Help! Friend Tested Positive for Downs on Amnio

Updated on February 21, 2008
M.C. asks from Lewisville, TX
81 answers

Does anyone have any stories of false positives for Downs on their amniocentesis? My friend who is 18 weeks just received the news that it is 99% positive her baby has downs. She tested positive on the first tests and then scheduled her amnio. I kept assuring her that it was most likely a false positive as I've had 5 friends with false positives. But, her amnio came back positive as well. Now, she is talking about termination. This just breaks my heart. And, this is why I myself never took the test when I was pregnant. I didn't want to have to think that I even had a choice. I'd like to give her hope that either everything is going to be ok. Or, I'd like to give her stories of hope from other families living with Downs. I just really believe that God chose to give this baby life. I'm hoping to give her some hope to continue on with her pregnancy.

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So What Happened?

I want to thank everyone for your overwhelming response, words of encouragement and hope and personal stories. There were so many responses. Please forgive me for not responding to each of you individually.

I'm deeply saddened to report that my friend is driving to Dallas tonight (Tuesday). She has decided to go ahead with the abortion. They won’t perform the abortion in Austin because she is almost 19 weeks. They had to refer her to someone here in Dallas. My heart is breaking because this little life is going to be killed tomorrow. She said that she really thinks that she is doing the right thing by not bringing the baby into this world. She says that God will give him a new body in Heaven and that it is better for him to bypass this world. She also said that God has given her peace that she is making the right decision. Please continue to pray for this life without a voice, her and her family.

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W.B.

answers from Austin on

Your friend is in the hardest of places and needs your support for whatever she decides, but possibly not your advice, no matter how well intentioned. It's hard not to advise friends, but too often our advice is driven by our own agendas, not theirs. That makes their decisions harder. The amnio test might be wrong - that happens, but then it might not. None of us is smart enough or wise enough to know what God wants or doesn't want. The Inquisition was full of people who thought they knew, but in retrospect they seem to have been mistaken. Love and respect are never mistakes, however. The best friend is one who listens (quietly), supports, and loves no matter what happens.

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J.W.

answers from Dallas on

As a mom of an absolutely ADORABLE and SWEET 2-year-old with Down syndrome, I can say that raising a child with DS is hard sometimes, but the positives WAY outweigh the negatives. Sophie had a heart condition and had open heart surgery at 4 months old, and we've also struggled with feeding issues. However, other than that, she is like everyone else. She reaches milestones later than a "typical" kid and that can be disheartening at times, but she is not "suffering" at all. She loves life, loves people, has fun, and was the easiest baby in the world. I can't tell you how much joy she has brought into our lives. We get positive attention everywhere we go (so much that my 4-year-old is starting to get a little jealous :)

In my case, we had a false negative. Despite all the screenings and three Level-2 ultrasounds, the doctor saw no indication of her condition (even the heart condition). It was quite the shock on the day she was born, and it took some time to go through the grieving process of losing that "normal" child we expected. But to be honest, in hindsight, I was glad I didn't know during my pregnancy otherwise I would have faced some difficult decisions as well. I can't honestly say what I would have done if I had your friend's diagnosis, but I can assure you/her that having a child with DS is not the most horrible thing in the world. I have friends with children with other conditions (like autism) that seem far more difficult to manage than DS.

I would not go looking for false hope, however. Usually an amnio is correct, but I know there are always misdiagnoses (like in my case!). I hope your friend does not terminate the pregancy, but this is a decision she has to make, and as her friend, you must try to be supportive of what she decides. Just give her all the information you can to help her make the right decision. Like the others who have posted, I would be happy to speak/email with her and show her how enriched her life would be with a child with DS.

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R.H.

answers from San Antonio on

A lady at our church went through something similiar. She also had been given the advice from her Dr. on termination.
She went to our Pastor and asked him to pray over her and anoint her with oil so that she may have a normal birth.
Jesus worked another miracle the day that baby girl was born. For she was born as healthy as you and me! She is almost 2 yrs old now!
I believe in miracles because I believe in prayer.
I believe in prayer because I believe in Jesus!

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G.F.

answers from Houston on

I do know someone who had a false positive for Downs on an amnio. She delivered with specialists standing by to do whatever the baby needed. Through her entire pregnancy everything said that he would be SEVERELY special needs.
HE WAS BORN PERFECTLY HEALTHY. He is now three years old and so smart with no signs of any problems. Tell her to seriously pray before she ends this. God has a plan for everyone.

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N.K.

answers from Dallas on

Hi M.,

I don't know anybody that has tested positive on the amnio but I will tell you that any parent with a Downs baby feels that they are so blessed by their special needs baby. There are so many resources out there for people like your friend. You should urge her with all your heart NOT to terminate the pregnancy. You are right in saying that God chose to give this baby life...this baby (with or without Downs) is exactly what your friend needs in her life to make it complete. She can pray for strength and guidance to get her through. Anyway, I hope this helps.

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K.T.

answers from Dallas on

Oh my goodness! My heart goes out to this woman. You are so excited when you are pregnant and then to find out that you might have a child that has special needs.

First off-doctors are wrong all the time. They told my cousin back in June her daughter was going to have all sorts of problems and that the baby might not even survive and mentioned aborting to her. She was born the end of August and here it is now that the only problem is she may not be able to see very well. I also have another cousin who has a baby with spina bifida. That precious child will be 4 in April and same thing with her-doctors advised to abort-they predicted she wouldn't even be able to walk or have any quality of life. Boy has she proved them wrong. She's the brightest ray of sunshine I've ever seen! She walks, talks, and is even catching up to her age level as far as development.

Those are just a few stories I know of people. I feel very strongly against abortion just because you have a child that may or may not have special needs (or abortion in general for that matter). How do you know till they're born? Plus, God made us all different. We're not all supposed to look the same, have the same capabilities as everyone else. What would make us unique then? Plus like I said about my cousin's daughter with spina bifida-you can literally see the love of God shining through her face! I'm in tears thinking about this right now. Please beg her not to consider abortion. If she's that worried about it-have the child and then place it for adoption. There are so many families that would give that child a loving and happy home. I even know someone who would be intersted-message me if it's something she's considering.

On the last note-there are also SEVERAL levels of down syndrome. She might have a light case of it. You just never know!

Sorry to ramble and I hope your friend considers all the possibilites before going ahead with an abortion.

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A.J.

answers from Dallas on

I know for a fact that if she decides not to keep her baby she would find TONS of people who would adopt him/her (me included) I believe every child is precious and deserves a chance. Please tell her to consider adoption.

Good luck- A. J
I just read the what happened and I am so sad because I just dont believe that God would want us to terminate a baby because its not perfect. I know there are tons of people who would adopt a baby with downs. Life is so precious and it seems that our world today is lacking a respect for life and how much of a miracle it is that any of us are even here. I used to work with the special olympics and the kids with downs were so wonderful I actually preferred to be around them than "normal" people.

sad...

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E.D.

answers from Dallas on

M.,
I hope and pray your friend excepts her baby and the challenges that will ensue. Honestly, I have never heard of a false positive on Amnio, but I guess there could be mistakes. Prayer works miracles for sure.
But I have to tell you a story that I hope you share with your friend.
I tried FOREVER to get and stay pregnant. I had several miscarraiges including one at almost 5 months pregnant. I was 39 when I finally got and stayed pregnant with the help of a fertility expert in Maryland. They wanted me to take all kinds of tests. The bloodwork I agreed to, but I wouldn't do genetic testing or Amnio. Like my father said "why, so you can worry if they tell you that there is something wrong"? I am an over-analyzer and I'd have researched every local facility/etc... would have driven EVERYONE crazy. lol
Anyway, there was this little bagel shop where we went on Saturday mornings. It was picturesque in the old part of Towson, MD. There was a children's area (chalkboard wall, bins of toys) children in PJ's... darling little place. And there was a little boy named Charlie. His daddy brought him in every Saturday. He was downs and he had words, and bright eyes and a smile that melted my heart. And I just kept thinking... if that was the worst I was given, what a blessing it would have been. After all the loss, I wouldn't have cared. He always said hello and told me what I had on my bagel. He was DARLING! It makes me so sad to even hear that people abort children who aren't perfect in their minds.
Your friend is being given a gift. There is a gift in EVERY child. There are schools, specialists, and lots of hope and prayer.
My little story is silly really. But how sad would his parents have been if they'd aborted Charlie?
I want to add that I do not judge your friend as I haven't been faced with a Down's child. I can not imagine how scary nor can I imagine the range of emotions I might feel.
I'll hope and pray for you all.
E.

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J.V.

answers from Dallas on

This is very sad. As a mother of a beautiful 3 year old daughter with Down Syndrome I can honestly say she is the best thing in my life. What is so wrong in our society to have a child who wakes up happy, captivates everyone she meets and will do through life taking joy in the simple, not the material and shallow things our society has become.
I encourage your friend to reach out to the Down Syndrome Guild or visit the Rise School in Dallas. I went there when Olivia was 6 weeks old and saw the preschool rooms full of children with DS with happy faces, singing Christmas carols and shaking their jingle bells. While everyone wants a 'perfect' child, there are no guarantees in life and I agree with you, this is God's plan. I know that Olivia was God's plan for me and she has changed me in so many ways for the better. While all of us want that 'perfect' child, there are many of those children that grow up not to be so perfect in many different ways. I encourage your friend to get educated before she makes this decision.

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A.G.

answers from Dallas on

I know this new mom is scared and is afraid of the future. Rests assure her, her life just got better. I never dreamed my son, Eric, would have such a wonderful affect on our life. The expectant birth of her new baby is a time for celebration and the feeling of joy. Her baby may not be as she would have imagined, but rest assured that her baby will be more like other babies than unlike. She may be feeling afraid and uncertain, which is perfectly normal. Most parents experience this when they hear their child has Down syndrome. Take a deep breath and relax.

I understand that with the birth or expectance of your child with Down syndrome, you may have a whole new world of questions – ones that can be confusing and filled with deep feelings at first. You are not alone. Through information and support, the Down Syndrome Guild of Dallas, www.downsyndromedallas.org will help you gain an understanding of your feelings, of your baby’s needs, and of the love your baby has to offer.

I was the past President of the Down Syndrome Association of Acadiana in Lafayette, Louisiana before moving to Plano. I am now very involved with the DS Guild in Dallas. You friend is more than welcome to contact me personally ([email protected]____.com), or click on the link above and contact DS Guild for further support. We will help her through this uncertain time.

Please share the videos below with your friend. The first one is my favorite, which happens to be a video I did on my son Eric. Many doctors and universities have purchased this video to encourage new and expectant parents on the possibilities of children with Down syndrome.

My favorite video on my son, Eric. Click on the link
See This is me, Eric online.
http://www.onetruemedia.com/otm_site/view_shared?p=139acc...

This video was done by the Down Syndrome Association of Central Texas
Dreams do come true!
http://www.dsact.com/DSACTnewparents.html
or Click here to see the video

The video was done by the Down Syndrome group in Ohio. This one is amazing because it also contains many testimonials from parents.
Down Syndrome "The Journey Ahead…..Consider the Possiblites
http://www.brightcove.tv/title.jsp?title=1341058902

A great article by Patricia Bauer for the Washington Post
If the Test Says Down Syndrome
By Patricia E. Bauer
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007...

"Light at the End of the Tunnel" (PDF) was written for parents who receive a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome.

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J.C.

answers from Dallas on

M.,
Thank you for being the voice of that baby. I have a 2 year old son with down syndrome and I can't imagine our family without him. I have 2 other sons who are 8 and 6 and he brings them as much joy as he does me and my husband. Unfortunately, the percentage is very high for termination with a prenatal diagnosis. As I am learning more and more it is due to lack of education from our doctors and society. Given an education and loving home our children have so much more opportunities than in the past. More and more of our children will grow up and be able and functioning members of society.
It breaks my heart to think your friend may possibly never know this precious gift that God chosen to entrust her with. I truly believe God does not give us more than we can handle. Upon first learning our son has DS I wasn't sure but soon came to realize it is truly an honor that God thinks enough of me as a mom and of our family to give us this precious gift! I did not know of his diagnosis prenatally, but it would not have changed a thing.

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B.T.

answers from Dallas on

I tested positive three times of my four pregnancies. All of my children were born without DS. Even if they were DW, I would not terminate my pregnancy. Why? Because, when I found out that my three children could have had DS, I counseled with my mom and other women who had this same false positive test result. Another way of looking at this is: If your child were born without DS, but post-birth became mentally or physically incapacitated, would you love that child? Of course, you would.

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E.C.

answers from Tyler on

I know three women who were told they were having a downs syndrome baby. I believe, but could be wrong, that they all had a positive downs syndrome test with an amnio. One aborted. The other two now have beautiful and healthy daughters. Of the few women I do know with downs babies, none of them would give up that child.
I think it is different for everyone though. I think maybe pray alot and (if you can) tel lher that you will love her no matter what she does so she feels that she is supported. Knowing that you have support is so empowering in such a situation.
Best of luck!

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M.L.

answers from Houston on

Hi M., I don't personally have any experience to share because like you, I passed on the DNA testing. I knew I was going to keep my baby no matter what. But I did have a brother and sister-in-law who were pregnant at the same time and had the same results as your friend. They terminated their pregnancy and I took their decision really hard.

I have read that many of the tests that come back postitive don't tell you to what degree your child will have Down's.

Here is a website that has some information on Down's Syndrome:
http://www.ndsccenter.org/resources/background.php

I would suggest your friend looking at information on raising a child with Down's before making her final nonreversible decision.

Good luck! I'm glad that she has a friend like you with her.

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J.V.

answers from Houston on

My son has down's syndrome and he is the most wonderful gift I could ever imagine. Please ask her to email me [email protected]____.com I am more than willing to discuss living with down's. I simply can't imagine my life without my beautiful baby boy and it breaks my hear to think that someone could even consider termination just because it'a not "perfect" b/c even though he has one extra choromosone he is perfect!! I do understand that it seems like a daunting task when you are first faced with it and i'm not one of those preachy people who is pro-life no matter what so pleasse don't worry that your friends will get a lecture. And by the way as far as I know amnio's are 100% accruate i've never heard of one being false
Please urge your friend to contact me and have her put down's in the subject so i don't accidentally delete it
thanks
J.

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G.W.

answers from Auburn on

I know it is not a conicidence that you posted this heartfelt request the day before Sanctity of Life Day. The pastor of my church did a wonderful message this morning on what a great and amazing creation all human beings are. God has blessed me with three healthy children so I can not even begin to understand the difficulties and challenges that accompany raising a special needs child. I hope you will be printing all these beautiful responses from amazing and dedicated mothers who didn't run away from the life that God had planned for them or their precious children. All children are "fearfully and wonderfully made" (Psalm 139:14) "in the image of the Creator himself" (Genesis 1:26).
Since I read your request yesterday, I prayed for your friend during our invitation time at church this morning and will continue to lift her present fears and uncertainties up knowing God answers prayers and will provide her the strength she needs to endure wherever He should take her.

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J.S.

answers from Dallas on

Your friend really needs to think hard before she terminates this baby. I know several people that had the same results and breifly thought about doing the same thing. They had the baby and there was nothing wrong with them. They were so glad they didn't go through with it.

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N.D.

answers from El Paso on

i dont have any pearls of wisdome besides this......... no matter what she decides to do just be supportive. i agree with you that god wants to give that baby life, however, i am a parent of a special needs child.... and its not an easy life or an easy road. and if she does not feel like she is up to that challange, as her friend all you can do is just be supportive. it is very sad that she is considering termination, but it may be even sadder for her to have a baby and for her to not feel like she can handle taking care of it, or for her to not want to, which happens a lot with special needs kids. Have you ever noticed how many kids for adoption are special needs....... so just be her friend, support her dicision, and things will work out how they need to.

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B.H.

answers from Houston on

M.,

I have a wonderful little girl with Down syndrome. She is the light of our lives. I used to feel sorry for people who had a child with Down syndrome. Now I realize how wrong I was to feel that way. I feel very blessed to have her in my life. She is a 3 year old little girl who plays with her little sister, loves to read books and host tea parties. She is in a gymnastics class with other typical children and keeps up with them just fine. She is a little delayed in her speech but can still communicate with us.
There are many of us who have been in the same situation as your friend. It is devestating to learn that your child will not be as you hoped. I just hope you can pass along to your friend the message that her child will be more like other children than different. Raising a child with Down syndrome can be more wonderful than she ever felt possible.

B. H.

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M.H.

answers from Dallas on

I couldn't help but respond to this one. First let me say I agree with you 100%. God did give this baby life and for me I could not terminate. I am the 50 year old mother of a six year old and I faced the same type problem.
For me the choice was more complicated. I was a diabetic, high blood pressure, hadn't had a baby in 14 years, out of shape, over weight woman. My past pregnancies had been challenging and I wasn't supposed to have any more children due to having polycyctic ovarian disease.
When I went to the doctor for a check up, they really thought I had ovarian cancer.
SURPRISE!!! My doctor told me IF I could take religion out of the situation, I should have an abortion because my life was at risk. I can never express the sheer agony I went through in trying to make that decision. It was almost a forgone conclusion that the baby would be a downs baby due to my age/health.
Let me say right now that I got a lot of encouragement both ways from well meaning friends and family. I cherish everyone and their attempt to help me at such a time. However, making such a choice is so personal and so hard that it nothing helped. The choice was mine, only mine and I had to make it, hopefully with inspiration from my Heavenly Father.
I went to get council from my religious leader at the time and the words he spoke helped me make the choice. He told me, "Be still and let God work." As I stopped worrying and fretting and "got still", I could hear the still voice inside me that told me what course was best for me.
My choice was life. My pregnancy was wonderful for me. Everything went well and after 37 weeks I delivered [a month early] a beautiful perfect 10 pound baby girl. She is the joy of her 5 siblings, father and me.
I was truly belssed by the whole experience and am glad I did not abort.
If she had been a downs baby, I'm sure we would have been just as in love with her, but I realize the challenges would have been there.
I'd like to encourage you to help your friend "Be still and Let God work in her Life". She may make the same choice or not, but the thing is, SHE NEEDS TO LISTEN TO THE STILL SMALL VOICE WITHIN HER and act as it directs. If she follows as the Lord direct through that voice, she will come through this with peace.

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T.L.

answers from Beaumont on

Yes. In addition, they had lost 2 babies before. However, aside from early labor and lots of time in hospital, the baby is fine. He had a few premie things like reflux. He will be 4 in May and is a miracle. Tell her to have faith. However, I have a cousin with downs who is probably about 30. I always said that God gives those chilren to special people becaue he know they can handle it. We are praying!

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K.S.

answers from Washington DC on

Dear M.,
You are right it totally breaks my heart as well. My sister has downs and I think it is nobody's right to decide that those kids are not worth living. I am not against abortion in general, but definately against aborting a pregnancy because the baby has downs. It almost makes me cry to her that anybody could even think about it. Living with any family member that has a disability is difficult, but I can tell you one thing that I am a better person because of her. Those kids are very special,kind hearted and better people then any of us "normal" people. I think she should really go somewhere and spend some time with kids that have downs. I am sure she would change her mind. Sorry that I have such a strong opinion about this subject, but I grew up with disabled children.
If you want to, you can give her my E-mail address....

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L.B.

answers from Dallas on

In glancing through the responses, you've received a lot of info so far. We have a 3 1/2-yr-old that was diagnosed with Down Syndrome at birth. When I first heard the diagnosis, I didn't know anything and thought it meant my child was going to have ugly glasses and a bad haircut, among other things.

She brings absolute joy to us and others that meet her every day (I can hear her singing to her baby dolls in the other room right now.) She has to work a little harder to learn new things, but DOES learn. She goes to preschool and takes gymnastics with typically developing children and I think they all learn from each other. (She is about 6-12 months behind her peers in most areas.)

I can understand your friend's disappointment and fear over this news, but pray that she realizes the joy that she has in store for her, whether the child has an extra chromosome or not.

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B.P.

answers from Houston on

My niece and best friends daughter both have downs. It is not that bad. She can do this, God will not give her more than she can handle. I tested positive and had no reason to think they were wrong since it runs in our family. I refused to terminate, the drs. tried to talk me into it. I refused. My child did NOT have downs. I was prepared. It would be horrible if she got a false positive and terminated. How horrible that would be.

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K.B.

answers from Houston on

I have a daughter that has Downs. She turned 18 this past November and is just as normal as can be. Downs is not the worst thing that could happen to someone. I raised my daugher to be normal. I did not baby her or have people feel sorry for her. She loves school, boys and dancing. She does everything any other normal teenager or child does but with my supervision. We have been in the Special Olympics here in Texas and it is just another family. I would not change anything. Down syndrome children are very lovable. Terminating a pregnancy because of being scared of having a child with Downs would be a mistake. There is lots of programs out there for parent with children with Downs. I enjoy every moment I have with my daughter. I also have two other "normal" children that help me with her. She is my oldest. Good luck in your decision.

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M.W.

answers from Austin on

Choosing life is a choice she will never, ever regret. God gives us blessings in so many ways, please encourage her to not reject a gift from God. If the child is meant to live, the child will live the way God has intended.

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R.T.

answers from Seattle on

All I can say is please support your friend and do not judge her. Decisions like these are life-altering and this is something she and her family need to make together.

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J.B.

answers from Dallas on

When I was pregnant (also a late starter--at 40), I chickened out from having the amnio twice because I just couldn't take the risk of a premature and unwanted termination. However, the doctor took measurements of the various parts of the fetus and told me that indeed, some of the measurements were showing a likelihood of downs. Moreover, it appeared that she had a heart defect, which was also typical for downs. Well, she was born with a heart defect, but no downs. And although it was a very rough first year (open heart surgery at 4 1/2 months, tube feeding until 10 months), we made it through. Since there are false positives, perhaps the doctor who conducts the sonogram should take measurements as well. In any event, during the summer we go to a club pool where there is a boy with downs--he is INCREDIBLY sweet, and I would take him for my own anyday!

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S.C.

answers from Houston on

My sister-in-law has Downs and is 27. My in-laws had her back when it was still normal to institutionalize people because of it. They fought hard and she went to a normal school, was a chearleader was on the pep-squad, she has a job and participates in college courses. She is one of the sweetest people I know and is quick to give you a hug when you need it. I am not saying there aren't challenges, but if you have ever known someone with downs they are a blessing to be around. If you need further resources or want input from someone who has been there (my husband) please let me know. It makes my heart ache to think of someone terminating the life of this child just because it might have downs. Sometimes I think technology and science give us power that only God should have. Your friend & her child will be in my prayers

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P.O.

answers from Austin on

Please have her read the book: Expecting Adam: A True Story of Birth, Rebirth, and Everyday Magic by M. Beck. It is a true story of a mother who wrestled with this choice.

And, urge her to seek council maybe from Project Rachel (a group that encourages adoption over abortion).

And, know that I am praying for her and her family. There is so much HOPE for families like she's creating -- so much better than even the last generation. Remind her that the well-spring of love in her is just starting to be tapped. Encourage her to reach into herself. Truly, there is no such thing as "normal".

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J.H.

answers from Austin on

A life is a life and I know so many beautiful Down's Syndrome adults, Two of them our in our church. They are happy working in the economy and giving joy to everyone they meet. Every special circumstance child I've met is given and some are adopted have been the angel God chose to bless them. Tell her she will be missing a super blessing from God and there may be actually no thing wrong. Take God's gift as it is and grow with it. I have a daughter-in-law who can't concieve and a Down's baby would be so welcome in our family.
J.

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S.K.

answers from Dallas on

False positives on amnio's are rare. This being because the amnio contains genetic material.
PLEASE tell your friend to consider all possibilities.
I have a 2 and 1/2 son with Down Syndrome. It is not the end of the world!! He , by all accounts, is normal. We have no medical issues to deal with. Right now his only disability is being a boy and a toddler at the same time.
A child with DS is educatable and now that more people are not shoving them into institutions they are finding out they do everything we can do just a little slower.
There is no guarantee on kids. She could have a "normal" kid that ends up having lukemia, or progeria or any other number of childhoos diseases that she would have to watch her child suffer. DS kids aren't like that. A normal kid can grow up to be an addict dispite what we as parents do.
I am very passionate about this and would love to talk to your friend if she is willing.
I am not a Pro lifer or A pro Choice, kinda a combo. what is sad is that in America 90% of women who receive a Down Syndrome diagnosis prenatally terminate. This breaks my heart as having a DS child can be just as rewarding as a "normal" child.
God know's what he is doing. Never in a million years would I have thought I would be blessed with a this DS child. He is just as normal as any other kid. We don't treat him any different. He does everything any other toddler does. Our lives weren't turned upside down. Reese is a kid like any other kid. I will keep you guys in my prayers.
Please feel free to contact me privately if needed. She can also contact a the Down Syndrome Partnership of Tarrant County for accurate and positive information of Down Syndrome and families effected by it.
Here are some links that she can visit:

http://ponderedinmyheart.typepad.com/pondered_in_my_heart/
http://www.about-down-syndrome.com

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J.A.

answers from Houston on

M.,

My mother's cousin has an adult daughter who has Down's. She is a wonderful lady who I am sure wouldn't mind offering her story and words. If you'd like, I'll be happy to get her email address.
Thanks,
J.

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C.M.

answers from Amarillo on

I go to Church with a family who has a Down syndrone child - Karen is now almost 50 years old - she is much loved by the whole congregation and ministers to everyone. She keeps peppermint candies in her pocket for the song leaders and preachers - it is her mission to sit with the preacher. In the past she had a full time job cleaning tables for an Arbys and was so loved by customers that it was nothing for her to get $5.00 tips and make more from tips that her salary. This is a person who has blessed the lives of many, many people - look how much we would all have missed if her mother had terminated her pregnancy - I could go on and on about Karen but space would not allow. Maybe God thinks a blessing is needed her.

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J.K.

answers from Dallas on

Hi M.

I Knew someone you had false test for downs. She went 2x and both came out positive. When she had him there was no downs at all. He is perfectly normal. Now he is 10 and the top of is class. So never relay on the test.

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W.D.

answers from Dallas on

I do not have any stories for you but did want to write to you for you to encourage your friend. Right now she may not be thinking straight about all of this. Termination based on some test results is awful. God can chose to change his mind any time. A friend of ours had 3 ultrasounds, including a 3D one that comfirmed she was having a girl. The mother in law lost a son in Iraq and woke up one night and told her DH that the baby was a boy. 10 days later, a baby boy was born. I believe that there are parents that would be honored to adopt a special needs child.

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T.H.

answers from San Antonio on

Hey M., I totally agree with you about your friend's decision to give this little life a chance. Whether or not it could be a false positive, having an abortion is a very big decision. I had a single umbilical artery when I was pregnant with my youngest daughter who is now 3 years old and FULL of energy. Down syndrome was a huge chance for us, and we were urged to do an amnio. After discussing it, my husband and I knew that even if we had a 100% positive for Down's, we would not terminate, so we left it to fate. She did not have down's but did have some other birth defects such as clubbed feet, (which is hereditary in our family,) and camptodacyly which does not allow the fingers to open. We just had that prepared 3 weeks ago and get the cast off tomorrow. It has been a busy life for all of us, but I wouldn't trade it for the world! Had she had down's we would have had more to deal with, but she still would have been our beautiful little girl. There is a lot of support out there your friend should look to and make sure this is what she wants to do. I have a friend who had an abortion around the same time I was pregnant with my daughter, because they "thought" there was something wrong with the baby. It has been a decision that has haunted her since then. I will pray for your friend! T.

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T.C.

answers from Little Rock on

I had a false positive. Receiving the news of a positive Downs test was the worst day of my life. Down syndrome children are a unique blessing from God but the thought of me going through it, the uncertainty, was too much to handle. I trusted God and never had the amnio. Everything turned out wonderful. However, I can certainly understand her reasons for thinking about terminating. It's a big responsibility and decision and it's hers to make because she is the one that will have to live with it for the rest of her life. Pray that she makes the best decision for her and her family. They now have first semester screens for chromosomal abnormality. I had that done for my second pregnancy and did not have the second semester screen and everything turned out fine.

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S.E.

answers from Austin on

8 years ago my sister tested positive on the amnio. It turned out not to be downs, my neice had gastroscecis (sp). She was born with her intestines on the outside which is what caused the high protien level on the amnio. That may not be too reassuring but my neice is a healthy little girl. She had to under go surgery when she was born but the Dr.'s were prepared and it is actually far more common than you think. The hard part was all the tests during pregnancy, my sister went through the same delima when she got the first positive, thankfully she decided not to terminate and now we have my beautiful neice. I just gave birth to my first child 5 months ago and; like you, I decided not to take the test. I figure that I was going to have my baby and he was going to come out however he was ment to be. Good Luck to your friend, I wish her the best.

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J.D.

answers from Dallas on

My understanding from my physician father is that the Amnio is not going to be false positive. However, the Amnio doesn't tell about the level or function of the child, especially for parents who are active and prepared. I have a great friend whose 2nd child was downs, and the whole family delights in her- but they are also very concientious on making sure they handle it in the most healthy way possible for ALL of them so they really research, keep up, and stay active in support groups. I think the surprise is the worst part so at least this won't be a surprise. J. D

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J.L.

answers from Austin on

Please have her contact the Down Syndrome Association of Central Texas. There are so many awesome kids and adults out there with Down syndrome who lead very full lives. Every parent I know with a child with Down syndrome would not trade that child for anything. I served on the board of the organization and still volunteer so I know hundreds of families with a child with Down syndrome. Please send me a private email and I will give you a few moms she can contact.

Thank you for looking out for that little precious life!

J.

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L.M.

answers from Dallas on

M., I'm with you...a life is a very precious thing and it's not for us to decide who lives and dies. I googled the subject and came up with a very detailed article regarding the screening and diagnostic tests. It looks like to me, there is a 5% chance it's a false positive.

Thank you for being a brave friend that is encouraging her to make a decision for life.

http://www.ds-health.com/prenatal.htm

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C.P.

answers from Dallas on

It's just amazing to me how doctors and their staff don't give support to women who get this news. Your friend is likely in shock and needs some practical, solid support from those who have been there. Help her find a support group of Downs parents, agencies that assist with Downs children, etc...she may feel she's been cheated out of her "perfect" baby...but as we all know, none of them are perfect, and we can't predict what can happen in the future, or none of us would have had babies! (teenager on drugs, or pregnant...child with cancer...life-altering accidents, etc, etc) Your friend has been given a gift--let her know that the test result is NOT just for making the decision to terminate, it can also be an opportunity to prepare before the baby is born. And,pray. Put her and her little one in God's hands. Finally, here's a poem that Kidd Kraddick reads every year when fundraising for his Kidds Kids trip. It is so sweet..share it with your friend. God bless:
"I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability - to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It's like this......

When you're going to have a baby, it's like planning a fabulous vacation trip - to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It's all very exciting.

After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, "Welcome to Holland."

"Holland?!?" you say. "What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I'm supposed to be in Italy. All my life I've dreamed of going to Italy."

But there's been a change in the flight plan. They've landed in Holland and there you must stay.

The important thing is that they haven't taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It's just a different place.

So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.

It's just a different place. It's slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you've been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around.... and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills....and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.

But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy... and they're all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say "Yes, that's where I was supposed to go. That's what I had planned."

And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away...because the loss of that dream is a very very significant loss. But...if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things ... about Holland."

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S.S.

answers from Wichita Falls on

I've never heard of a false positive on amnio. It's a clencher.

That said, I was in the approval process for adopting a Down's child when I found out I was pregnant.

Point your friend here:
http://www.ceri.com/dixie.htm

My sister was Madison's teacher a few years ago - she's a pretty neat little girl.

S.

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M.Y.

answers from Dallas on

WOW. hAVING 2 CHILDREN 5 AND 2 1/2 i COULD NOT IMAGINE TERMINATING THE PREGNANCY REGARDLESS OF IT'S HEALTH. i WILL PRAY FOR HER AND HER FAMILY. i DO KNOW OF A WOMAN I WORKED WITH THAT HAD READ UP ON DOWNS AND THEN HER BABY WAS FINE. YOU ARE HOWEVER WALKING A THIN LINE. SHE HAS TO WANT THE BABY REGARDLESS OF IT'S CONDITION. TO MANY HOPEFUL STORIES CAN GIVE HER FALSE HOPE AND THE RESULT MAYBE A CHILD SHE RESENTS AND REGRETS. THE TRUTH IS YOU DO NOT KNOW THAT EVERYTHING WILL BE OK AND IF YOU TELL HER THAT IT WILL BE AND IT IS NOT YOU WILL CARRY THAT BURDEN. YOU SEEM LIKE A GOOD FRIEND..GOOD LUCK!!

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D.B.

answers from Lubbock on

I'm a grandmother who had three kids and four grandkids. My oldest son died when he was 25. He was not a downs syndrome child, but he did have disabilities, both physical and mental. I can tell you truthfully that he was a blessing and a miracle. He was my best friend, and I loved and miss him terribly. If your friend has any doubts about having a handicapped child, I can assure you they are worth every single minute of every single day.

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C.S.

answers from Dallas on

This decision your friend must make is an impossible one. If you are her friend, you should speak up only when asked and support her decision regardless of what action she takes.
Your friendship may depend on it.
C. S.

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T.

answers from Dallas on

First, it hurts my heart that during such a magical time as pregnancy, your friend has this heavy, heavy burden on her heart. Your support is so very important for her.
Second, one of our fellow church members had the same results on her tests and they told her that her child would likely have severe Downs. He doesn't have DS at ALL and is a very healthy, happy boy!
Third, as a mommy that had a very hard time conceiving, we had many, many sonograms and could see our son's heartbeat from 8 weeks. I will never think of abortion the same again. When I was younger, I thought this was a woman's right, but now, I just see it as killing your own flesh and blood. I have a few friends that have had abortions and all but one of them regret it daily.
All of this said, your friend and her spouse have to go to God in prayer and do what feels right in their heart for their family. I am praying for her this morning in whatever her decision may be.

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J.C.

answers from Dallas on

I have never done the downs test either. However, someone once told me that they do so they can prepare for it if they need to. Try to encourage her. My sister-in-law was told her baby had Dandy Walker Syndrome while she was pregnant up til delivery, which presents itself like downs. Her baby was born on the day after Christmas '07 and the doctors can find nothing wrong with her! Absolutely no signs of the DWS or the fluid on her brain or the cyst on her brain! Miracles DO happen! Help her prepare and pray!!

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S.T.

answers from San Antonio on

The only thing you can do for her is support her in whatever she decides. I would hope that she seeks counseling and visits with a support group before making any decision, but you can't make her do that.

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E.W.

answers from Dallas on

I agree that you need to be supportive either way. You cannot look at your friend as a murderer. (I agree that abortion is wrong and you are killing an unborn baby, don't get me wrong) However, to have a mindset that the person who does have an abortion is 'evil' is absolutely wrong. She is in shock and isn't feeling capable of raising a DS child for the rest of his life. BUT! I believe that she IS cabable, and once she discovers what a joy and blessing ANY child is, she will be very happy with her choice to accept the way it was meant to be. There are a variety of people right here that she can contact to help her make her decision.
Gabriel Project: ###-###-####
baby due hotline 1800-###-###-####
There are a LOT of options to help her out financially , emotionally, physically, and spiritually, she just has to reach out and talk to someone. Thank you for being there and helping her through this. Give her information on what actually happens during an abortion, along with what OTHER options she has,

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M.R.

answers from Houston on

Hi M.,

I hope your friend realizes that the doctors and the tests can be WRONG. I have a friend who was told that based on the tests her baby would be born with Downs. Her daughter is perfectly healthy. My mom's friend has type I diabetes. She was told to abort or else she would die. She and her daughter are still alive and well 32 years later.

I had a student with Downs when I was a teacher. She was wonderful! Downs kids are some of the most genuinely loving, affectionate, sweet, energetic kids on earth!

Please keep us posted. I'll keep you and your friend in my prayers.

Sincerely,
M.

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J.R.

answers from Columbus on

I am so sorry I did not see your post sooner. Every one I have ever known that has had this test done has had a false positive. It is not an accurate test and a terrible way to freak out a pregnant woman. I am so saddened to hear that she has decided to terminate this pregnancy. I am even sadder to hear that any doctor would assist her in doing this especially given how far along she is. If she thought the decision to terminate was difficult then I cannot imagine how she is going to feel about this for the rest of her life. There are so many families out there who would have gladly adopted this child even if it was born with Down Syndrome. I have known several adults in my lifetime who have Down Syndrome and they are some of the neatest people I have ever known and they have lead great fulfilling and productive lives. My heart aches for this family right now and I will be praying for them tonight.

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E.H.

answers from Dallas on

When I was pregnant with our first son, my blood test came back that I had a high risk for having a downs baby. My doctor recommended an amnio. I chose NOT to have it done. My belief is that my baby is here for a reason. It's not my choice to decide whether I have a "perfect" baby or not. God gives us the children He wants us to have. I will pray for your friend.

P.s. My son did not have downs...so it was a false high risk blood test. I've since gone on to have 2 more sons, and I opted not to have the blood test again!

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R.J.

answers from Houston on

My aunt had a false positive on the amnio. My cousin Whitney was born with no problems at all. Those tests do more harm than good. Who knows how many perfectly healthy babies where terminated because of one of those tests.

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A.A.

answers from Dallas on

I did know somebody with a false positive on the amnio that had a child with no issues. However, she should not completely hope for the false positive. That could lead to depression if it is a downs baby. She has a lot of research to do. I would not terminate a downs baby, they can be just a wonderful as any other child. With the proper help (from day 1) they can also lead a somewhat normal life. However they do need to be aware of the work involved. This is a decision that only her and her husband can make. Hopefully after doing lots of research.

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M.H.

answers from Dallas on

you either trust your friend to make her decision and can support her regardless, or you can't. this isn't about you, which isn't to say it can't affect you and that you can't have your opinions, but it's not your decision to influence/make.

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R.M.

answers from Houston on

My daughter has Turner Syndrome, we tested positive for Downs before the amnio. The amnio confirmed Turner syndrome, not Downs, but she also has many other problems that were not detected until she was born. I would just say to support her no matter what. You can't understand until you've been through it. I believe my daughter is here for a reason (she is a firecracker!) We can't imagine life without her. But it has been the hardest thing we've ever been through. I'm sure it's hard for her even to mention termination, but it is a hard choice you have to make. Not to mention all the horror stories you read about how bad your life will be. Just pray for her, and love her, because no matter what she chooses to do, she will need you. I will be thinking of you! Good Luck

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C.G.

answers from San Antonio on

My DD has DS and is a blessing. I wouldn't even change her to be the same little girl, but w/out DS is God offered this option.

An amnio is usually 100% pos or neg for Down's. I would need to research it, but the baby could have mosaic DS, where not all of the cells have the triple chromosome.

I would love to talk with your friend or just listen to her. I can also connect her with the DSASA-Down Syndrome Association of San Antonio. If she is set on terminating, we also might be able to find someone to adopt the baby. I also know a family who adopted an infant with DS. She was friends w/ a gal in the DSA and was so blessed by her son who had DS.

OUr kids are more like other children than they are different from them.

Last year my DD was in regular Kinder (w/ Sp. Ed support) and this year in first grade.

PLEASE email me offlist-I'd love to give you my phone # and be as supportive as possible for your friend.

If we were in a position to right now, I would offer to adopt this precious angel.

Blessings~C.

[email protected]____.com

Yikes-just saw you were near Dallas-they too have a great DSA. Also, if you can get the song "Sometimes Miracles Hide" by Bruce Carroll for her. The lyrics can be found here:

http://www.mp3lyrics.org/b/bruce-carroll/sometimes-miracl...

but it has so much more impact when you hear him sing the song.

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B.W.

answers from Dallas on

I was 42 when I had my first child and almost 44 for the second.....I refused amnio.....there are many false positives but the test also cannot tell how profound the condition might be.......very mild would test the same as very severe.....neither of mine have Down's but they have multiple other medical challenges and love cannot be conditional.....she needs counseling to understand that if she is terminating she is doing it for herself not for the child and that DOES make her love conditional and she should consider never having children if that is truly how she feels. No one in this world is perfect and no life turns out as we plan....change is the only constant in life......I pray she does not do this........how does the hubby/father feel?

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J.S.

answers from Dallas on

No personal stories. Just be supportive of whatever decision she makes. If you were in that position, you might feel different. Good luck to her and you.

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C.S.

answers from Amarillo on

Hi M.--I know you have a lot of responses to read so I'll keep this short. I am just like you about not wanting to find out results like that. For me--that wouldn't change anything--I would still love my baby. Mommies are supposed to have UNCONDITIONAL love for their kids, which it sounds like you realize that and are trying to help her with this. I wish I had an answer for you--just be there for her and help her thru whatever decision she makes. I hope she will choose to give this child a chance! Good Luck and God bless!

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M.T.

answers from Amarillo on

I have three friends myself who had that test for Down's done and it came back abnormal. After an amnio, all three were determined to be false positives. My doctor advised me not to have that test done unless I would consider terminating the pregnancy if there were something wrong with the baby. I believe it may cause undue stress on mom. Just pray about it and ask for strength. God will take care of everything else.

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A.G.

answers from Dallas on

As a former special education teacher, I can tell you that your friend needs to rethink her decision. Perhaps she needs to get connected with others who have children with special needs. She will miss out on a lifetime of joy if she terminates the pregnancy!

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L.B.

answers from Austin on

Unfortunately, with an amnio done at the appropriate time (15-20 weeks) shows a 99%+ accuracy rate for detecting downs and most other chromosomal abnormalities. The fact that the first test which commonly shows false positives, came back positive as well as the amnio, it is probable that her baby does indeed have downs. I think that her choice to decide to terminate would be a very personal decision that only she and her significant other can make. I myself am against it but I can't say how I would react if I were in her shoes. I have been blessed with 3 beautiful and healthy children. I had to stand by and support my sister who had an abortion for no reason and it tore me apart as well as my relationship with her because I was so verbal about my feelings. Don't let this happen to the two of you. We were able to mend the fence, we are sisters, but that may not be so easy for friends.

The issue with downs is there are so many levels of functionality. I have a friend who was a surrogate for someone and the surrogate baby had downs. The family wanted nothing more than to have a little baby and they got her. She has downs. Her mom is very proactive and is educated on the most up to date information and provides her daughter with what she needs. She is still just a toddler and doing well from my understanding. She is very high functioning.

I know that is not much hope and I pray that she be the 1% error rate!

Sincerely

L.

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H.L.

answers from Dallas on

Unfortunately, I don't believe you can truly get a false positive with amnio.....the babies chromosomes are taken from the cells in the amniotic fluid. If there are 3 copies of chromosome #21 (instead of the normal 2), then the baby has Down's.

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D.L.

answers from Dallas on

If the Amnio came back + the baby has Downs. But to what degree only God knows. There are many levels of Downs. I also refused the test when I was pregnant at the age of 36. For me it was never a choice I wanted what God was going to give us. Downs childern are the most loving,and happy of us all. You might get he to talk to some parents of Downs childern.

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T.O.

answers from Birmingham on

Hi M.,
Like the other poster said, support her no matter what she decides.

You can give her stories of hope and pray for her, but I would not push her to make any particular choice. Praying for her is more powerful than any words you could say to her anyway. Put her in God's hands, not yours.

That aside, I have a little cousin with Down's who's as cute as a button but will need care forever. It's very hard on his mother and father.

I have a son with Asperger's Autism... there were no prenatal tests for that and, like you, it wouldn't have made a difference to me. And I have to take care of my son more so than my daughter's and maybe I always will... or someone will need to look out for him.

There are many disabilities and defects with babies. You never know what you're going to get.

Hope this helps.

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J.S.

answers from Austin on

Amniocentesis is 99.9% correct. If the amnio says the baby has Downs, it has Downs.

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L.N.

answers from San Antonio on

It is very often a false positive of DS but if she is taking
the more recent updated version of the test, than there are
more accurate.

I will say that we have twins and one has DS and the other
one doesn't...they are 2 1/2 now and I must say that Catherine
is the best thing that has ever happened to our family.

Deciding to terminate is a very personal choice and you
should try not to judge her for the final decision. Please
let her know that there are support groups for families
with kids with DS that can let her know what to expect
and what specialists to refer her to...
There are also waiting lists of people that would love
to adopt a child with special needs such as DS.

I do believe that God gave us a very special gift and I
feel very blessed to have her in our lives and can't
imagine life without her.

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K.T.

answers from Dallas on

Did she get a postivie on the AFP test? If so, that test gives about a 70% fals positive rate. A better indication of Downs is a high level sonogram where the folds of the neck can be counted and the tell tale features are more solidly seen. AFP is notoriously wrong! Tell your friend to really research and get a second opinion instead of terminating her baby's life.

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D.B.

answers from Dallas on

I don't know that I have any real advice but certainly I'll be praying for this mom. It's got to be perfectly shocking to find this out. I have several friends, including one that I've known since I was 4 years old, who has a son with Downs and I do know they can't imagine life without him. Of course, they wish they could lift this burden from him, but he's perfect the way he is - fearfully and wonderfully made.

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K.F.

answers from Houston on

As a nurse, I have worked with the developmentally disabled for over 5 years. I can only imagine finding out that your child may have a developmental disability such as Down's is heartbreaking and a nightmare. I can only share that my experience with working with these children has been unbelievable. They are the most loving and caring people you will ever meet. They may be simple but they can teach you so much. I agree with you that God chose to give this baby life. Ultimately it will be her decision and as her friend you have to support her either way. There is hope for children with Down's and many grow up to live fairly independent lives. Early intervention is the key to success with these children. Best wishes and God Bless!

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J.H.

answers from Houston on

My daughter's test came back positive. I really learned to pray!!! Not, "God, don't let this happen", but, "God, let us be strong enough to deal with the child You choose for us." There was that very short window to think about termination, or NOT. Diane decided to have amnio so she and her husband could better prepare if they had a special needs child, even though the results would not be back until after the time she could have terminated. Fortunately, the amnio indicated the screening test was a FALSE POSITIVE. I now have a beautiful 7-year old granddaughter who, in first grade, is in the Gifted & Talented program and reads at the fourth grade level!

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K.N.

answers from Houston on

I know of someone that tested positive on the regular blood test but then had the amnio. and tested negative. I'm so sorry to hear that about your friend's baby. I know that must be really hard for her right now... although I personally don't think termination is the answer. What IF the baby comes out perfectly healthy and normal? What if these tests are all false positives and there's a chance that she terminates her pregnancy. Yea, there would be no way of knowing foresure if she does terminate unless they do further testing afterward but she of course would love the baby no matter what.
This is God's plan for her. That's why I didn't have the testing done with my second child also for this reason. There's no way I could terminate a pregnancy being so far into it because of some tests.
Just tell her to think long and hard about it before she does this, it could be a life changing decision for her.

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C.B.

answers from Dallas on

Ive never had a positive on the amnio. On the three screen yes.......for my twins they thought the baby had spina bifida until they found out I was having twins and the youngest that it had down syndrome till the amnio. The husband and I had intense discussions in the two weeks they made us wait for the amnio appointment. We did the online research and soul searching bit, and figured out that we would love a child regardless. Of all the birth defects that a child could have, I'd personally consider down syndrome the most benign....many times a child will have just slight syndrome symptoms. They are very affectionate and loving children, perhaps not tv anchor material, but I'd take the hugs and cuddling every single time.

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K.M.

answers from Houston on

I have a friend that got pregnant when she was a teenager and was told by her Dr. while pregnant that her daughter had Downs and suggested that she abort the baby. My friend said there was no way she was aborting and she gave birth to a healthy baby girl. I think they later found out that she had a slight learning dissability but you would never know that if you knew her.

K.

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L.K.

answers from Dallas on

If you're friend is in the Dallas area, the Down Syndrome Guild of Dallas has a lot of good information for parents. THeir website is http://www.downsyndromedallas.org/.

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M.C.

answers from Austin on

Hi M.,

It's important to keep in mind that this culture suffers under a terrible stereotype of the varying symptoms of what we call "Down's," based in care protocols of the 1950s, 60s, and even the 1970s that automatically put these children in institutions! Institutional life is very limiting and fraught with other issues of course.

It's also important to remember that your friend's issue here is with her own FEAR and insecurities. Perhaps with great information and support she can move through it, perhaps not, depending on if she is ready. Many women feel tremendous overwhelm and incapacitation at the news of Down's, due to the ignorance that is still rampant in our society.

Your true compassion for her is the most powerful thing. Be compassionate on a nonverbal level about the possible outcomes (including the dreaded abortion) in advance, and you may find that your verbal exchanges with her will be more conducive and creative.

Yes, she needs to know that Down's children can not only complete a high school education but can indeed go on to other education and pursuits. Down's babies respond really well to daily baby massage, and can catch up developentally through such stimulation. It's amazing! As older children/teens, they also have an uncanny capacity to channel pure unconditional love to all they meet, as if they are closer to the angels. And this world needs more love!

That said, they can also have rage-management issue tendencies to contend with - but tell me, what "typical" modern ADD prescription drugged so-called "normal" kid is free of rage-management issues???

Another way you can help her is with regard to prenatal bonding with her baby, should she proceed with the pregnancy. Her pregnancy is getting a late start at that, but a total healing can happen for her in that dept. Prenatal yoga classes would be very good for her, as well as prenatal music therapy. Contact me if you'd like references. It's essential that she tell the truth of her story to her gestating one, and have a clear boundary to about the psychological stuff that is her own and has nothing to do with the value and wholeness of this new soul. Gestating babies take on whatever beliefs and thoughts the mother does not properly manage. A professional website on these matters is www.birthpsychology.com

If your friend goes to terminate the pregnancy, you can still help her by encouraging a conscious mourning process - it will greatly impact her next pregnancy and birth, should she have one. There's a great book on this essential realm called "The Healing Choice" which addresses the often denied fact that most women who terminate pregnancies have a great need for grief ritual and languaging of the personal issues.

Hope this helps!

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S.P.

answers from College Station on

My heart goes out to your friend in this tough situation. I do think everyone should definately consider the possibility that this baby will indeed have Downs. I haven't lived with Downs, but do work with lots of Downs babies and their families through Early Childhood Intervention in Texas. Although there are definately lots of struggles the families face, the joy that their child brings them far outweighs the struggle. There are also many wonderful support groups of parents with children who have Downs in many areas. I would suggest doing a search for a Downs support group in her area and attending a get together with her to personally meet some real families and kids with Downs. This may help her come to a decision.

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J.N.

answers from Corpus Christi on

I have worked with many children with Down's Syndrome who with the correct programs and support are now gainfully employed in my local community... Please encourage her to keep the baby!!!

I am over 30 and didn't have the testing done because my daughter was truly a GIFT and I was in Love with her the day I found out I was pregnant. It breaks my heart to know that there are children that aren't given a chance to live because of a test! :-(

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