By Bianca Klingner-Walsh
Dear new mama with an expectant or confirmed diagnosis of Down syndrome for her baby, I see you.
I see you feel as though you’ve hit a wall when your doctor delivers the news. I see your heart sink and you wonder, why me?
I see you sit and overthink, you research for hours on end.
I see you worry. I see you cry, and grieve, for the baby you thought you had.
I see your guilt for feeling the way that you feel.
I see you rub your belly, so in love yet also distant, so scared. I see you watch and look at others with Down syndrome, worried for what the future will hold for your child. I see you smile when you feel those first kicks and rolls but you wonder ‘will my baby crawl? Walk? Talk?.
I see you feeling lost like you are taking one step forwards and two steps back. I see you hold it all together, I see bravery, love, kindness, and hope.
I see a fierce woman, one that would protect her baby with all of her being. I see you becoming the most wonderful, selfless mother you will be.
Let me tell you, your baby is no different. Your perception of who you thought your baby would be is what is holding you back.
And guess what, that is OK!!
You can feel angry, hurt, sad, happy, guilty, and confused. Because I have felt those things too. I have ridden this roller coaster – it feels like it will never end and I see you riding it too. But soon it will stop, you will get off and you will begin a new ride, you will start a new journey.
And it will be AMAZING.
It will be more than you imagined, better than you hoped! You will meet your baby for the first time and sigh with relief. “Why did I worry?” you will think. You’ll feel love and passion. You will stare and take in the new life you have created and be so completely blown away at how something as simple yet so very complicated as an extra chromosome can melt you into a complete pool of utter admiration.
I see you skip ahead in time and focus on the “Will he? Can she?”
Take a deep breath, look down at those almond-shaped eyes and cute button nose, be in the moment… this very moment, focus on what is here and now. This time is precious.
I still worry, and I see you do too, but please listen close – you will never doubt your child’s ability and they will teach you more than you know.
They will show you strength and courage. Resilience and pure joy. You will be proud to call them yours.
This road is bumpy but it is smooth too and your journey will be the trip of a lifetime. Stay strong, keeping holding on and pushing forward.
You will give your all because you are brave and bold.
You’ve got this mama and I see you.
I’m Bianca and I’m a 24 year old first time mum to a little boy named Oliver who happens to have Down syndrome. Since Oliver’s diagnosis when I was pregnant, I have been riding the roller coaster of life with a child with additional needs. Oliver is the light of my life and I’m so grateful to be his mum. You can follow our journey on Instagram or read more on my blog – Oliver and Bee – Living Life With An Extra-Ordinary Chromosome