The following is a post I wrote on the Down Syndrome Pregnancy board at babycenter.com.
We did not have a prenatal diagnosis of Ds, although we did have some markers. Still, when Eon was diagnosed (before I even had a chance to hold him...grrrrr), it was a shock. A wave of emotion and fear hit me, the likes of which I'd never experienced before. Most of that fear and sadness abated as soon as I held him, but some of it clings still.
It's different, now. The fear is related to all the things that can still go wrong with him medically, the threat of anything that might take him from me. The sadness is related to the fact that I was ever afraid or sad to have a child with this diagnosis. I regret my sadness and fear. Is that even possible? To regret an emotion that you cannot control?
This child and his life are nothing to be sad about or afraid of! He is wonderful and perfect. He is his own little person and he is an amazing blessing to our whole family. His life is "normal", except he gets more attention than his siblings did - partly due to therapies and appointments, but mostly due to five siblings who refuse to leave him alone. :)
Two days after his birth, DH bought me a willow tree statue of a little boy holding a balloon in the shape of a heart that says, "Hope". I remember bawling when he gave it to me, because that summed up exactly what I was clinging to. Hope. Hope that he would be ok. Hope that he would be high functioning. Hope that others would love him as much as I already did.
It was a hope born out of fear. I just noticed that statue again. I cried again, but this time for a different reason. It represents to me all of those bittersweet emotions I experienced at Eon's birth. It makes me sad that the diagnosis of Down syndrome was such a monster in my mind, when, really, it's such a little part of life.
I still have hopes for Eon, of course. But they are more in line with what I hope for my typical kids. I hope that he has a strong faith that he can communicate effectively. I hope that he is a blessing to those around him. I hope that he will grow to be a responsible adult and/or be the best "Eon" that he can be. Most of all, I hope that he has a special love for his momma!
I want to encourage you, you brave mommas with a prenatal diagnosis. It's ok to be afraid, but soon you will realize that your fear is groundless.
Blessings to all of you, and Happy Mother's Day!