When you are pregnant with your first child, it can be scary enough. But when the child you are carrying has something “wrong” with them, the fear can be magnified. Now, I put the word “wrong” in quotes because there is nothing wrong with my daughter, but the doctors acted like there was.
I was about 12 weeks pregnant with my daughter when I got the phone call (yes, a phone call) saying the MaterniT21 test showed that the baby I was carrying, my baby, would be born with Trisomy 21, or in other words, Down syndrome.
They then set up an appointment to discuss our “options.” Now, what is the first thing you think of when you hear the word “options” while you are pregnant? Yep, that was the first option they gave us — abortion, amnio, or proceed with the pregnancy. We chose to proceed, and that’s when they told us all the things that could go wrong — heart issues, intellectual delays, “not amounting to much.” The list goes on and on.
The thing is, most (not all) doctors only see what could go wrong. They typically never tell you what could go right. They never tell you that your little one will be the best thing to ever come into your life. That their smile is contagious and can light up a room and take all your cares away.
They don’t tell you of the family you gain when you have a child with Down syndrome, the support you get when things go wrong, and the joy you share when things go right. You become part of a community of people who can answer your questions and who have your back, no matter what.
They don’t tell you that children with Down syndrome are beautiful, fun, and loving human beings, like any other child.
So when you go into that appointment, don’t dwell on what the doctors tell you could go wrong. Remember all the things that could and will go right.
This post originally appeared on The Mighty.