parenting

Babies are gifts

Awww, aren’t newborns the loveliest?
(This baby is not mine hor, it’s a photo I took recently for a friend)

This time round there hasn’t been very much fanfare around baby 3. We haven’t been announcing it to the world, and now that I’m in my third trimester, I find myself straining to think of which of my closer friends I haven’t told yet, just so they don’t get a shock after the delivery 😀 In fact, until my last visit, I hadn’t even paid attention to the weight of the baby or my own weight gain (and was shocked to realize I’d put on 11kg in the second trimester alone!!).

Part of the reason why we weren’t rushing out to pop the champers was not because this little bundle was unexpected, but rather right from my first few visits my gynae actually worried me by bringing up the amnio tests at every visit. The nuchal scans along the way seemed to indicate normalcy, and in the end, my blood test results showed that they risk was way below the markers (phew!), and the super detailed scan turned out all good.

It was pretty scary to have to entertain the thought of amnio or a Down’s baby, just because I’ve crossed a certain age marker. While all of Abacus’s in utero scans never picked up any anomalies, my gynae said it might have been possible to do so but they would’ve had to look very specifically for it (and also the heart and lungs work differently in utero and after birth, which is why he only struggled after birth). His TAPVC is not known to be associated with any complex genetic issues, which means after the corrective surgery he is like any other kid on the street (ok well maybe he can be downgraded for National Service, but that’s a long way down the road). So I often dread to think what might have happened if the scans had pick up an anomaly, and we’d known he would not last past his first week (or days!) of life, and offered the option to terminate the pregnancy.

One of the doctors we spoke to said that something like 300 babies are lost to the amnio tests each year. 300 is 300 too many, if you ask me. In the same breath he also mentioned that Down’s children are ALL love. They know NO hate, and can be very mischievous with a sense of humour.

Still, it was an episode which made me reflect on life and on special children, heightened by the trip to the hospital. Many times we (parents of normal children) feel as if our patience is so stretched and tested, our energy depleted – what more for those special parents?

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4 thoughts on “Babies are gifts

  1. Wow 300.. just Singapore? Poor thing those parents. Yes I agree, I used to conduct research on children with cancer, their parents had to quit their jobs just to bring their sick child to the hospital every other day. Kudos to them!

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    1. Yaaa, in Singapore! I asked, but unfortunately he didn’t know the figures of how many tests are done each year, to make more sense out of the figure. Like 300 out of 1,000? 3,000? A little scary considering we have say 40,000 births each year?

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  2. Congratulations on your 3rd! So exciting!

    I can understand the anxieties because now that I am older and thinking about baby 3… these thoughts do come to my mind. I have never done the amnios with my previous babies, and I don’t think I would do it for my next. A simple reason being that these tests can be unreliable too. I have two friends who did it, results showed abnormality, and high risk for Down’s. But because of their faith, they decided against termination. Both babies are now very bright and active kids.

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    1. Hi Sarah, really wow, that’s great to know, although they said that amnio is like 90+% accurate (I can’t remember the actual figure)? But imagine if your friends had decided on termination. And after my hubby heard about 300 babies lost to the test every year he was so glad we’d decided against it, even though it would’ve taken a lot for me to consent to termination (Down’s or not!). Sometimes, ignorance is bliss hor!

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