Sunday, January 18, 2015

You're normal, you're not alone. I was there, too.

This is a post for all the new moms, all of you who've just found out that your child has Down syndrome. 

It's also a post for me. 

When I first found out that I was pregnant, I was angry.  I don't like surprises and I don't like being pregnant.  I wasn't sure I even wanted a third child.  So an unplanned 3rd pregnancy did not make me happy.  By 18 weeks, I was still sick and still hadn't come around to the idea of baby #3. 

Then I found out he would be born with Down syndrome. 

This is a dark truth, but one very common.  If you feel this way, you're not alone. 

I was so angry and distressed, I lay awake at night and thought it would be best if I would miscarry.  Some babies with Down syndrome unfortunately don't survive to birth and for a short time, I'd hoped that would be the case with me. 

I told God that I didn't even want another baby, so why on earth would he give me one with a disability?

I told you it was a dark truth. 

I'm not proud of the way I felt.  It only lasted a few nights.  After that, something magical happened: I suddenly felt very mama-bearish about this new babe and suddenly I wanted him desperately because he had Down syndrome.  But I digress...

To you, New Mom...if you feel this way, if this ugly thought has entered your mind...forgive yourself.  It's okay.  It's normal.  I think most of us felt that way at least briefly.  The thought will fade and you'll still be a wonderful mother to your newest blessing.  Even if you feel that way for a long time (and some do) it doesn't mean you're a horrible person, even though you're probably feeling that about yourself. 

I guess my best advice is this:  allow yourself to feel how you feel.  Give yourself that grace.  Go through the ugliness, I promise there is healing on the other side.  Down syndrome is not the end of the world, but when you first find out, it feels like it's the end.  It's a lot like the stages of grief.  But the destination is way more the end of this journey you get a baby!  An amazing little child whom you'll love instantly.  A child who will enchant you, make you laugh, and shatter every stereotype you've ever held. 

To me...I forgive you.  I forgive you for the way you felt during those first scary nights.  I see the way you love your son, the way he's your reason for getting up every day.  (Literally.)  I forgive you for the tears you shed because you didn't know any better.  I forgive you for yelling at God.  I forgive you for throwing things.  For smothering sobs in your pillow.  I forgive you for not loving him instantly.  After all, you had no idea that you were having Cade.  If you'd known all along that it would be Cade, you'd never have had a moment's worry, because you'd have known that Cade is incredible.


  1. I love this. Your raw honesty and description of how you came past that point of anger...
    There are always many women on the Babycenter Down syndrome board who are worried about the same feelings and wondering how long the feelings will last. I will be linking to this in future responses, as I think this will be a great comfort to them.