Better Off Dead

It’s taken all this time, but I finally see the light – and I want to offer my deepest apologies to my family and society for allowing my head to be clouded by silly emotions like motherly love for so long, and my most heartfelt thanks to companies like Sequenom and Verinata Health for working so hard to stay on the cutting edge of technology and develop state of the art prenatal screenings that make it easier than ever to determine as soon as possible if a pregnant woman is carrying an imperfect fetus.  It was this article that finally got through to me how important it is for every woman – but especially those deemed high risk by their health care providers (even if that “high risk” is based only on statistics and not actual subjective information) – to take advantage of the advances in “preventative” medicine these companies have developed for us, and to find out if she’s carrying a baby with a chromosomal abnormality as soon as possible so that companies like Sequenom and Verinata Health can improve their profit margins, and the “economic impact” of allowing these defective babies to be born can be mitigated.  And we all know what I mean by “mitigate.”  Yes, abortion of a fetus with a “severe developmental disability” like Down syndrome is unpleasant to think about, so just try to go to your happy place.  Anyway, let’s face facts: better to do it early before the mother has a chance to get attached, and besides, what’s the alternative?  To allow the world to be overrun by a bunch of retards?

I know I never asked for better, earlier, more accurate prenatal tests to be developed, and as far as I know, none of the women I’ve ever known has demanded it either.  But these companies and the medical community are actually doing us a favor.  They know what’s best for us.  What are we but a bunch of incubators of potential problems, and filled with all kinds of frivolous emotions to boot?

I was being selfish when I declined prenatal screenings.  It was silly to see that tiny little heart winking away at me on the ultrasound screen at eight weeks pregnant and to think of that little creature as human, as my future son or daughter.  It was extremely shortsighted of me to decide that I would take and love whatever baby sprung from my womb, because if we were in a position to have a baby, then we were in a position to have any baby.

How was I to know I would end up with this?

And to think I could have avoided all those struggles with breastfeeding!  What was I thinking, that all that time and effort would pay off?  And for what?  A walking, breathing burden.  I didn’t realize he was a burden . . . if only this article had been published sooner!  If only these tests, these wonderful tests with their snazzy marketing campaigns, had been available four years ago!  Of course, even then there was amnio and CVS . . . what was I thinking?  Selfish.  And now I have to pay the price – my whole family has to pay the price.

Okay, so maybe our minds and hearts have been broadened by this little boy.  Maybe my other kids and my husband and I have gained compassion for all humankind and learned how to embrace diversity.  So what?  Such small potatoes compared to the profits companies like Sequenom and Verinata Health could have made off of us, and the immeasurable cost to society Finn will have over his pathetic lifetime.  I mean, gosh!  We all know how important it is to make a buck and save a buck – especially in today’s economy!  If we all dig down deep, we can all see that the bottom line really is more important than human life – especially imperfect human life.

Yeah, totally a life not worth living.

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25 Comments on “Better Off Dead”

  1. Heather Seal
    March 1, 2012 at 12:22 am #

    This is an amazing post for prenatal diagnosed moms to read. And the pictures? Made me a little teary eyed. Beautiful. Thanks Lisa!!!

  2. ds.mama
    March 1, 2012 at 12:34 am #

    Oh Lisa, you make me want to laugh, cry, and scream… all at the same time. I hope Caren Mason takes a moment out of her busy life to think twice about what her $2 billion dollar profit is generated from. Will she do the right thing and help to develop balanced literature and education for doctors to share with patients? I sure hope so.

    I sure hope a woman’s right to a well-informed choice is more important than proving to insurance companies that this test will save them money but “averting” the birth of children who may end up costing a little extra.

  3. Monica Jakel Crumley
    March 1, 2012 at 12:38 am #

    Fantastic post, Lisa. I guess I’m one of the ones who got suckered into having an imperfect child. Heck, for $1200, we coulda saved ourselves a lot of tears, love, wonder and awe over this tiny creature who would grow up to be a spunky, thriving, inquisitive, adventurous 4 year old who goes to preschool with typically developing peers. Throw in another couple hundred and he coulda disappeared, just as quickly as he came. Not a chance. Your photos speak volumes. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Michele Zephier
    March 1, 2012 at 1:00 am #

    Where have you been all my life? Bravo!
    Fetal testing is genocide, driven by insurance companies. Short fetal life = low cost.
    Now I get real: Can you imagine what the medical payout would be for a person’s whole lifetime if they had DS, the most common birth defect among humans? Well, it is obviously too high for the insurance industry to make a sufficient profit. If anyone would like to support a boycott, or an Occupy Down Syndrome effort, I’m ready, for one.

  5. Tara Marie Hintz
    March 1, 2012 at 2:58 am #

    Thank you……..

    for speaking my heart.

    You are an amazing soul…….as is Sir Finn.

  6. Melanie
    March 1, 2012 at 4:23 am #

    LOVE!!! Thank you for writing this Lisa!!!

  7. Meriah
    March 1, 2012 at 5:32 am #

    Great post, Lisa!

  8. Mireille Halley
    March 1, 2012 at 5:38 am #

    wow did you catch the last sentence in that article! What an almost freudian choice of words!!

    “This is about execution, execution, execution,” she says.

    No kidding.

    • Lisa
      March 1, 2012 at 5:56 am #

      Yep, I caught that. A lot of us caught that.

    • mumofone
      March 3, 2012 at 12:32 am #

      Agree – an unbelievably poor choice of words 😦

  9. Amy
    March 1, 2012 at 7:22 am #

    Wow. That article may be the most blatant one yet. Great post, Lisa.

  10. jonashpdx
    March 1, 2012 at 10:01 am #

    this is awesome.

    • Lisa
      March 6, 2012 at 7:04 pm #

      Jonas, your comment somehow ended up in my spam folder, and I just now found it. Sorry ’bout that!

  11. Lisa
    March 1, 2012 at 11:36 am #

    Yep, you are certainly paying the price ;). This is an awesome post. The video at the end–and the life of your little boy–PRICELESS. Hmm, Freudian slip? Not a chance.

  12. Tracy
    March 1, 2012 at 3:09 pm #

    And what a terrible price to pay!! I am so thankful for my little “burden” and thankful for the chance for me and my family to get to pay the price too. Contrary to everything the medical community would have you believe, I feel like I have been given a most special gift.

  13. Kylee
    March 1, 2012 at 4:23 pm #

    Love this {your post, not the article}. I just got a blood order for the first {of four} time to get the prescreening done, but more for preparation purposes than to weed out babies. I really don’t think I’ll be getting it done at this point.

  14. CJ
    March 1, 2012 at 5:25 pm #

    You are dead on, per usual! Those photos are incredible! I hope new moms seeking information land here!!

  15. Janet
    March 2, 2012 at 12:17 pm #

    This article basically speaks for itself. Thought you might find it interesting, considering you happened to give birth to one of those ‘burdens’ they talk about in here. Gives me chills just thinking about it. Your son is SO precious and I can see he is SO loved, cherished and wanted.

    • mumofone
      March 3, 2012 at 12:35 am #

      I saw the same article about post-birth abortion in our local paper – very very sad indeed 😦

  16. Rochelle Wilson
    March 3, 2012 at 9:30 am #

    Love, love, love!! Couldn’t have said it any better!

  17. Kiwiaussie
    March 4, 2012 at 8:39 pm #

    Very well done! Can’t believe anyone could read it and not see the sarcasm though!

    Loved the dance routine! Far more entertaining than a lot of the ones on So you think you can dance!

  18. Brenda B.
    March 6, 2012 at 7:18 pm #

    I LOVE this!

  19. Kelli
    March 6, 2012 at 7:34 pm #

    Loved this so much! I feel like such a rebel now…I have a child with DS and I didn’t know it until she was born! I love the way you used sarcasm, because it really does trigger the deeper darker thoughts many people have…including me at some point I am sure!

  20. Michelle Cardona
    March 8, 2012 at 3:49 am #

    I love this blog………I too have a son that “is a life not worth living.”…..”a devastated fetus”……..”this will ruin you.”
    Well, we absolutely adore our little home wrecker!! He is in the hearts and minds of everyone around us. I have trouble getting where I need to go because so many people stop us to say hello to him. He is genuinely popular at Kindergarten and everywhere else it appears.

    If anyone needs help navigating through the medical detail or the real life realities, please call me at 781-829-6563. I would love help.


  1. Not Taking It Back | Life As I Know It - March 3, 2012

    […] a Comment Apparently, a few people who got their hands on my post from the other day, Better Off Dead, took it completely at face value and didn’t understand that I was using sarcasm and dark […]

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