A mother of twin boys has shared how doctors suggested to her multiple times to terminate one of her sons after he was diagnosed with Down syndrome during her pregnancy. However, she didn’t succumb to the pressure, and now her twin boys are almost 10 months old.
Lizeth Breaux, 37, from California, was 12 weeks pregnant with twins when medics discovered that one of them would be born with Down syndrome.
"It was really surreal when we got the news that our one baby had Down's syndrome,” the mother of five recalled. “My head was all over the place. …. I was terrified.”
Lizeth revealed that through her pregnancy, she went through a mixture of emotions on learning the news. The mother admitted that on some days she was okay and accepted it; however, on other days she felt worried about what the future had in store.
At 20 weeks of gestation, Lizeth said the offers of termination started flooding in from numerous doctors, and just hearing those words made her anxious.
Sadly, after the diagnosis, all of the hospital appointments that followed focused on how her child and the family’s life would be difficult due to his condition.
"They made me think that when he was born he was going to be broken,” Lizeth said. "The doctors kept pushing these conditions on me and really trying to use them to scare me.”
Although Lizeth was determined to not terminate her pregnancy, as doctors reminded her of the health difficulties, she recalls doubting her decision.
"I always knew I was never going to terminate the pregnancy, but they had me second-guessing whether I was making the right choice and if I would be able to deal with this,” Lizeth said.
Additionally, medics even tried to tell her that she could continue keeping his twin till the end of the term as she would still have a baby. However, Lizeth was sure that she wanted to give birth to both babies.
Later on in her pregnancy, when the baby with Down syndrome stopped growing, the doctors insisted to her that he was not going to make it. However, Lizeth says she never lost faith.
"Each time the doctors kept repeating that he was not going to make it, and each time we went back for another appointment he was still alive,” Lizeth said. “It was like they were trying to give me another reason to terminate.”
By the end of her pregnancy, the then-expectant-mom told the doctors that until she couldn’t hear her son’s heartbeat anymore, she wanted them to stop talking negatively about how he was not going to make it and to never mention the word termination again.
On Jan. 17, the defiant mother gave birth to both her boys, Andre and August, and she is relieved that she didn’t succumb to the pressure of terminating her pregnancy.
Now that the boys are almost 10 months and thriving, Lizeth shares that August is very healthy and progressing well. The little boy with Down syndrome doesn’t suffer from any heart condition but has had a few breathing problems and has had to have his tonsils and adenoids removed.
"I know our journey is not done and there is a long hard road ahead of us with many struggles to face, but I have absolutely no regrets. I love them both so much,” Lizeth said.
By sharing her story, Lizeth hopes to help expectant parents normalize their feelings when they are told that their child will most likely be born with Down syndrome.
She even took the opportunity to remind parents that “It is okay to be terrified and to feel like it is not going to be okay.”
“We are made for whatever child we are given and we are strong enough for anything. You do not have to be forced into anything," Lizeth said.