Babies we were told to abort : Lisa

Lisa Green 35, a part-time administrator, lives in Kent and is married to Tim, 33, a fireman. They have two children; Sam five, and Harrison, two.

W_CP_Babies abort_Lisa - Babies we were told to abort,...
 Lisa with her son Harrisson

Tim and I were bursting with excitement when I got pregnant with Harrison. I'd had a terrible pregnancy with Sam - I was sick all the time and felt rotten - plus I had irregular periods so we were worried we might not have another baby.

This time I was huge due to excess amniotic fluid, the liquid that surrounds the foetus in the womb, but all the tests showed I was carrying a healthy baby boy. Excitedly we chose his name and looked forward to giving Sam a little playmate.

A few weeks before the birth my doctors drained the fluid to prevent premature labour. This was sent off for analysis - but when Tim and I were given the results the look on the doctor's face made my heart race.

"I'm sorry but I have some bad news for you," he began. "I'm afraid the tests have shown that your baby has Down's syndrome."

Tim and I looked at each other in total disbelief. How could this be happening? And then to our utter amazement our doctor added, "You should think about having a termination." As he outlined the reasons why, our shock turned to outrage. Our son was fully formed and had a name - how could he suggest such a thing?

He told us we'd have a baby with ‘mental retardation' and gave us a bleak picture of what lay ahead if we kept him: a potentially short life riddled with health problems. Struggling to speak, I croaked out that his suggestion seemed like murder. Tim squeezed my hand and forcefully agreed. The Down's syndrome Association made it clear how rewarding it can be to have children with that condition, and that they often have long and fulfilling lives. We vow to love our baby whatever happens.

When Harrison was born, in May 2004, I didn't see a Down's child just my beautiful son. Harrison is a healthy, happy, loving child and the thought that the doctor advised me to kill him shakes me to the core. I feel so sad that it's still acceptable to see Down's as a reason for termination.

There'll always be challenges. Harrison takes longer to learn things - for instance, he isn't walking yet - and there are constant development checks with specialists. However, he is the most adorable child and when he snuggles up to me or flashes me his warm loving smile, I know that it's all been worthwhile.

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