This story is dedicated to every baby with Down Syndrome who never got the chance to see the light of day
From the moment of her conception, Kelsey was very proud of her extra chromosome. She knew her mother always ordered pizza with extra cheese, so surely more always meant better, right? She was sure that when her mom found out that she had one more chromosome than ordinary babies, she would be thrilled. Surely she would brag about how amazing her daughter with the extra chromosome was, and show her off to all her friends who would be jealous that their children possessed one less chromosome than Kelsey.
By 10 weeks, Kelsey had already completed the most critical portion of her development. Her skin was still translucent, but her tiny limbs could now bend(much to her delight, as she wanted to be a gymnast when she grew up!), and fine details like nails(did that mean she'd be old enough for a manicure soon?) were starting to form. She overheard her mother talk about taking a "Harmony" test. Did that have something to do with music, she wondered? She knew her mother loved Michael Jackson and Broadway soundtracks. How she couldn't wait until her vocal chords were fully developed so she could sing!
One day her mother went to the doctor to get the results of the "Harmony" test. "I'm sorry", Kelsey overheard a woman tell her mother. "I'm afraid there's a 99% chance the fetus will be be born with Down Syndrome should you choose to continue your pregnancy. Would you like to schedule a termination?".
Kelsey was much too young to understand what any of that meant, but she knew it didn't sound good and was eager to her mother's response. "I'll talk to my husband about it before I decide for sure" was what she said.
"I know it's a difficult choice", the lady at the clinic said in a sympathetic tone of voice.
Later that night Kelsey heard a heated argument between her mother and her father. "I don't want a retard baby!" her father yelled. "I don't want to spend the rest of my life taking care of it!"
"This literature says many people with Down Syndrome lead fulfilling lives" Kelsey's mother pointed out.
"It's not a chance I want to take! Let's get rid of this one and try again for a normal, healthy child"
Kelsey had understood that being conceived with a spare chromosome wasn't "normal", but she had assumed it meant she was special and unique, which was better than "normal", wasn't it?
Her mother let out a sigh, and picked up the phone to make an appointment.