Carrying to Term
This is a very difficult time, and unfortunately, there is no magic choice that will make this experience easier.
Many parents have reported that they have been made to feel they are being irrational and treated dismissively by their healthcare providers or others in their lives because they chose to carry their child to term instead of terminating. Providers may assume that parents don’t understand the severity of the problem and are hoping "the doctors are wrong."
But deciding to carry to term simply means you feel it is the best choice for your child and your family. While some parents may make this choice due to religious reasons, many do not. The families making this choice often desire to allow their child to achieve his or her full potential, whatever that may be. They also feel that having time with their child to make memories would be helpful to the healing of the entire family.
The decision to carry to term is deeply personal. You deserve to have your decision about your child’s health respected by your healthcare professionals. And your child, regardless of his or her diagnosis or prognosis, deserves to be treated with dignity and compassion.
Don’t feel pressured to make any rushed decisions by healthcare providers or anyone else. Take your time and learn as much as you can so you can make informed decisions. Ask as many questions as you want and make sure you understand the answers. Don’t be afraid to advocate for yourself and your child. Request additional testing, appointments, or resources if you feel your need more information.
Connect with others who have been in your shoes. Reach out to those in the Trisomy 18 community to learn about their experiences. Our private Facebook group allows you to talk to parents about their experiences. Don't be afraid to ask the hard questions. Their experiences can be invaluable for helping you understand your options.
Remember, the decision you make will be the right one for your child and your family.