Congratulations on the safe arrival of your beautiful baby. You are about to embark on an amazing adventure. Please try not to worry or be scared. Your child is just a baby, and a huge blessing! They are beautiful and they are loved.
At the start it can be so difficult to digest anything in full. It’s normal to be completely overwhelmed, at times, with everything – the emotions, the worries, and the seemingly endless number of appointments!
It’s ok to feel what you’re feeling – everything. Give yourself the grace to grieve the loss of your typical child dreams (if you need to).
Having a child with Down Syndrome probably isn’t what you were wanting, but most of us find, in time, that our unexpected gifts actually turn out to better than what we actually thought we’d get. It takes time to reach that point, so be kind to yourself… What you are feeling is totally normal. It won’t last forever.
You have been given a gift that will teach you more about yourself, about love and about the world around you. Never feel you’re not good enough to do this! You are so much stronger than you think and your beautiful child will teach you more than you could possibly imagine.
Get to know your little one! Love them, feed them, cuddle them, sing to them… they are just a baby.
The journey will be a bit different to what you were expecting but it is such an incredible one. Take it a day at a time, and try not to think too far ahead.
You didn’t plan to be taking this scenic route, but it isn’t a bad thing! Cherish every moment and enjoy every milestone. Time really does fly! Your little one will show you what life is truly about. All you need is to love your amazing little baby and they will teach you great things! They will make you so, so proud every single day.
It will be ok.
Your baby will bring family closer together and find you friends you will treasure. You will laugh more, love more, be more. There will be highs and lows, and although the lows may be very low, the highs are also so, so high. Your other children will be ok. They will be an advocate for your new baby, just as much as you will be. They will love their sibling fiercely. Your new baby will make them better, more compassionate humans.
Don’t lessen your expectations. Never underestimate what your child can do! They may need a little more time, patience, humour, practise, encouragement and belief. But you’ll give it all freely because they are your child and you’ll love them for being just that. Soon, you see beyond their diagnosis of Down syndrome and just see your special little child. Don’t compare and don’t rush! They will learn in their own time.
Lastly, remember to take 5 minutes for yourself. Reach out to those around you, and to us. You are not alone. There is support out there – so many people who have been through it. There is always someone to talk to! You may not realise it straight away but you’ve become part of a special community full of love, support and laughter. So, welcome to the club!
love from NDSSG