Down syndrome

‘To the dad at the bounce park, thank you for teaching your child to interact with someone ‘different.’: Mom to son with Down syndrome shares stranger’s act of kindness, inclusion that made her ‘heart swell’

“Your boy took off with the ball Cedar was playing with. You didn’t do what every other parent has done: give the ball back to the child who is different, apologize, and go. This felt genuine, special. You sat down next to Cedar and taught your son to roll the ball back and forth. You saw my little boy loved this so much. Yours was unsure, but you kept showing him how happy mine was. Cedar giggled and clapped. You did, too. I watched in amazement.”

‘I have to tell you something. I’m so sorry.’ I burst into tears. I hated others being sad about our baby.’: Parents shocked by Down syndrome diagnosis after signing paperwork to not do genetic testing, ‘We are keeping the baby’

“This embryo was a fighter from the beginning – it took. Then I got a life changing phone call. ‘Your baby has Down syndrome,’ the nurse informed me. WHAT? We signed paperwork saying we DIDN’T want any blood tests. The nurse, in an effort to ‘bond’ with me, told me how she got pregnant naturally with twins. One of the twins died, and the other twin had Down syndrome, so she terminated. ‘We would have taken that baby,’ my husband replied.”

‘He had curly blond hair, a perfect nose, pouty lips. They told me he was beautiful. I didn’t get to see.’: Mother survives ‘worst trauma’ after losing newborn son, insists daughter will grow up knowing big brother is ‘watching over her’

“I made the decision not to see and hold Jensen. It’s one of my biggest regrets I’ll ever have in my life. Honestly, I didn’t know how I could do it. I didn’t realize the permanence of him being really gone. Instead, I asked for a lock of his hair, and for them to take pictures of him. I wish I could go back to that moment, spend time kissing him. I wish I could’ve whispered in his ear, ‘I love you.’”

‘THERE’S A HEARTBEAT!’ she screamed. Next, we found ‘the bump.’ All I could feel was shock.’: Baby survives twice despite all odds, ‘he was worth every step of the way’

“My doctor saw blood and wouldn’t even attempt to check if my baby was alive. ‘WHAT?! You’re not doing an ultrasound? Blood work? Doppler?’ He shook his head no. ‘There is no use. You’re losing your baby.’ He dismissed us without emotion and left. The next day, we went to the OB to confirm the miscarriage. WHOMP WHOMP WHOMP. The nurse burst in, full-on sobbing. We were urged to terminate the pregnancy.”

‘Where did you get these?’ I knew. ‘Ren’s nursery.’ He didn’t realize how serious I was. ‘Put them back.’: Wife unexpectedly triggered by husband’s attempt at act of kindness, ‘It was all downhill from there’

“We ran out of toilet paper and Tommy was supposed to go to the store. Irritated, I asked him to get me something to use. Maybe a paper towel? He finally walks in holding a pack of wipes. They were a very specific kind, Huggies all-natural wipes. I started tearing up. ‘Put them back, please.’ He laughed and insisted I used them. He didn’t realize how serious I was until I started bawling. Something in his room was now out of place.”

‘I’m sorry buddy,’ I heard him whisper. He laid him down. Just like that, Ren was gone.’: Couple’s emotional final moments with newborn son, ‘We feel your peace, you’ll always be our baby boy’

“We got a knock on the door. ‘I’m sorry for your loss, I’m here to take Ren.’ I couldn’t get myself to physically lay Ren in the box. I turned to my husband and asked if he was okay to do it. I saw his heart rip in two. Tears streamed down his face. We tried to take in every detail, remember his newborn smell. We gently took off the cap they gave him. He had tiny little blonde curls.”

‘He was so nervous. From the darkness of the hallway comes a little curly haired boy, weary of all these people.’: Couple adopts twin survivors of shaken baby syndrome, loses son just 2 years shy of being in his ‘forever home’

“We heard about twin boys with Shaken Baby Syndrome. It was a super stormy morning, we ended up having to pull off the interstate. I was dying to get to them. Everyone held back tears as long as we could. Malakai was scared. He had no idea who we were. He’d hardly look at my husband. He passed away less than 6 hours after saying goodbye to his siblings. I still would have driven to a teeny tiny town in the pouring rain to pick he and his twin up to bring them to their forever home.”

‘I’m single, and I haven’t had sex with anyone, but I’m pregnant.’ After the shock, they were happy.’: Single-by-choice mom births son with Down syndrome, ‘I thought I chose Matthew, but he chose me’

“‘You can be a Mom. You don’t need a husband.’ I couldn’t ignore how her words resonated with the deepest part of my heart. ‘Can I really do this?’ I asked the nurse, ‘is everything okay?’ She shook her head and said, ‘no.’ I was disoriented. ‘What are you saying?’ This pulled a strength out of me I never knew I had.”

‘All babies born premature are floppy, aren’t they? We never noticed looking at our beautiful baby boy.’: After first child is ‘born sleeping,’ mom has son with Down syndrome, he’s the ‘life of the party’

“We were at a party. A little boy came up to me. ‘Why isn’t Riley talking to me? I’m asking him questions and he won’t answer me.’ Our son has Down syndrome. After learning Riley will be going to mainstream school, one parent asked, ‘How will he be able to get along with other children?’ It was like BANG. He is his own character, the same as every child.”

‘My daughter Penny is not a ‘mistake.’ She is perfection.’: Down syndrome mom explains the difference between ‘inclusion’ and helping special needs individuals ‘belong’

“People often feel awkward asking questions about my daughter. Penny gets sidelined from activities and events because they don’t know how to welcome her. The message of inclusion is, ‘We want you here with us.’ But belonging emerges from a deep desire to not just include the ‘other,’ but to love and be loved.”

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