When I was pregnant with Gigi I told some people that the baby I was expecting has Down syndrome, but I didn’t tell everyone. I wasn’t keeping a secret, and I wasn’t embarrassed or ashamed, I just didn’t feel like dealing with the negativity because most of the time the response would be, “Oh no”, or “I don’t know what to say”, or in most cases, “I’m sorry”. Then I would have to say “No, no, no! We’re not sorry. We’re totally fine!” We were, but I just didn’t have the energy to explain this again and again. And the negativity sucked what little energy I had right out of me.
I know people meant well and I have to say that I could relate. When I first found out that the baby had Down syndrome I was 11 weeks pregnant and I was shocked, confused and upset because I knew nothing about Down syndrome. I came to learn that many people didn’t know much about it, which explains the negative response.
After I did my research and talked with other experienced parents I learned that Down syndrome isn’t anything to be sorry about. It’s not a curse. Yes, some issues come with Down syndrome such as cognitive impairment, developmental delays and medical issues, but it depends on the individual and Down syndrome is different for everyone. I’m seeing a little bit of the delay now. Gigi is almost a year and not rolling or crawling yet, however some typical children, like my first, crawl late. And on the plus side, I have a baby for a little longer. Gigi isn’t suffering. She is thriving. I’m not sorry.
So if you ever happen to be lucky enough to run into a person who is expecting a baby with Down syndrome or has a new baby with Down syndrome you can do an amazing, impactful thing by not saying “I’m sorry” but instead by saying “Congratulations” because chances are, they haven’t heard it enough.
October is Down syndrome awareness month. This month I am participating in a blog challenge for Down syndrome awareness. Click the link below to see a list of more blogs posting for Down syndrome awareness during the month of October…