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Babies Who Taught Us So Much

We work closely with the Down’s Syndrome community and are proud of how positive a message we’re getting in the media. We are determined to change attitudes to special needs families and with the help of gorgeous kids like these, it’s easy. Here Hayley, Anita and Rachel share their celebratory stories…

In celebration of World Down’s Syndrome Day, these mums share their stories…

 

Rachel, 42, mum to Rosie, 16 months. “I was scared she’d change my life, now I’m glad she has!”

I could tell as soon as I looked at Rosie that she had Down’s Syndrome. I couldn’t help but fast forward twenty years and feel terrified of what the future held.
The euphoria at giving birth was replaced by fear and I wish I’d know then I had nothing to fear.
My midwife said to me: Get the balloons out, celebrate, enjoy your baby. It was the best advice I could have had.
As the days went by, Rosie showed me who she was. Playful, a twinkle in her eye. She’s a flirt, all the boys love her.
Our elder kids, Callum, 14, and Aleri, 12, adore her too. She can say one word: dada. Much to my husband’s delight!
People stereotype children with Down’s Syndrome, presume they’re always happy and love to hug. Rosie knows her own mind, she can be grumpy and doesn’t like to share, just like any toddler.
I’ve learned it’s okay to cry. Get it out of your system, then enjoy your baby. I am proud to be Rosie’s mum. Far from ruining my life, she’s improved it.
Hayley, 26, mum to Hollie, six. “Hollie’s had cancer too – but she’s too busy fundraising to complain.”
Hollie was diagnosed with Down’s Syndrome at ten days old.
The first thing I did was Google it – and I wish I hadn’t. Worst case scenarios that she’d never walk or talk filled my mind.
‘She slipped through the net, we should have picked it up during your pregnancy,’ the doctor said. ‘If you get pregnant again, we’ll give you an amniocentesis and offer termination.’
That just made me protective. I was determined to show the doctor my baby mattered.
Before her second birthday, she was also diagnosed with cancer and had six months of chemo. The last strand of her hair got caught in my bracelet and I cried for hours.
Hollie is in mainstream school now and is a chatterbox – which is why she loves fundraising so much. She’s raised £1000 so far.
Her ‘warrior pose’ beat off 1000 other entrants to a competition to be the poster girl for a Race for Life campaign. Her pose was copied by thousands of people at Race for Life events as she was on posters everywhere.
She’s also cutting all her hair off for charity and together we visit other mums to be with a prenatal diagnosis to assure them that children with Down’s Syndrome are a blessing.
Anita, 44, mum to Magdelana, eight and Agi, 11. “Magdelana is lucky to have Agi as a sister, but Agi is lucky to have Magdelana too.”
Our midwife took one look at Magdelana, burst into tears and said Down’s Syndrome was every mother’s worst nightmare.
I thought Magdelana was beautiful. I didn’t see what all the fuss was about!
Not one nurse in those early months of Magdelana’s life ever called her beautiful. They never asked to hold her or coo at her. She was a medical condition, nothing more.
I wanted to help midwives see that there is a person there too, so I set up a DS support group and give talks to midwives about what language to use to support parents better.
Magdelana has taught us all compassion, patience and kindness. But she’s touched Agi’s heart the most.
Agi has decided to make a documentary about Magdelana once a year for the rest of their lives. She films it all herself, edits it and has her own You Tube channel, where she gets 1000s of hits and comments from people all over the world.
It’s amazing to watch Magdelana grow in the films each year. Agi says Magdelana is her little sister and her best friend.
Agi says it best – Magdelana is her little sister, who happens to have Down’s Syndrome.
She’s taught me to look at the world differently, and while her friends are drawn to her vulnerability, I love her for her strength.