There is a very thought provoking post over at Down Syndrome Pregnancy Today! The post asks the question "Experienced parents, if you could travel back in time and meet yourself on that day, what would you say? What would your past self need to hear about your child, your life, your family?"
Please take a moment to post your answer on the thread - the deep well of information at Down Syndrome Pregnancy is so helpful to mom's who find out they are having children with Down syndrome - not just today but for year's to come!
Here is what I would tell me:
I’d have to have a good talking to myself to set things straight!!
You worry she will be a burden.
You are wrong - she is going to be funny, silly, and a joy.
You think this will be difficult for the other two kids.
You are wrong - they will be better, more compassionate people because of her. She will be their sister – they will fight and make-up just like the other girls. She also unify them – they both have a favorite sister, and she is their favorite.
You think you might not be able to handle this, that mom's of kids with Down syndrome are 'special' themselves somehow in a way you aren't.
You are wrong - you have what you need, and those moms aren't super moms either.
You think you might have to quit your job and totally change your life.
You are wrong – your life will be pretty much the same – busier, and harder that first year, but you’ll adjust just fine to your new normal.
You think maybe it would be better if you miscarried her - then you think you are a terrible mother for thinking that.
You are wrong. That would not be better. And you aren’t a terrible mother, just ignorant and really, really, really afraid. Forgive yourself and move on..
You think you are all alone.
You are wrong – you will have more friends and more Down syndrome family than you ever imagined. And they will be amazing!
You think having a child with intellectually disability will be terribly hard for you to adjust to, and that seeing her struggle will make you sad.
You are wrong – you will learn that the value and worth a child is much richer and deeper than that, and that that sometimes what is being measured isn’t the most important thing. She will inspire you with her strength.
You think that she will never enjoy a book or basic literacy, and you feel sorry for her.
You are wrong. She will know her letters, colors and shapes when she is three. Then you will know she will read someday.
You think she will never be able to communicate with you.
You are wrong – she will learn sign language, with your assistance and she will learn to talk.
You think you will never stop crying.
You are wrong – every tear you shed will be rewarded with 30 laughs that she inspires – on purpose - within the first 2 years.
You think having a child with Down syndrome will ruin your marriage.
You are wrong – you married him for a reason – he will not miss a step in loving her, and he will never see any meaningful differences in her.
You think being the 1 in the 1 in 16 odds would be the unlucky thing to happen.
You are wrong - you are lucky.