Thursday, October 11, 2012

October


October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month and it is also Right To Life Month.

Jim and Alex came home from Mass today and Jim told me that the priest spoke about Right To Life month.  He spoke about a little girl born with Trisomy 18 and how she has beaten the odds.  She is now 4 years old.  Most babies with that do not live very long and most parents are advised to terminate a pregnancy if it is found out in utero.  I am sure the doctors would say something like “Why would you put yourself and your family through that only to have the baby die shortly after birth, it would be best to take care of this now”. 

I have heard story after story of families that have learned their unborn baby has Down syndrome and be told “It couldn’t be any worse news” or “this baby will be a burden to you and your family” or “they will never learn how to ride a bike or walk” or “you won’t ever go on vacation again”.   When Alex walked in the door this morning after Mass, the thought ran through my mind—“how could anyone look at him and think that he should not have been born?” 

Because that is the reality of it------this child that I carried for nine months, gave birth to, nursed, feed, clothed and cared for the last 16 years--- some other mom may not have wanted.  I was never given a choice because I didn’t know before he was born, but I wouldn’t have done anything differently.  I still would have had him, loved him and fought for him even if I knew before he was born.  Sure—I would have been scared, just like I was when he was born, but I still would have loved him. 

When I look at Alex, I don’t even see Down syndrome.  It is not who he is.  It is just a part of him.  So, when Jim and Alex told me that they were talking about Down syndrome in church today, it kind of took me aback…I had to think a second and realize that it was about him. 



Alex's Justin Bieber look
I know that just by Alex being here has made many, many people change their minds about Down syndrome and what a person with it can be.  My daughter Kristen, just told me a story of one of her friends saying that if he hadn’t known Alex from the pool, he would have been scared if he had found out that a future baby had Down syndrome.  Now that he knows Alex, he wouldn’t think that way.  Alex has changed a lot of people’s minds about Down syndrome and what it is like to have it.  This makes me happy.  I know that it certainly has had an impact on Kristen’s life…in a good way.  Here is a video that she made about a new blood test that is being marketed to prenatal moms.  It is an earlier way to tell if your baby you are carrying has Down syndrome.  Here is what she wanted people to know about it:



video




6 comments:

  1. Laurie, I'm so glad that you're sharing your story and I will follow each and every writing. You are such an amazing woman and a wonderful mother. I'm sure your stories will inspire and encourage others.

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    1. Thank you so much Karen! I just want parents to know that the future isn't so scary.

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  2. I've come over from Ben's Blessings. I look forward to reading about your family. I'm glad to see another blog about adults with Down Syndrome!

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  3. Stopping in from facebook to say hello. I also have a teen w/Ds. Reagan is almost 18 y.o. and the light and delight in my life.

    Nice to "meet" you!

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