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Old 01-10-2010, 11:29 AM   #1
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Vent Okay, this sucks

Got married 5 years ago...

Had a daughter 3 years ago...

So far so good, right?

Two years ago - first attempt at child #2. Miscarriage.

One year ago - second attempt at child #2. Miscarriage. On top that I go out of town about a month after the D&C procedure to remove the fetal tissue and get a call that my wife is bleeding heavily and has been taken to the emergency room. All ended well but that is the single worst phone call I've ever received. Getting a call that someone died is bad - getting a call that your wife is bleeding heavily and is in the hospital and then knowing NOTHING while you spend two hours driving 90+ MPH home sucks WAY worse.

Friday - 12 weeks along into attempt #3. Things have appeared good so far. Due to previous issues the doctors are doing more tests, etc. One of them reveals an unusual fluid level in the spinal cord/skull area.

A final test on Thursday will tell if this is a chromosomal abnormality (ie, Down's Syndrome) in the fetus. There's a 50% chance of it being that or something else really bad.

At that point the choice is to terminate the pregnancy or continue.

We had friends go through this same thing and my wife and I decided a long time ago what we would do....but DAMN....this is a lot to think about.

I don't expect sympathy or anything - I'm just needing to vent. Writing has always been cathartic for me. At this point I'm just mostly trying to support my wife because this is understandably VERY difficult for her. I'm not sure it's really set in for me yet.
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Old 01-10-2010, 11:58 AM   #2
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Best of luck to you guys.

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Old 01-10-2010, 12:17 PM   #3
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Let me just say that I work professionally with people with disabilities. I have for years and years. This is hard to say without sounding totally gay, but, I have always walked away from any interaction I've ever had with someone that has Downs, feeling like I've been blessed somehow.

People with down syndrome are absolutely amazing. Their take on life and how the perceive the world can be paradigm shifting. Having a child with Downs does not have to be a horrible experience. I would suggest doing some research and talking to parents who have children with Downs.

Look at Ponceman (aka The Retarded Policeman)

http://www.youtube.com/user/ponceman
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Old 01-10-2010, 12:36 PM   #4
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Sharks, just wanted to let you know that you aren't alone, and that doctors CAN be wrong. When I was pg with my (now 2 year old) son, I went to the ER for complications around 12 weeks. I'd already had one prior m/c. The ER doc told me that he had an omphalocele, aka hernia near the stomache, and would most likely have Trisomy 13. If you're not familiar, Trisomy 13 is similar to down's... except in most cases the child doesn't live past a year or two. My hubby was 5 weeks in to a 6 month undersea deployment (submarine, aka minimal contact, weeks at a time with no word to or from). He found out about the omphalocele 3 hours before they left port, then vanished for weeks.

Back on dry land, several weeks went by... not one but three ultrasounds later, I was told by the doc that "the radiologist in the ER made a mistake. The lump he noticed on your baby's tummy was nothing more than his umbilical cord, which was still in the process of receding into his abdomen." My son was born completely healthy.

That said, I feel your pain on the other side of your story, too... we want a daughter, but have had 3 m/c's in the past year.

Thoughts are with you. And yes, it sucks.
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Old 01-10-2010, 12:41 PM   #5
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That said, I feel your pain on the other side of your story, too... we want a daughter, but have had 3 m/c's in the past year.
HOLY. CRAP.

That's a lot to deal with. Thoughts back at you as well.

I think my older brother summarized miscarriages rather well when he and his wife went through it - "It's one of those things that doesn't seem like a big deal until it happens to you.".

Long term I am very happy we have a healthy daughter. No complaints there, and if we can't have more - that's life. But another one would be nice.
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Old 01-10-2010, 12:54 PM   #6
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I know of at least 6 couples (friends or family) that have had miscarriages. I can't even imagine how that feels, as we have been extremely lucky with our two daughters. But those amniotic fluid tests have a really low accuracy rate. I think even if the test shows positive that you have abnormal chromosomal activity, there's still a HUGE percentage that you could be fine. So try not to stress over the test if the results do come back as positive (know that's easier said than done). I also know couples that had this procedure done (because they have a family history of this), results came back positive, yet they went through with the birth and everything was fine.

Best of luck to you. Hearing about situations like this really changes your perspective on life. I think most of us here are wanting to make alot of money, and alot of stress comes along with it, but stressing over AM or money does not even compare to health issues or family. I always have to remind myself to take a step back and realise how lucky I am to have a healthy and happy family.
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Old 01-10-2010, 01:00 PM   #7
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Spliffic is right, there are a lot of false positives and false negatives in screenings for genetic abnormalities. Hopefully all will turn out ok.

Best of luck to you and your wife!
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Old 01-10-2010, 01:04 PM   #8
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ER docs are not trained for in depth analysis of different systems. They are there to patch up the patient so that they can then be sent off to the correct specialist. Your wife's OB/GYN will know more and have a much better idea of what is going on, just as SilentPen mentioned. I hope that it is the case that the ER doc just misinterpreted what they saw.
I think you mis-read. The ER thing was after mis-carriage #2. Completely separate incident...

This is a different pregnancy. The tests that were done were done by a specialist - he's really good (Harvard Med School, etc) and highly recommended.

That doesn't change the fact that the tests are still inconclusive at this point but the initial findings are well outside of the "normal" range.
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Old 01-10-2010, 01:05 PM   #9
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I've never made a serious post in the STS section here, but my thoughts and prayers are definitely with you. I've got a HUGE soft spot for kids/families in general and have seen several of my friends go through things like this.

Be strong bro.
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Old 01-10-2010, 01:26 PM   #10
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We had two miscarriages before we had a 1lb 13oz premie, followed by two full term kids.

Doesn't make the miscarriages any easier though...
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Old 01-10-2010, 01:32 PM   #11
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Sometimes adoption after mis-c is the easiest path. The time it takes wondering during gestation can tear a marriage apart if one or both of the parties isn't fully healthy.

Plus, tons of kids out there who would love a good family!
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Old 01-10-2010, 01:33 PM   #12
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Plus, tons of kids out there who would love a good family!
Want mine? they're a bit loud at the moment...
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Old 01-10-2010, 01:57 PM   #13
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A final test on Thursday will tell if this is a chromosomal abnormality (ie, Down's Syndrome) in the fetus. There's a 50% chance of it being that or something else really bad.

At that point the choice is to terminate the pregnancy or continue.

We had friends go through this same thing and my wife and I decided a long time ago what we would do....but DAMN....this is a lot to think about.
So what did you guys decide?

Personally I could never willfully chose to have a disabled child. But then again I hate even taking care of a goldfish so I'm probably not the best person to talk to about it.

Best of luck to you with whatever you chose, and remember you'll always have the support of your bro's on WF.
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Old 01-10-2010, 02:12 PM   #14
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Do what you think is right. You will cope with whatever you do and its just a new experience. Im only 20, maybe Im about the wrongest person to give advice on this but, make the choice that you know you will not haunt you later and good luck man.

A kid is a kid - is a kid, you will love him under any circumstances. (unless you are a bitch dad, which by the post I can freely say you are not)
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Old 01-10-2010, 02:12 PM   #15
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If the test shows a positive for genetic abnormalities, you are making a very large commitment for yourself, your wife and your other children that may last until the next century.

Raising a handicapped child is a burden on everybody, and one or both parents may have to quit work and stay home as a nurse maid. Your child may be ininsurable the way the system works now, especially if the insurance companies know you decided to have a child with mental disabilities and/or health problems willingly.

Once you have "raised" this child (which may never achieve normal maturity), it will most likely remain a dependent on you and your normal children. You have to make accommodations to provide for it and care for it throughout your golden years. Once you are gone, your normal children will have to deal with the child's matters until they are gone. Many mentally disabled people have emotional problems, making it impossible to keep them at home, so they have to be put away. This was the case with my younger brother, who became violent and destructive upon puberty and is now living in a group home and is a ward of the state. Only a long list of medicines keep him barely manageable.

And then there's my next door neighbor, who at 89 years old, is still caring for his Down's Syndrome son who is manageable. I have no idea what they're doing about him once my neighbor dies. I'm guessing the son will have to live with one of his siblings. Like, forever.

If the test is positive, I say you should save yourself and your family and abort immediately. You get only one chance to do this, and a bad decision lasts forever.

Good luck bro
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Old 01-10-2010, 02:26 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueYonder View Post
If the test shows a positive for genetic abnormalities, you are making a very large commitment for yourself, your wife and your other children that may last until the next century.

Raising a handicapped child is a burden on everybody, and one or both parents may have to quit work and stay home as a nurse maid. Your child may be ininsurable the way the system works now, especially if the insurance companies know you decided to have a child with mental disabilities and/or health problems willingly.

Once you have "raised" this child (which may never achieve normal maturity), it will most likely remain a dependent on you and your normal children. You have to make accommodations to provide for it and care for it throughout your golden years. Once you are gone, your normal children will have to deal with the child's matters until they are gone. Many mentally disabled people have emotional problems, making it impossible to keep them at home, so they have to be put away. This was the case with my younger brother, who became violent and destructive upon puberty and is now living in a group home and is a ward of the state. Only a long list of medicines keep him barely manageable.

And then there's my next door neighbor, who at 89 years old, is still caring for his Down's Syndrome son who is manageable. I have no idea what they're doing about him once my neighbor dies. I'm guessing the son will have to live with one of his siblings. Like, forever.

If the test is positive, I say you should save yourself and your family and abort immediately. You get only one chance to do this, and a bad decision lasts forever.

Good luck bro
This.

An ex girlfriend had a younger sister who had downs and I remember going over to Thanksgiving at their place two years ago and she shoved a fork, literally, into her hand.

The girls started to cry, the Dad took the fork and talked to the girl, and I was like "the fuck did I just get myself into?". Needless to say the rest of the night was pretty awkward.

My ex was always upset about her and her parents were on the verge of divorcing because of the trouble she caused. Although she was extremely smart in math she struggled, of course, with the rest of school and with all social aspects.

In all seriousness I'm sure it must be a terrifying situation to be in. But like BlueYonder said you have to seriously think about the long term implications of such a decision as to keep him/her. Try to think logically not emotionally.

Wish you all the luck in the world.
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Old 01-10-2010, 02:42 PM   #17
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A miscarriage is nature's way of preventing an unhealthy child from being needlessly brought to the birth stage. If a woman is prone to them, it often means that future pregnancies aren't going to go well. I don't know why people keep insisting on "trying for more" especially if they already have one healthy child. Only children rock and often become super achievers in life because they think more like adults since they were raised around adults as their primary "peer" group.

Don't mean to minimize the shit you're going through, and I wish you all the best. But I think people tend to go crazy over this "we need a house in the 'burbs, two cars, two kids" stuff when Mother Nature really does know best sometimes and will send you MULTIPLE messages to drive it through your skull - often in the form of miscarriages.

Hard to convince the little woman of that, though, sometimes, especially if she's hell bent on a kid.

Wish you and your partner the best whatever happens, though.
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Old 01-10-2010, 02:44 PM   #18
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Good luck to you man! I realize there isn't shit-all that we can do to help, but if you just want to vent, feel free to hit me up.
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Old 01-10-2010, 03:03 PM   #19
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I don't think aborting a baby with genetic deficiencies is a good idea whatsoever. I have 4 friends that ALL were told the child would have issues and not a single baby did.

Raising relatives with special needs isn't an impossible or undesirable thing whatsoever either.
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Old 01-10-2010, 03:11 PM   #20
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Orly

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Raising relatives with special needs isn't an impossible or undesirable thing whatsoever either.
I wonder what your opinion would be had you spent several decades doing so.
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Old 01-10-2010, 03:32 PM   #21
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I wonder what your opinion would be had you spent several decades doing so.
I used to work at a children's hospital and I can say that any argument you can come back with relating to 'inconvenient' will be very vocally trumped by the tens of thousands of families out there with special needs children.

I wouldn't waste another keystroke making an argument against raising a special needs child, the track record of the families that have done it successfully totally invalidates any argument made by someone who has never gone through it.
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Old 01-10-2010, 04:35 PM   #22
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A miscarriage is nature's way of preventing an unhealthy child from being needlessly brought to the birth stage. If a woman is prone to them, it often means that future pregnancies aren't going to go well. I don't know why people keep insisting on "trying for more" especially if they already have one healthy child. Only children rock and often become super achievers in life because they think more like adults since they were raised around adults as their primary "peer" group.

Don't mean to minimize the shit you're going through, and I wish you all the best. But I think people tend to go crazy over this "we need a house in the 'burbs, two cars, two kids" stuff when Mother Nature really does know best sometimes and will send you MULTIPLE messages to drive it through your skull - often in the form of miscarriages.

Hard to convince the little woman of that, though, sometimes, especially if she's hell bent on a kid.

Wish you and your partner the best whatever happens, though.
Some people dream of being a doctor, some people dream of being the next big entrepreneur, and some people dream of sitting around tossing out dickrolls all day. Likewise, some people choose to live their lives independently without kids, some people choose to have many kids, and some of us dream of the day we can hold our son or daughter in our arms for the first time... in my case, a daughter. Ask any parent who has at least one son and one daughter - raising one is no where near like raising the other. Entire (personal) worlds change when you look into your child's eyes... and that world changes all over again when a second child is the opposite gender as the first.

I understand your argument "A miscarriage is nature's way of preventing an unhealthy child from being needlessly brought to the birth stage." - in some circumstances. But what about those of us who, due to a 1st baby twisting around so much the cord wrapped around his neck, and due to the Navy hospital refusing to allow a natural birth after c-sec, have now had TWO c-sections, leaving plenty of scar tissue that makes it hard for the pregnancy to "set in"? I should give up on my dream of having a daughter because of that? No, thanks.

And what about the thousands of women out there whose body simply doesn't produce enough progesterone to sustain the beginning of the pregnancy? A simple pill taken every day for the first few months often results in a perfectly healthy full term baby. Just as you have your own dreams and goals in life, so does everyone else. Some of us enjoy raising children, and want to experience both a son and a daughter. Some people choose to have more than one child because they enjoy raising siblings. Everyone has their own reasons - just as you have your own reasons for preferring an only child situation.
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Old 01-10-2010, 04:43 PM   #23
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It's fate bud. Just be thankful you already have a daughter and spoil her as much possible . Unfortunately you and your wife have to accept her condition... I know of 3 females that would kill to have 1 baby. Good luck on your recent baby bro
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Old 01-10-2010, 04:53 PM   #24
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Actually, I'm childfree by choice and already had the snip. But many of my overachiever millionaire/inventor/famous musician friends are only children and they all say that being "mature' at an earlier age (due to excessive exposure to adults, adult only conversation, etc.) probably helped them achieve things at that level. One girl I know started her own company at freakin' 16 years old and was a millionaire before she was 20. One guy invented a gadget I don't even understand - something to do with artificial intelligence - sold it to a government subcontractor and received a check worth over ten million. And he was 22. Showed me the check.

Only children may be missing out on some things - playmates at home, for instance - but they seem to make up for it by being more creative and often, more inventive in a worldly sense. They also learn to think outside the box at a younger age I find.

These are generalities, just taken from my own observations of mega successful only child friends and acquaintances.
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Old 01-10-2010, 04:56 PM   #25
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Sometimes adoption after mis-c is the easiest path. The time it takes wondering during gestation can tear a marriage apart if one or both of the parties isn't fully healthy.

Plus, tons of kids out there who would love a good family!
I'm all for adoption, if it never works out for us to have another of our own. (We're recently put in our app for foster parenting)

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I don't think aborting a baby with genetic deficiencies is a good idea whatsoever. I have 4 friends that ALL were told the child would have issues and not a single baby did.
Same thing happened to me, as my earlier post detailed.

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Raising relatives with special needs isn't an impossible or undesirable thing whatsoever either.
AGREED!

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I wonder what your opinion would be had you spent several decades doing so.
I was raised with a highly violent bipolar sibling, and a step sibling who will never think or function past a 4 year old's level. I've also nannied full time for a child with trisomy who had to eat out of a feeding tube, and lived in diapers in a wheelchair, baby walker, or laying on a floor. She was 16. Her parents and her other siblings never showed even a single sign of regret or resentment, and her older sister bought her first house based on it meeting the needs of the 16 yr old, for when she would come to live with her.
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Old 01-10-2010, 05:03 PM   #26
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I used to work at a children's hospital and I can say that any argument you can come back with relating to 'inconvenient' will be very vocally trumped by the tens of thousands of families out there with special needs children.

I wouldn't waste another keystroke making an argument against raising a special needs child, the track record of the families that have done it successfully totally invalidates any argument made by someone who has never gone through it.
bb, I'm thinking all sort of expletives regarding your comments about your former gig at a children's hospital, which you believes gives you cred about life with the mentally handicapped. You can poo-pooh all you want about other people's burdens, when I know first hand the misery my sick brother gave my parents to their dying day, and how disabled children wreck marriages, destroy families and cause normal children psychological problems.

I'm not going to waste any more time trying to contradict your dogma, because you can only seem to accept one story.
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Old 01-10-2010, 05:14 PM   #27
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GUYS! Give it a rest! SharksFan needs support not a discussion / argument about the merits or issues surrounding special needs children.

Please, kill the egos for now. Start another thread and argue it there. Seriously, just stop.
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Old 01-10-2010, 05:18 PM   #28
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@Sharksfan: All the best to you and your wife!

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I have 4 friends that ALL were told the child would have issues and not a single baby did.
Why did they decide to not abort and give it a chance? It's unbelievable how the wrong findings could have impacted a family's life! Glad they didn't chose to abort!
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Old 01-10-2010, 05:37 PM   #29
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My mother had 4 miscarriages between me and my brother, I even lost a fraternal twin.. we kind of came to the conclusion she just can't carry a girl.
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Old 01-10-2010, 05:57 PM   #30
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@Sharksfan - what a terrible decision to have to make. Ultimately, it's one of those deeply personal things that you both have to follow your hearts on.

I have no idea what it's like to be in your position, as thankfully I've never been faced with something like that. But I wish you all the best.
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Old 01-10-2010, 06:02 PM   #31
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GUYS! Give it a rest! SharksFan needs support not a discussion / argument about the merits or issues surrounding special needs children.

Please, kill the egos for now. Start another thread and argue it there. Seriously, just stop.
Besides, didn't the OP say they already know what they have decided to do given the potential scenario? It sounds like he needs to vent and needs more support from his virtual buds - not your personal horror stories.

Children are a blessing to those that are ready for that level of commitment and sacrifice. Every child requires sacrifices and commitment, some simply more than others. It's a personal choice for the OP and they have already decided what is right for them as a family.

Just support him in your typical male locker room style. Show him some tits or something to take his mind off things until he has information from the doc he and his wife can actually work with.
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Old 01-10-2010, 07:06 PM   #32
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@Sharksfan - Best of luck, you have our prayers.

My wife and I have 3 children and one more on the way. We're both getting up there in our years and had a discussion about DS and we came to a decision. Our discussion was based on my brother-in-law who has been the ward of the state for many years and his mental challenges that he has. The biggest factor in our decision was our children that we already have. So many people talk about the child with DS and the parents but we forget about the other siblings and the effect it can have on their lives. I can't do that to my children. Of course, we never had to make that decision and if we did we might have changed our minds.

Sharksfan, remember this is about your family, don't worry what other people (relatives) might think, you'll make the right decision for you.
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Old 01-10-2010, 11:49 PM   #33
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We won't have the actual chromosomal test until Thursday - then a few more days for labs, etc. We've got a good solid week or so before we will know anything.

I can certainly see this is an area that evokes strong opinions - and while I certainly didn't desire to spark a debate I also don't want to suppress anyone's opinion.

Thank you all for the well-wishes, etc. There are very few major choices in life that are this difficult. Even life and death ones with my wife and I are pretty well ironed out -we have living wills and we both have a pretty good understanding what the other one would or would not tolerate if something horrible happens. Even if she or I had to pull the plug on the other we KNOW it's what the other wanted.

This....not so much.
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Old 01-10-2010, 11:51 PM   #34
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Best of luck to you guys.
We'll be praying for you..
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Old 01-11-2010, 12:12 AM   #35
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Think positive: with 1 kid, you'll give it more attention and love compared to say, 4 kids.
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Old 01-11-2010, 12:42 AM   #36
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Think positive: with 1 kid, you'll give it more attention and love compared to say, 4 kids.
We love our kid - no doubt there.

Then again, my wife has 6 siblings and I have 4 - our parents did pretty well. We only wanted two - but the one we have is fantastic. If we have to stop there...so be it.
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Old 01-11-2010, 03:14 AM   #37
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All im gonna say in this thread is my cousin was supposed to be born severely down syndrome and a girl, and the doctors recommened to my Aunt and Uncle that they abort.
They decided not to and needless to say HE ( yes HE ) was a perfectly normal healthy baby.


Of course this was over 20 years ago and technology has increased tremendously since then.

I feel for you man, and I will keep you and your wife in my prayers.... I hope everything works out for you and your family.
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Old 01-11-2010, 03:25 AM   #38
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Sorry to hear about your dilemma Sharksfan. Best of luck to you and the Missus. Hopefully the test results come out in your favor.

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It sounds like he needs to vent and needs more support from his virtual buds - not your personal horror stories.
You know, I said the exact same thing to someone posting in this thread in regards to another health related thread not that long ago.
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Old 01-11-2010, 09:44 AM   #39
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I'll not get into the debate except to say that whatever Sharksfan and his wife decide, as long as it's from the head and the heart, it's the right choice for them.

Keep us posted.
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Old 01-11-2010, 10:17 AM   #40
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I totally agree with this: "It's one of those things that doesn't seem like a big deal until it happens to you.".

My sister-in-law, who I am very close with, had two back-to-back in under a years' time. The first the child had a chromosomal abnormality and, for whatever reason, her body just couldn't carry it to term. The second, this summer, was particularly catastrophic- her husband helped her deliver an extremely premature fetus at home.

To say it was devastating on her, and the family, would be an understatement. Miscarriages are a very big deal.

She is now into her third pregnancy, and is due in June. All appears to be fine at this point. She has never delivered successfully before, so this is her first. After two miscarriages she is understandably paranoid - but for your reference- her doctor advised that most genetic tests only have an accuracy rate of 80%, especially for Trisomy 21. Perhaps it's best to have two opinions? It is certainly worth it to at least ask your OB on Thursday what the statistical accuracy of the prenatal tests you are having done is.

You and your wife are in my thoughts.
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Old 01-11-2010, 10:22 AM   #41
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GUYS! Give it a rest! SharksFan needs support not a discussion / argument about the merits or issues surrounding special needs children.

Please, kill the egos for now. Start another thread and argue it there. Seriously, just stop.
No shit. This guy is going through a rough time and all you guys can do is turn the thread into a dick measuring contest.

Sharks - best of luck to you and your family, whatever you decide.
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