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Message Icon Topic: Our baby has Down Syndome...advice needed Post Reply Post New Topic
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222dnallohc
 
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Quote 222dnallohc Replybullet Topic: Our baby has Down Syndome...advice needed
    Posted: 24 November 2007 at 3:05pm

Assalamu Alaikum,

I am currently 14 weeks pregnant with our second child.  After some testing, we found out that our baby has Down Syndrome.  We have been given the choice as to whether to let the pregnancy continue or not.  Obviously it is forbidden for us to terminate the pregnancy...and I dont want to do that anyway.  My husband unfortunately does not think that he can handle this and he wants me to end the pregnancy.  He thinks the baby being disabled will tear our family apart and it will be a disgrace for him to have a son that has the problems that come with Downs.  He told me that in his culture, he is Arabic, that its a disgrace to have a child like that.

Needless to say I am absolutely shocked to hear this come out of his mouth.  I want to raise my son (we found out the baby is a boy), but my husband does not want him.

This seems like such an impossible situation for us right now.  How do I get through this?  I feel like he is trying to push me to do something I dont believe is right.  We are both Muslim, so I would have thought he would respond differently...thats why I am so shocked at his words.

What do I do?

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abuayisha
 
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Quote abuayisha Replybullet Posted: 24 November 2007 at 4:01pm
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Hayfa
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Quote Hayfa Replybullet Posted: 24 November 2007 at 5:37pm

Salaams,

What a difficult situation. Especially if the parents are not "on the same page.

Where do you live? Are you in the US? I have to say there are problems in every coulture but the US has some of the best services with People with Disabilities. And the opportunities that are presented are quite profound. I know in some places in the world, people with disabilities are shunned, cast out, hidden away etc. Probably due to the many resources and the culture, the US is not like that. So it may be a difference of "culture" between you and your husband.

Abuayisha has provided a link regarding aborting the child. Of course it lists for physical deformity that makes living prohibitively difficult.

Here are some other links that are about having Children with Down Syndrome.  In the US it is NOT the end of the world. I don't know where you live.

It is sad that he feels it is a "disgrace." And ties it into his Arabic culture. The child is a child from Allah. Just as any other child. And one thing it teaches us is compassion and mercy.

I had a good friend in college. He was a staff worker at the school. His daughter was born with only half a brain. The daughter is not a senior in college.

I hope these help you to make the decision.. there are no easy answers

http://www.ndss.org/index.php?option=com_frontpage&Itemi d=87

http://www.nads.org/

One thing that struck me was in the last line:

Screening Tests

  • At this time the most commonly used screening test is “The Triple Screen.” This is a combination of three tests that measure quantities of various substances in the blood. These tests are usually done between 15 and 20 weeks of gestation.
  • Sonograms (ultrasounds) are usually performed in conjunction with other screenings. These can show some physical traits that are helpful in calculating the risk of Down syndrome.
  • Screening tests do not accurately confirm the diagnosis of Down syndrome. In fact, false positives and false negatives frequently occur.  

My duas are with you and your family.

When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy. Rumi
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herjihad
 
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Quote herjihad Replybullet Posted: 24 November 2007 at 8:22pm
Originally posted by 222dnallohc

Assalamu Alaikum,

I am currently 14 weeks pregnant with our second child.  After some testing, we found out that our baby has Down Syndrome.  We have been given the choice as to whether to let the pregnancy continue or not.  Obviously it is forbidden for us to terminate the pregnancy...and I dont want to do that anyway.  My husband unfortunately does not think that he can handle this and he wants me to end the pregnancy.  He thinks the baby being disabled will tear our family apart and it will be a disgrace for him to have a son that has the problems that come with Downs.  He told me that in his culture, he is Arabic, that its a disgrace to have a child like that.

Needless to say I am absolutely shocked to hear this come out of his mouth.  I want to raise my son (we found out the baby is a boy), but my husband does not want him.

This seems like such an impossible situation for us right now.  How do I get through this?  I feel like he is trying to push me to do something I dont believe is right.  We are both Muslim, so I would have thought he would respond differently...thats why I am so shocked at his words.

What do I do?


Salaamu Alaykum Sister,

In my experience, men who are foreigners to this country will create traditions inside their native culture to suit their own feelings either cognitively or subconsciously, saying things like:  My mother would NEVER do THAT. 

That being briefly touched on, I will tell you about a wonderful Phalasteenee Arab family who cared for and loved their Down's Syndrome Boy.  They took him out with them to "moonasibat"  important occasions-visitations.  They had him with them in the visiting room when others visited.  They talked to him with love, care, concern, and the thing I noticed most of all was that they listened to him as much as they expected him to listen to them.  He was an integral part of their family, loved by every single one of them that I saw.  I never noticed a sideways glance of distaste or a sense that anybody was uncomfortable with him.  There was also a bus that came for him and took him to a special school.  He was happy and eager to go there and also content to be in his home.

The Arabs I know would be honored to take care of such a special child.  Maybe your husband is sensitive for his own reasons.  Maybe his family has never confronted such a challenge, and he is not sure they are up to it.  But I really believe that most Muslim Arabs are up to such a challenge and will look for the blessings that raising and loving such a child will bring them with Allah, the Most Loving.

Talk to a sheikh that you know and trust.  Talk to his family.  Not many people would support an abortion, and it sounds like you need some people on your side to help him make the right decision.
Al-Hamdulillah (From a Married Muslimah) La Howla Wa La Quwata Illa BiLLah - There is no Effort or Power except with Allah's Will.
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lovesakeenah
 
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Quote lovesakeenah Replybullet Posted: 25 November 2007 at 2:27am

AS-salaam alaykum warhamatullah wabaraktuh

I was also going to refer you to'islamqa' but glad that abuayisha  already did.Meanwhile,I've equally read that 'abortion' on health grounds like if it's a threat on the mother's life is permitted within the first 120 days of conception.Apparently,you have even exceeded that now.I don't think you can do the convincing of your husband alone.In the first place,he was more concerned about his own prestige of being a father to a'disabled child'.

Like Hayfa said,there're provisions for such children,if you're resident in the US.Even if that isn't the case,"Dawn Syndrome" happens to be one of the commonest deformity in this age especially for mothers who're in their forties.Their being told all these probabilities before they decide to conceive&bear a child.

You need to make him understand that Islamically,it's already too late to consider abortion,otherwise you'd be committing 'murder'.And again,there're several other deformities that're worst than 'Dawn Syndrome'.People with DS still live a normal life,provided the families're willing to learn more about this defect&give that child all the love&care they would give a normal child.

Wallahu an'lam.

I pray ALlah softens your husband's heart&make him accept this as a test of his faith&i pray he'd have the eeman to go through it masha Allahu!!!

Meanwhile,on your own part,get more informed about DS.lRead it up on the Internet or any Book on it.And there're so many experien ces of people living with DS you can share in order not to fel left out&confused.

"I have conviction that Allah has power over everything.Verily!Allah's knowledge includes and encompasses everything".
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mariyah
 
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Quote mariyah Replybullet Posted: 25 November 2007 at 2:51am
Asalaamu alaikum:
Sister, may I invite you to refer your beloved husband to the sections in the Holy Quran where Allah subanallah wa taa'la  condemned the killing (burying alive) of female infants because having a female child was a disgrace to the culture?

Please think about this subject really hard. If you are in America this choice is yours. Allah wills what He wills. And consider all the good advice given to you before this post. And think about how whatever choice will affect your deen and your state of well-being in the future, can you live with your decision? Can you live with your husband if you feel he pushed you into this decision?
May your retain the protection of Allah subanallah wa taa'la and may your decision be according to his dictates.
Wasalaam.
"Every good deed is charity whether you come to your brother's assistance or just greet him with a smile.
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aamna
 
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Quote aamna Replybullet Posted: 02 December 2007 at 11:08am
asalam alaikum,

the other sisters have given you good advice.  one other thing i wanted to add was that the test that tests for down's syndrome has a  very high rate of false positives.  so it could be that your child does not have down's at all!  this happened to a friend of mine, in which her child tested positive for down's, they stressed out so much and did as much as they could to prepare for the child, but when the child was born he did not have it. so it is certainly not a definitive test, hopefully your doctor told you that.

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herjihad
 
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Quote herjihad Replybullet Posted: 02 December 2007 at 11:17am
Originally posted by aamna

asalam alaikum,

the other sisters have given you good advice.  one other thing i wanted to add was that the test that tests for down's syndrome has a  very high rate of false positives.  so it could be that your child does not have down's at all!  this happened to a friend of mine, in which her child tested positive for down's, they stressed out so much and did as much as they could to prepare for the child, but when the child was born he did not have it. so it is certainly not a definitive test, hopefully your doctor told you that.



Salaams,

Thank you for sharing this story and the facts in it!  I didn't know this.
Al-Hamdulillah (From a Married Muslimah) La Howla Wa La Quwata Illa BiLLah - There is no Effort or Power except with Allah's Will.
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