I know you just got that awful phone call. The one that told you the news you didn’t want to hear. Your sweet, unborn baby, the baby you’ve dreamed of your whole life, has Down syndrome. You don’t even know if it’s a boy or a girl, but you know there’s an extra chromosome that just changed everything.
It’s not fair. That’s what you’re thinking. What did you ever do to deserve this? That’s what you’re asking God right now. You’re devastated. You’re scared. You’re ANGRY. You’re worried you CAN’T do this. You’re feverishly googling what this means and you can’t say the words “My baby has Down syndrome” without bursting into tears.
You feel like you’ll be consumed by it all. You’re drowning and no one can save you. Your life is never going to be the same and you’re crying all the time. You’ll cry in a job interview next week. You’ll cry through your Niece’s dance recital next month. You’ll cry for all the hopes and dreams you think just died. You’ll cry when you wake up in the morning. You’ll cry yourself to sleep at night. You’ll cry at a million random times in the hours in between.
For you, sweet Mama, I have only two words…just wait. Please, please just wait.
Just wait until you meet her. She’s going to come into the world, with her little broken heart, and steal yours forever. She’ll hear your voice for the first time, reach her tiny hand for you, and wrap your soul with hers.
You will still cry. A lot. You’ll cry when she says “mama” for the first time and your heart nearly explodes. You’ll cry when she starts walking on her own because she worked SO HARD and never gave up. You’ll cry when a teacher or a friend says “Thank you SO MUCH for sharing her with us!” Sometimes, you’ll just look at her and cry because your love for her is overwhelming.
Just wait, mama. Just wait until you realize that all the hopes and dreams you once had for your child still live in that sassy, feisty, fierce little girl. On the hardest of days, you’ll see that you CAN do it. You ARE doing it and you’ll know that you’ll keep doing it until you take your last breath. It’s not always going to be easy, but it will ALWAYS be worth it for her. Always.
You’ll still ask “What did I do to deserve this?” What did you do to be gifted the most beautiful little girl who lights up the universe with her smile? What did you do to get this strong, determined, smart, courageous little soul to choose you as her mother? What did you do to have this much love, joy, and laughter in your life? Whatever you did, you’d do it a million, trillion times over again.
So take a deep breath, grab that milkshake you’re craving, and know that it’s all going to be just fine. Enjoy these next few months with her all to yourself. You’ll have to share her with the world soon. She’ll have her own little fan club who can’t get enough. She’ll be her own kind of wonderful and it really will not be fair just how cool she is! Just you wait and see!
Love, Mama Fierce (aka YOU!)
Bio: Shana is a full time working mama, trying to have it all while not losing her marbles. Her hobbies include running late, "ironing" her clothes in the dryer, and reheating coffee. She has a 3-year-old daughter named Zoey, who loves Elmo, music, carbs...and also rocks an extra chromosome.
This letter is part of DSDN's October Down Syndrome Awareness Month campaign. We asked our members to write a letter to themselves during the time they received the diagnosis. Do you know a parent with a child under the age of 4 who needs connections and support? Let DSDN help and get started here.