecting and doesn’t give you any sort of idea of what percentage of fetuses with an extra copy of chromosome 21 are actually born. We’ll have a better idea of those numbers once NIPT becomes more prevalent, as it can detect DS much earlier and with no physical risk to the pregnancy. In the mean time, the big problem is not the legality of abortion but the invisibility of families affected by Down syndrome in the mainstream. I think it’s safe to say that most people do not know somebody with Down syndrome. Let’s change that.

  7. Katie Atkinson says:

    Wow, what a great website this is! This website has given my husband and I so much hope and excitement for the future. I’m 20 weeks pregnant with my first baby and was already a high risk pregnancy because of my type 1 diabetes. Two weeks ago on one of the ultrasounds the doctor saw choroid plexus cysts on our little boys brain. She told us that this could be a soft marker for Downs. We had advoided genetic testing, but then decided to get a newer blood test done that test the fetal blood within my blood and is 99% accurate. One week later, the test results came back positive for downs syndrome. We were in shock and numb, all kinds of emotions going through our heads. It took us a couple weeks to settle down after that big news. We are Christians and we know God has big plans for us even though we may not understand them right now. I have done tons of research on downs but this website has helped the most, your story is truly inspiring. I can’t wait to meet our gift from God, Samuel. Thanks so much for making this website available

  8. Love your post! I know the statistics are sad, but I love your encouragement to tell our stories so people will know the truth about living with Down Syndrome. My granddaughter is 19 months old and has DS. She is an incredible blessing and I wouldn’t choose to have her any other way.

  9. I know all to well what you mean, I found out very early 2 months and 3 weeks in that the baby had a cystic hygroma sorry wrong spelling all the drs begged for was testing and termination! They would make me come in 2 time a week to tell me what a judge mistake I was making and to shedule a termination and that the baby would die a horrid death after he was born and save him from that! Needless to say I told my docs off and left it in gods hands and was rewarded with the most smart beautiful little boy! Yes he happens to have Down syndrome but that doesn’t define him as a person! He is one of the greatest gifts I’m so glad I didn’t let the drs brain wash me! That’s what it seemed like! I’m so greatful I had my boy! Thank you! For sharing and I hope that people don’t make the mistake of terminating the greatest gift you will ever have!

  10. Sorry If I misspell or something… not an English speaker!

    Just wanna share I have a 28 y/o brother with Down Syndrome. We share and spend time regularly, we text each other daily (mostly emoticons and videos) and talk almost daily. Our relationship has made me who I am. I am a doctor and every single time I receive positive feedback from peers or patients regarding rapport with patients, compassion or positive speech, I use that opportunity to tell them how much I learn from my brother. He is such a big, bold, beautiful influence. I have learned to enjoy life, to be strong and positive, to be infinitely loving and to have the grace of overcoming challenges in life with hard work & a smile. Thanks for sharing Noah’s life with all of us.

  11. I love seeing pictures and reading your post. I found your page through a friends page. I have a little boy, he is 2, and I’m completely in love with him. He does not have Down’s syndrome but I became fascinated with stories about families who do because this year I’ve had the pleasure of teaching a co-taught kindergarten class. 2 of my students have Down’s syndrome. This was a first for me, but I have fallen in love with these 2 children… So much so that I begged for the co taught class again next year so that I could have 1 of them again. He has changed my entire teaching world! His particular diagnosis is mosaic Down’s syndrome. He is so precious. In fact when his mom tells us stories about his mischief, I jokingly (but not really) tell her I’ll take him home with me! I can not begin to explain what this child has taught me this year, I’m certain that this year was my best year ever- thanks to Owen, who has taught me so much about how fun life can really be! I enjoy reading your posts and seeing pictures!

  12. Thank you for raising awareness with this post. I’m not so sure that education and awareness or really anything will do much to change our culture of “disposable life” and our quest for “picture perfect”. I had a “friend” who was highly educated, along with her husband. Both of them being medical professionals, financially secure, great health insurance etc. They knew my daughter, who has Down syndrome and always “acted” loving and accepting…. Until their own future son was diagnosed with Down syndrome. They made the decision to terminate, even knowing my daughter. They cut off all contact with our family and I only hear of them through mutual friends. I just cannot wrap my head around it. At first I was extremely hurt, upset and discouraged but now I just feel sorry for their ignorance and loss.
    They went on to have another “typical” son who they baptized in the Catholic church (they are supposedly devout Catholics). I just don’t understand this at all. I know this story isn’t unique but I can’t help but blame myself for not being able to change their minds. I’ve always been very open about my daughter, our challenges but also my love and thankfulness for her. I still want to cry when I think about what they did, even though it has been two years now. I would have taken their baby. A lot of people would have. They never even gave him a chance, just replaced him with one that was “pretested” and “suitable” to them:( And the most hurtful thing of all is they did this all with knowledge.
    These parents KNEW my daughter and still thought that a baby like her would be better off dead. It breaks my heart every time I think of it.

  13. I was very blessed by my last OB/GYN who asked me if i wanted an amnio due to my age and when I responded with a neutral answer he stated “would you do anything if it came back positive?” To which I responded “no” and he said then i had my answer! He never mentioned it again and it was so nice! Life is as God allows! What some humans consider “damaged” God considers beautiful! He has created each one of us the way He wanted us!!! I am a nurse who works daily with individuals with DS and they are some of God’s most perfect creations! They radiate Christ’s most important attribute, love, more than any other creation on Earth! To terminate God’s creations for ANY reason deeply saddens our creator! I love seeing Noah’s precious smile and feeling a bit closer to God just by following his precious life! Thanks to your family for your purposeful advocacy!!!!

  14. Sheila Bennett says:

    My 8 y/o daughter has ds, in my eyes she is perfect! Every mother sees her child as perfect it doesn’t matter if the have ds, bratty syndrome, bossy syndrome, EVERY mother sees perfection. It starts with the very second she first holds her baby! So sad that people are too foolish to give their child & themselves a chance to share this love.
    My second pregnancy was very interesting. Vi didn’t want yo know if she had ds like my first. I didn’t care! My OB, who was supported my choice did ask that I see a specialist who offered a better sonogram to make sure she didn’t have major heart defects that would require immediate surgery upon birth. I prayed about it and walked into his office fully prepared for some offensive speech about increased genetic risks, quality if life etc. I sat down, looked at him and said, “I already have a daughter with ds whom I love very much, I wouldn’t change a single chromosome on her little body. I don’t want to hear u say the word terminate or degrade a ds diagnosis in any way, I don’t care if this new baby has ds, two heads or purple skin I love her and expect you to respect my love and respect for the life of all unborn children!” Bless his heart, I didn’t know if he was going to cry or hug me! He said they were instructed to discuss alllll options, that he hated doing that and wished all moms had the same love and fight for their unborn child that I did! That it was upsetting to see someone plan for and want a baby, only to turn their love off after a prenatal diagnosis…… Thank God he was a compassionate human being, not a puppet on a medical string selling me an abortion!

  15. Miranda Kong says:

    Thank you so much for your blog. It’s really impressive and helpful. Most of all, it gives me strength and encouragement. You are a model for DS parents! Btw, Noah is so cute and lovely.

  16. Fellipe Borges says:

    Well… that’s just sad!
    I’m brazilian and my wife and I discovered about one month ago that our son Pedro (Peter, in english) has Down.

    At the begining it was a very difficult news to receive, no doubt of that. But now we love him more than anything.

    Here in Brazil people USUALLY don’t even think in abortion in those kind of situations. Thanks God for that.

    I don’t know what I’m capable of if somebody tellls us to abort…

    Pedro is still in my wife’s womb and we can’t wait to have him in our hands.
    He is gonna be the most loved child ever.

    Thanks for the blog.
    Best regards.

  17. I just wrote a blog post on this subject. (http://www.shawnandrews.net/the-amazing-things-i-learned-from-my-disabled-sister/) My wife and I have 4 year old triplets, and we were asked many times how many we wanted to “eliminate.” Our answer was always a steadfast NONE. Looking at them now I can’t imagine life without any of them. I weep for the hearts of a nation that would target 92% of a people for extinction.

  18. love this post. I never knew that my son will have DS when I was pregnant with him. Even when I heard the news and confirmed that he indeed has DS, I have never thought of him gone. Though during the first months, I wished that I would wake up the next day and see him to be normal, without DS. I think it is the thought that other parents out there has. Now, I have accepted that the extra chromosome is a part of him and has made him into what he is today – an adorable, lovable toddler that is loved by my whole family.

    I am so grateful of the fact that I didn’t know about the fact that my son will be born with DS and was never given the option for abortion. Not that I would have gone that route but at least I never had the burden of deciding whether to abort or not.

    That in itself is a small miracle for me. :)

  19. We did NOT know our Chelsea would be born with ds. We did see a high risk doctor who asked if I wanted further testing but did NOT in any way pressure us to do so. I thank the Lord everyday for him. Our Chelsea was born full term in the same hospital as our daughter Cassady who does not have an extra chromosome. Our girls love each other and both mean the world to us. I would not change one thing about either of them . We are truly blessed .

  20. I love the title of this post–it is so very true, and so very sad. I have had some big wake-up calls this and last week from people on the Termination for Medical Reasons board on Babycenter… I wrote about it here: https://forelysium.wordpress.com/2014/12/09/lives-worth-living/
    We can never stop this quest to share our beautiful children with the world.

  21. I have a grandson his name is brinick . Brinick has downs syndrome. I look at that little boy that is two now and see all the love and joy he has brought into our lives. I couldn’t imagine my life without seeing his smile . He brings joy to all people around him He is truly a gift from God . IF YOU ARE THINKING ABOUT GETTING AN ABORTION BECAUSE THEY SAY YOUR BABY HAS DOWN SNYDROME DON’T YOU WILL BE DESTROYING A GIFT FROM GOD. ALL CHILDREN ARE A GIFT FROM GOD .

  22. Angelica Humiston says:

    Hi,
    I am a proud mom of my 2 month old baby Thomas who has Down Syndrome. My husband and I are over the moon and back with our blessing. Our story started the day he was born because everything came out fine while I was pregnant. Of course, we were told that all tests were coming out fine and my ultrasounds were normal. The day of his birth we were ask if we have been told that he has down syndrome. ? Well, that was something to take in all at once. Just out of the blue and not a very appropriate way to deliver sensitive news. And yes. …we got concerned because it was a new world for us. Now, we are in love in this beautiful world and we wouldn’t want it any other way. We thank God everyday for this miracle and joy in our lives.

    Blessings ,
    Angelica

Trackbacks

  1. […] came across this story http://noahsdad.com/mothers-womb/ related through the fathers’ eyes which tells it how it is and more.  Let’s fight for […]

  2. […] on National Sanctity of Human Life Sunday, Rick posted about his pro-life stance. This particular post was called “A Mother’s Womb, The Most Dangerous […]

  3. […] Apoi, pe pagina National Sanctity of Human Life Sunday, Rick a postat despre atitudinea sa pro-viaţă. Această postare specială s-a numit „Pântecele mamei, cel mai […]

  4. […] is. Nine out of ten babies are aborted following the prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome, making a mother’s womb the most dangerous place on earth for a child like Noah. That shocking statistic moved Abbie and Rick to start a blog, noahsdad.com, to share their story. […]

  5. […] A Mother’s Womb: The Most Dangerous Place In The World For A Baby With Down Syndrome by Rick Smith | Noahsdad.com (Tweet this) […]

  6. […] about causes, use social media to give testimony to what God is doing in our lives, create blogs to bring attention to important causes, or create a YouTube channel to share Biblical truth. It’s a great power to be used […]

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