Those with down syndrome have 3 copies of the 21st chromosome, which is why we celebrate World Down Syndrome Day on 3/21. A little over three years ago on the 21st of October I gave birth to a baby girl. I had experienced a healthy pregnancy and we had not received a prenatal diagnosis. However, the moment I saw my baby girl, I knew.. she was born with Down syndrome. I went numb. I was sad and I was scared. I think a part of me will always feel guilty that I didn’t experience joy when I saw her. But I didn’t know. I didn’t know what our lives would look like. I didn’t know what her future would look like. I didn’t know her. I would like to share a few things that I wish I had known that day when they passed me my sweet baby girl.
You have a… baby.
She may happen to have Down syndrome. But she is a baby. A beautiful perfect newborn baby. She has soft skin, she smells fantastic, she will sleep a lot… you know, just like any. other. baby. I remember the moment my husband and I decided to let go of our fears and simply enjoy our baby girl. Thankfully it was just a couple days after she was born. Don’t get me wrong, there were still tears. There was still uncertainty, but we didn’t let the fear overcome the joy. We talked about how we would have the rest of our lives to figure the future out. For now we were going to soak up these beautiful days with our baby girl. And it was beautiful.
She is yours.
Well meaning people will share things to try to be helpful. For us, this was sometimes more upsetting than helpful. Please remember, their story is not your story. Their child is not your child. Down syndrome or not, every child is different and God has blessed you with a child meant just for you.
You are blessed.
Lots of people will tell you this. You may want to punch them in the face and perhaps rightfully so, because most likely they have no clue what they’re talking about.. 😉 But I know, so I will tell you. You are blessed. In a way that you can’t understand, you won’t understand, for months ..or maybe years. But someday you will get it. You will wish you could go back to the moment you found out your little one has Down syndrome. You would tell yourself that everything will be ok. More than ok. Oh, the heartache and tears I could have saved myself if I somehow could’ve grasped this in the beginning. Your life will be better because of this little person. This little person will fill your heart with pride and unspeakable joy. She will fill your house with laughter and fun, just like you always dreamed your child would.