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The T-Word

Rochelle Followes by Rochelle Followes Additional Needs

Rochelle Followes

Rochelle Followes

I am parent to a gorgeous little blue eyed boy who has complex needs. I have a Facebook page, 'my daily miracle' where I share our life with others...

I admired Sally for stepping out and filming this documentary as the things she had to listen to would have been so heart-breaking to hear.

Now, my son doesn’t have Down Syndrome so I cannot speak as though I have much insight, but I have had the honour of meeting a few people who do have Down Syndrome.

And my son has disabilities, and we were also told to terminate our beloved son.

Let me tell you a little bit of our story.

It was the day of my growth scan and I would have been around 30 weeks’ gestation, my parents took me as Tim had no holiday's left to take.

We weren’t waiting too long before we had our turn, I was so excited to be seeing my boy again, and for my parents to meet him too. The sonographer squirted the jelly on my belly and began to scan.

All of a sudden, she went quiet.

My Dad started questioning her as to what she was looking at, then she dashed out of the room to find another member of staff.

It’s all a bit of a blur but I remember feeling very anxious by this point - I wanted to know what was wrong.

We were told to wait in the waiting area to be seen by a consultant who told us the fluid in his Ventricles were too large.

Fast forwarding on a little bit, we came back to the hospital with Tim a few days later to be seen by a specialist midwife who talked us through what they had found, the word termination popped up a few times, and the possibility of Zachariah having a chromosome defect was also mentioned.

We were given a few options, but in hindsight I don’t feel like we had much positive information, it was all negative and all led to them pushing a termination.

We were told he may not live a long life.

I had the Amniocentesis test which came back negative.

It was here I was really worried, I’ll be completely honest here and say that I found such comfort in the possibility of my son having Down Syndrome, that way I would know for sure what was happening, and that way I knew there was so much support and I would have the confidence that we could get through this!

This wasn’t the case, therefore, we went on for further scans and an MRI which gave us so much more information, but also invited the Doctors to mention the T-word once again.

It scares me so much the way that professionals handle these situations, the word termination isn’t a rare word, but yet a word that is shouted out left, right and centre.

It’s devastating how little chance some of these babies have because parents aren’t given a more positive approach, but instead are made to believe that they cannot give their baby the best life.

If parents were given all the information instead of the negatives and the statistics I believe we would have a more beautiful world with babies who were given a chance.

A, "choice", should be made with all the facts.

Children with Down Syndrome are Children, they are beautiful, they have personalities and they go on to live adventurous lives just like everyone else.

They deserve to be viewed this way.

And this goes for the rest of our absolutely gorgeous and unique children.

The Doctors knew so little about my son when they spoke negatively about him, but his Mummy and Daddy knew that he would fight for his life.

God knew him and He would determine his future.

I know so many miracle babies who have proven that they deserve a life, no matter how short or long that may be, who have been true blessings to many.

I haven’t written this to upset anyone, it’s just my view.

I just believe that professionals need to be more positive, more fair and more delicate and supportive.

Every Life is worth fighting for.


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