Being told your newborn baby has Down syndrome can be frightening and isolating.
We didn’t have any clue that Oliver had Down syndrome until about 3 hours after he was born. We were given a bunch of scary statistics and potential issues that he could face. We felt as if the doctor sat in our room and dehumanized this precious little boy in front of us.
We were sent home from the hospital with no information to read, no resources, we were alone. We didn’t know where to go or who to talk to. We truly felt ashamed and on our own island, it was a very dark time. In one of my many crying nights, I happened to just search Down Syndrome Support Group on Facebook, and up popped DSDN.
I sent one of the co-founders a message and asked to join. She responded right back to me and talked to me for a long time. I cried and she told me it was OK. She was the first person who knew Oliver had Down syndrome and instead of saying I’m sorry she said CONGRATULATIONS!!!!
That simple phrase and just her willingness to talk to me and lift me up made all the difference. I began to move past the grief and look for positive stories about those with Ds. I began to search for local groups and moms to begin to build my new community.
I began talking on the boards and reaching out to other moms. DSDN has become my family. I just think how different many parents lives would be if they knew about this resource. On a more local level I’d love to help spread the word so that other families won’t have to search for support. I want to make sure these Mom’s and Dad’s hear CONGRATULATIONS instead of I’m sorry. Like they say- Down syndrome was an unexpected journey, but I sure do love my tour guide!
DSDN has over 80 local partnerships where we provide our materials and resources to organizations across the country. Did you know you or your local organization can request DSDN brochures and leaflets? DSDN is happy to send you or your local org our materials to distribute to your local OB-GYN, Pediatrician, DDD provider or Therapist’s Office. Request information here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1dtr_mPOXSMEi9p1dNZGQ_-dvGqADkS_ABgU21XEzTXM/viewform?edit_requested=true