“Everything was going well; we weren’t really worried about hospital visits after already having our daughter. The big check-up was at week 21. As the sonographer was doing the scan she asked if I was feeling much movement from the baby? The first time she asked I just said ‘yes, he’s active!’ but the second time she asked the same question, alarms started to ring in my head. She spent a lot of time going over things and then she said she could see a hole in the baby’s heart and there was also the possibility that the baby had Down Syndrome. After the initial shock, I started to think about living with a child with a disability, worried if I would be able to love him, and about how it would affect our daughter’s life. These are some of the most horrible feelings a mother can experience for their unborn child. But after the immediate upset and crying phase, I started to look for information. I am a planner so I wanted to find out as much as possible. I only knew one mom who had a child with Down Syndrome. I didn’t know her well but she was approachable so I got in touch. She gave me a link to a Facebook group for parents of children with Down Syndrome up to adulthood. It was all relevant for me and provided a huge amount of information. Seeing the photos of the happy parents and babies on these pages made me feel, okay, we will able to do this! I knew of Down Syndrome Ireland already as a charity but through Facebook, I was put in touch with my local branch which organises meet-ups, therapies and all sorts of programmes. The friends I’ve made through these pages are definitely friends for life and their children are also friends of my children – our son’s arrival has enriched our lives in so many ways we never thought possible and the overwhelming feeling of love replaced so many of the fears we’d had. While there are still some worries for the future, things seem so much brighter now than after our diagnosis.”
This post was highlighted by Down Syndrome Ireland.