Publisher's Comments (cont.)
Having a baby with Down syndrome is not something most parents would willingly choose. Yet many who travel this path discover rich, unexpected rewards along the way. In this candid and poignant collection of personal stories, sixty-three mothers describe the gifts of respect, strength, delight, perspective, and love, which their child with Down syndrome has brought into their lives. The contributors to this collection have diverse personalities and perspectives, and draw from a wide spectrum of ethnicity, world views, and religious beliefs. Some are parenting within a traditional family structure; some are not. Some never considered terminating their pregnancy; some struggled with the decision. Some were calm at the time of diagnosis; some were traumatized. Some write about their pregnancy and the months after giving birth; some reflect on years of experience with their child. Their diverse experiences point to a common truth: The life of a child with Down syndrome is something to celebrate. These women have something to say -- not just to other mothers but to all of us.This book offers crucial information and perspective to pregnant women facing a pre or post-natal Down Syndrome diagnosis. GIFTS is especially timely given the new 2007 guidelines from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), which recommends that all women, regardless of age, receive screening for Down syndrome. Statistics show that most of these diagnoses result in abortion; if more women are screened the fear is that there will be fewer babies born with Down syndrome. The question is how informed are these decisions? If better information were available to women -- a copy of GIFTS, counseling that’s more up-to-date -- would the trend be different? GIFTS has already garnered interest from writers and Down syndrome advocates who are concerned about the lack of comprehensive information provided to women facing a pre-natal Down syndrome diagnosis. Recent studies by Dr. Brian Skotko, published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology (2005) and Pediatrics (2005) note that many doctors are inadequately prepared to deliver a diagnosis of Down syndrome, and often use negative language or out-of-date information. GIFTS offers pregnant women, their families, doctors, and geneticists with concrete, ultimately positive, personal stories – 63 voices -- about what it’s really like to have and raise a child with Down syndrome today, including the fear, loneliness, and sadness some women confronted along the way.