The moment we were told, everything went black. I couldn’t breathe; I began to cry and kept asking “how?” I looked to my husband for an answer, he was crying too. Again I asked the doctor, “how?” “Sadie has an extra chromosome...” the rest sounded like white noise. “No, I mean how does she have Down syndrome?” I explained that I had several tests while pregnant. I was over 35. It was nerve racking. Each time results came back as typical, the doctor made me feel like I won something. Never once did I hear anything positive about having a child with Down syndrome. I was frightened to my core to hear this news. I had such a terrible picture painted. This doctor seemed beyond sad to tell us. My husband just kept rubbing my hand and asked a few more questions. We both sat numb for some time.
Finally he whispered, “Sadie is still perfect. This changes nothing. We are blessed to have a baby.” I heard, but I couldn’t hear. I needed to see her. We walked down the hallway holding hands. It was the longest walk of my life. I remember mulling my husband’s words over. “Sadie is still perfect. This changes nothing…” I thought of our kids, family, friends, all that came when she was born. She was perfect! All said so! We had known her for quite some time now and she is precious. With each thought I could feel myself starting to calm down. I looked up at my husband. I love him so. His words made me love him more. Sadie is ours. At her room, I rushed over. She was sleeping. Just as perfect as before we were told. “Does it change anything?” I thought.
I immediately switched gears to my educator side and asked questions. “Is she healthy?” “Well, yes. Her heart has no immediate defects that we can see.” The doctor finished saying she had passed the health concerns typical in Down syndrome. “Will she be able to sit up, crawl, walk, talk?” “Yes, at her own pace.” “Will she be able to go to school, be in activities with her siblings, enjoy all?” “Yes, according to her needs, we encourage it.” With each question answered, I could feel myself coming back to Earth. I could see my husband relax. I started thinking. ”So what’s the problem here?” “Why did the doctors make it seem so terrible?”
It’s three months later and Sadie is the love of everyone’s life. She smiles, coos and kicks about! No matter where we are, people comment how beautiful she is. Sadie’s pretty slick already, because I swear she coos on cue when she hears anyone commenting! For all of these reasons and more, I know that Sadie is a gift that will redefine Down syndrome. For us she is our light. All the doctors out there have it wrong... Down syndrome is just as perfect - it changes nothing.