As societies are slowly but surely changing concerning the way they see and treat those who are a bit different, the question of whether Down Syndrome is still a social stigma rises. According to new parents of children with Down Syndrome, things do look brighter regarding the full acceptance of these young individuals as valuable members of the community.
Sadly, there are still those moms and dads who are said “I am sorry” by random people when they hear of their special kids. But why should they be sorry? Children with Down Syndrome are likely to enjoy all the benefits other people do.
The stares are still present, but as time goes by we witness greater inclusion and acceptance for people with Down’s, and that’s something that let’s a few rays of hope shine through the life’s dark clouds and assures us that things can be done the right way.
Jessica Egan and her husband were over the moon with the news of becoming parents. However, 11 weeks into the pregnancy, doctors informed them the girl had Down Syndrome.
“When we decided to have a baby, of course, we hoped that it would happen right away,” Jessica said.
“When it didn’t, we found that it was easier to bear because there are so many resources available for people who are struggling to get pregnant. I joined a local infertility support group and made a lot of great friendships with other ladies going through the same thing. When our first round of IVF failed it was disappointing, but we decided not to get discouraged and to keep trying. It was from our second attempt at IVF that our daughter was born.”
“We found out when I was 11 weeks pregnant that our unborn baby had been diagnosed with Down syndrome. At first, we were devastated but it was because we didn’t have any experience with Down syndrome and it was something we were not expecting at all. We grieved very deeply for about three days and then my husband and I decided that we wanted to educate ourselves so that we could be happy and look forward to the birth of our baby.”
What they needed to do was learn about this condition as much as possible so they could prepare for becoming the most supportive parents to the sweet little lady they were about to welcome in their life.
Jessica explained: “Education was the biggest factor in changing our feelings about Down syndrome. We realized that we simply didn’t understand this diagnosis because we didn’t know anyone with Down syndrome. It is natural to fear things that we don’t know or understand, so we reached out to people in our community that had children with Down syndrome and we made some great connections.”
“We began to see that this truly was nothing to be afraid of and that instead, we were lucky for being chosen to have such a special and unique daughter.”
Two months after the loveliest bundle of joy came to this world, Jessica felt like she should share her happiness and her feelings with her family and friends. Her Facebook post, however, took the Internet by storm and was seen by a great number of people.
“When I placed my order I said, ‘Regular amount of chromosomes, please!’ That’s what everyone else got and what I wanted too. They called me shortly after my order was in production and said ‘Great news, we went ahead and upgraded you to extra chromosomes for free! You’ll receive the extra chromosomes with your completed order in 9 months.’ What?! I was mad!
“All the other orders I had seen displayed via perfect Instagram posts did NOT have extra chromosomes. Well, I decided that receiving my order with extra chromosomes was better than not receiving an order at all, so I settled in to wait for this surprise upgrade to arrive. I have now had my order for two months and am writing this review to let others know the upgrade to extra chromosomes is amazing!! If offered, definitely take it! I posted some photos below of the finished product and you can see the extra chromosome is so worth it – it is extra cute, extra special, and extra-ordinary! So much extra joy. Would purchase again for sure.”
Everyone was praising these new parents for their vibrant spirit and how they accepted that extra chromosome as a gift, because not everyone gets to receive it.
“The feedback has been so full of positivity, love, and acceptance that it is overwhelming. I have heard from multiple people who also recently have had a baby with Down Syndrome but are still coming to terms with it and have been in a very dark place. Hearing that my post touched them so completely and helped heal them is humbling, and truly something I will honor for the rest of my life.”
She continued: “When you receive a diagnosis of Down syndrome it is scary simply because it is not what you expected. It is important to let yourself grieve and then realize that this is not bad, it is just different. But all children are different, and there are no guarantees that any child you have won’t suffer from some sort of illness or differences.”
“Children with Down syndrome are more like other children than they are different, and it is important not to spend too much time grieving because in the end, you will be so in love with your child!”
I hope this mom’s post will make more people open-minded when it comes to even greater Down Syndrome acceptance. We should all know how they are all unique individuals with their own features, their own likes and dislikes, strengths and weaknesses. Down Syndrome is just a small part of their individuality.