Why I Love Down Syndrome

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“Last week I had someone ask me ‘if this baby would have Downs.’ While that question and its bluntness stung, I really couldn’t blame them for asking. I know out of human nature it’s something that everyone has wondered.

Heck, we have wondered. Not only have we wondered, we have worried.

You see it’s not the Down syndrome that scares us. We would take all of our children enhanced with extra chromosomes. The extra cuddly, melt into your arms kind of babies. The ones with almond eyes that steal your heart with one soul searching look.

We love Down syndrome.

It is safe to say we rock at Down syndrome, or at least Amelia does, and we’re lucky enough to claim her and all of her awesomeness. Our worry has nothing to do with chromosomes and everything to do with the fear and helplessness we felt when we unwillingly claimed the title of special needs parents.

We were clueless. Today we are anything but clueless. We are educated. Not just about Down syndrome but on a very large chunk of the special needs community and that can be scary. Being in the dark sure made for easier pregnancies. But when your chances of having a child with Down syndrome are 1 in 1,200 and your daughter is that one, there is no denying her purpose.

I made plans for this fourth baby long ago. Just minutes after Amelia was born. When fear of ‘different’ rocked our world. The baby I ‘planned’ on would be so different I told myself. He or she would be perfect.

Looking back to that type of thinking makes me laugh. Do we ever get the baby we planned on? Do we even have a say? Of course not. I can only thank God that I am not the one who gets to decide where the best version of myself lies.

I am so thankful it is not up to me to make the call on what I can handle or when my hands are too full. If it had been up to me the old me, the scared of the unknown me- would have missed this opportunity.

We all need that beautiful reminder that the best version of ourselves and our greatest gifts, lie on the outside of our comfort zone. We need the opportunity and the push to discover what that is. I can proudly say this is mine.

The very best version of myself was always waiting for me on the other side of motherhood. Brooklynn’s Mom, Gable’s Mom, Amelia’s Mom… she keeps getting better. With every triumph and trial, she gets stronger.

I don’t know who God has chosen to make me a Momma for the fourth time. All I know for sure is that I am so thankful he did.

Extra chromosomes or not I hope he makes my heart skip a beat the way she does. I hope he loves me the way she does. I hope I appreciate the first time he says momma the way I did when she said it. I hope whether it be through the eyes of Amelia or his own. I hope that he sees the world the way she does.

The way we all do because of her, perfectly imperfect.”

Little girl with down syndrome smiling next to table in home
Courtesy of Megan Fortman

This story was submitted by Megan Fortman. Subscribe to our free email newsletter, Living Better—your ultimate guide for actionable insights, evidence backed advice, and captivating personal stories, propelling you forward to living a more fulfilling life.

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