“I wrote 8 refusals to abortion”

How a young family became parents of a child with Down syndrome and took another child with special needs into their family.

Sergei and Maria Radyvonyuk became parents in July 2019. Even at an early stage, the child was diagnosed with Down syndrome and other alleged pathologies. The doctors did not believe that the child would survive. However, contrary to all predictions, the boy survived, and in December 2020, Sergei and Masha assumed custody of another child with a Down syndrome.

The stories of Sergei and Masha are similar in many ways. Both come from the Brest region and have grown up in Christian families with many children. Sergei is 30 years old and was the fourth of 5 children in the family, Masha is 23 years old, originally from Olshan, the second of 15 children.

“I definitely don’t want 15 kids for myself,” laughs Masha. “It’s very difficult, big families face lack of money and lack of attention, parents have a hard time, it’s a lot of work. I probably wouldn’t have dared to take it on. We decided for ourselves that we do not want more than 4 children at the moment “.

Masha and Sergei met in a Protestant church, married on October 15, 2016, Sergei was 25 years old and Maria was 18, but they never felt the age gap.

The news of her pregnancy struck Maria alone at home. Sergei was away at that time.

“I bought a little baby body, made a postcard and added it to an SMS with the words: “Hello, Dad! When Seryozhka arrived, he brought her a box in surprise. He was very moved, he shed tears, it was such a moving moment for us. ”

Then the couple returned to normal life. Masha felt well, there was no toxicosis or other difficulties in the early stages of pregnancy.

Maria was registered when the deadline was just under 12 weeks and she was sent for the first ultrasound examination, where all pathologies are detected at an early stage. Since then, family life has changed a lot.

“It’s still hard for me to remember that moment,” says Maria. – “The woman in the hospital who did the ultrasound was very rude. She said the baby had been diagnosed with pathologies and she started to put a lot of pressure on me to have an abortion: “You don’t understand anything, you’re still young who will trouble themselves with this baby?”

And then she said, “Either you havean abortion or a miscarriage. He will not stay alive. “

That day we Seryozhka cried and prayed a lot. It was hard to accept all this, of course everyone dreams of healthy children. And then he told me this sentence: “Maybe God will give us a child so that we can have a lot more fun with him than if we had a normal healthy child.”

At that time, his words gave me a lot of support. We had no idea what we had to go through, but we knew it was no accident, ”says Maria.

After the ultrasound, Masha was quickly sent to donate blood to see if the tests confirmed the risk of Down’s syndrome.
This was followed by several more ultrasounds, and the information was confirmed everywhere. During this period, according to Masha, their relationship with Sergei became much deeper. The spouses continued to support each other, tried to believe in the best, talked a lot, and walked.

“We looked at such fears and held on to each other even more. Then I first saw Serjozhka crying. “

Genetic examination in Minsk, meeting with the head of Bobruisk prenatal clinic, repeated ultrasounds and the same decision everywhere – abortion.

“I thought a lot, what drives these doctors to literally force you to have an abortion? For us, this possibility did not exist. I wrote a total of 8 abortion refusals. We were told, “How can you make that choice? Your child is suffering. “

But why do they think abortion, to be torn to pieces, means less suffering than survival? If you don’t see it and it happens somewhere inside, it won’t make it better, it’s not better to kill! “

At week 20, Maria came back to the Bobruisk maternity hospital for an ultrasound examination. The result shattered all hopes for the best – about 10 pathologies were identified: Down’s syndrome, heart disease, kidney and lung problems…
“It simply came to our notice then. It turned out much worse. We were taken by the same woman for the first time, – Masha recalls that day. Tears welled up in my eyes and she said, “So what are you crying about? I told you to have an abortion. But now you are torturing yourself and the child. “

It knocked me completely off my feet, I went to the toilet, sat on the floor and burst into tears. It was hard because the hopes were not justified, the child suffered, but they tell me it’s because of me, because of my decision.

The woman said the following sentence: “If he lives until Tuesday, go to Mogilev for a consultation.” And she added that even if he were born, it would still be an inoperable heart failure and nothing could be done. The child dies anyway.
Roughly speaking, she said I might not go on maternity leave. Then came the most difficult period of our lives, when there was practically no hope, ”says Maria bitterly.

But the child lived on. A council of ten doctors met in Mogilev: geneticists, obstetricians, cardiologists.
“All our pathologies received confirmation, they said they could not perform surgery on the child. They began to put pressure on Sergei, saying, “Do you think it’s normal for your wife to suffer, can’t you make your own decision?”
And only one woman there sincerely asked us why we didn’t want to have an abortion. We made it clear that we consider abortion to be a murder and realize that even if he is born and does not survive, it is not our fault because we have done everything possible. “

“In moments like this, we could sit for more than an hour and hug each other without saying a word, often I just didn’t know what to say,” Sergey recalls. “Our doctors, both Bobruisk and Mogilev, said the worst that could happen to Arthurchik, they did not hesitate to call him a vegetable, a frog, a freak. How to find after such a thing the strength and words of support? Masha cried, and so did I.”

They were angry and offended at God, but then they calmed down and decided to love our son, no matter how he was born or whether he was born at all. For us, he was already a living child, although he had not yet been born.
It was the 23rd week of pregnancy, the baby was very active and moving.

“We often laughed at him with Seryozha. Although there were very difficult periods. Sometimes anxiety strucked us, there were times when I imagined a funeral. Our baby was buried alive throughout thepregnancy, but he continued to live. “

The pastor of the Moscow Church, Yuri Pozhidayev, advised the spouses to give the child a name so that he would remain human for them forever. The young people did just that, they chose the name Artur.

“During the same period, our friends gave us a trip to Egypt by the sea and it was such a healing for us! We were glad that Arturchik was able to visit the sea. And Seryozhka and I saw the sea for the first time,” Masha recalls. “Then we decided that as long as God gives us Arturchik, we will love him as much. Of course we wanted to get to know him, to find out what he would be like, but whatever happens next, we just loved him. “

In week 38, Masha was admitted to the Minsk Mother and Child Center because Bobruisk and Mogilev did not have the appropriate equipment to perform such childbirth and subsequent surgery.

“I was immediately told that they were doing a caesarean section, I bought a special set and was mentally prepared. But in the end, the chief doctor of the department where I was looked at me and said, “Well, why didn’t you have an abortion?”

I stood with a big stomach, I was about to give birth, and to put it mildly, it was unexpected to hear. I said I considered abortion a murder, after which she asked me, “Girl, what is your level of education? Well, I see that secondary school. She just humiliated me.

Within minutes, she reviewed all the reports and said, “We’re not going to cut you because him, he won’t survive anyways.”


It was the hardest moment for me, I’m not saying I was hoping everything would work out, but I didn’t expect it. I had such a great fear that I even closed myself from God. There was only one question: “How long can I stand this? We have already gone through so much. “

It was the most difficult moment in my relationship with God, a turning point in my heart, in my soul, when it seemed to me that it would all kill me. Then I was contacted by psychologist Zoya Lukyanova, she was a person who understood me so much that I did not even imagine that it was possible.

And she said, “Run to God, do not shut up, even if it is heavy and frightening, but you can take refuge in Him from this pain and suffering. He is compassionate and understands you. ” But it seemed to me that God was somewhere far away, looking at how long I can endure.

Arthurchik had a umbilical cord around his neck and an atypical position of the fetus, I saw fear in the eyes of the doctors, but there was peace in my heart. It took about 9 hours from birthpangs to delivery. “

As Maria says, the doctors had a lot of stress, but they worked very well. And so Arthur was born and cried himself.
“Although they said there were no lungs. When I heard him scream, tears rolled down my cheeks. I saw him, even though he wasn’t quite as he should be, I thought: How beautiful! I was so happy to see him, my little hero, ”Masha recalls with a smile.

Arthur was connected to oxygen, the child was in a difficult condition for the first hours, but in the evening he could breathe and eat, contrary to the predictions of all the doctors.

“We just cried with Seryozhka. Many people prayed for us, and we felt the support that we were not alone in all this. ”

Fortunately, many pathologies were not confirmed, the lungs were all right, they opened and the child began to breathe. However, Down’s syndrome, heart disease, and renal pelvic enlargement persisted.

“We walked this path, often fell, desperate, got up and fell again, but in the end we got this gift – getting to know Arturchik. He was born on July 11, 2019.

Of course there are many good doctors, there were sisters who cried with me and felt compassion. But many people looked at us as if we were fools.

Now let’s look around and realize that Arturchik is the coolest child for us. There was a lot hardships with him, but his hugs and how he laughs, we can not imagine what our life would be without him. Through Arturchik, another world of unconditional love opened up to us, where there is no scale.

With such children, there are twice as many difficulties, but also twice or even three times as much joy and victory that you may not have noticed in ordinary life. You will appreciate and be grateful. We would not have changed our lives if we had a choice, ”says Masha.

Three months after the operation, Masha and her child returned home. The normal life of young parents began with sleepless nights and diapers.

But that is not the end of the story. From the time Arthur was born, the idea of ​​having another child with Down syndrome fell into the hearts of young parents.

“After Arturchik was born I learned in the hospital that many mothers refuse children with Down syndrome. At that moment, I looked at my son and thought: who decided that it was not the norm that such a child should not live in a family? He also a small person, I felt so offended for the fate of such children. “

Before the birth, Sergei and Masha were often volunteers in orphanages and thought about adoption several times. But the couple didn’t want to make such an important decision because of the emotions, so a year after the son was born, the couple considered the idea. And as the emotions subsided and the desire was still there, the couple began to arrange custody.

That’s how the Dimka family appeared. The boy was capricious and cried a lot, but even in the most difficult moments, Masha and Sergei never regretted their decision.

“He had many injuries after the orphanage, which are gradually healing, now he is becoming a home boy. Orphanage children usually have an attachment disorder. It will take time to recover. Through affection and love, he gradually melted.

We found our answer in love. Children with Down Syndrome love completely, they feel so highly and subtly your feelings that you can be real with them, they know how to accept it. Of course, they can get angry and go crazy, like all people, but they have no self-interest or hypocrisy.

Looking at them, you value life differently because they are almost 100% happy. And it’s so unusual, you can be completely healthy, there are a lot of people around you who are accepted and loved, everything is given and they are unhappy, ”says Maria. – “But they live in conditions where they are compared, they are not accepted, they are laughed at, they are humiliated and they are happy. And we are happier with them. “

Based on Vecherniy Bobruisk materials

Source and photo:https://inlight.news/2021/04/29/sergey-mariya-radyvonyuk/