Aric Berquist and his wife Gretchen had the perfect life: Good jobs, a home, three healthy children ages 10, 8 and 2, and one more on the way.
That’s when they got the shocking news: There was a 1 in 6 chance their new baby would have Down syndrome.
“I remember that moment so clearly,” says Aric, 43, a media executive. “I was driving over the intercoastal waterway. Right then and there on that bridge, I uttered an expletive.”
Gretchen felt the same fears gripping her heart. They worried about the impact it would have on their lives; the stress, the money, the worries, and the countless unknown battles they would have to face. These are common fears for parents when they get the news, and 90%-92% choose to abort the fetus rather than face those challenges.
“But then I got a crystal-clear message,” Aric recalls in the video above. “Just as I was trying to process this stunning information, a message came to me in a complete sentence: ‘Who are you to tell me what a blessing is?’”
Aric and Gretchen are religious people, but it would be a mistake to think that their decision to keep the baby was an easy one. In the video above, they speak frankly about their struggle. As Aric says, “And even after that experience on the bridge, even after a subsequent ultrasound confirmed our baby would indeed have Down syndrome, I had some darker personal moments.”
He says there was a moment or two, “with all of the problems we were told might happen, that I wondered if maybe it would just be easier if a complication with the pregnancy occurred. That sometimes haunts me now, those thoughts.”
But he added, “As with most things in life, easier isn’t better. And just look at what I would have missed.”
The video above documents their journey and introduces us to their son Asher. While their story isn’t necessarily typical of all families with Down syndrome, it does shed light on one side of the subject. You can read more about their journey on MomZette.