When I was 12 weeks pregnant, I was given a one in five chance of our baby having Down's Syndrome, and then I "just knew." My first reaction was joy that my baby was alive, the second relief he didn't have any life limiting conditions, or conditions incompatible with life. My third was that life was going to be a big different from now on, and secretly that was both a little bit daunting and a little bit exciting.
Then the doctor spoke: his voice apologetic and careful, he asked if I’d like to be referred for further testing with the option of a termination if our baby did have Down’s Syndrome. When I refused, he shook my hand and watched us go. As we were leaving the department, he came out after us, gently touched my arm and asked me one more time.
He had challenged my choice, and with that came a heavy sadness. It simply hadn't occurred to me that he would view Down's Syndrome as a negative thing. Several friends suggested testing, and if our baby did have Down's Syndrome, a termination would be the kindest way forwards...for our other two young children, for the load on the NHS, for our sanity. It was depressing: It was as if people saw our baby as a monster that needed "dealing with."