This note was written by Stacey Tyson-Tracy, a basket of hope recipient and mom to not one but TWO babies with Down syndrome. Stacy and her family welcomed their first child who happens to have Down syndrome, Sarah, into the world after having three boys. About a year later, she found out she was pregnant, once again with another beautiful girl with Down syndrome, Hannah.
Stacey wrote this note to a new family struggling to grapple with their child's recent prenatal Down syndrome diagnosis.
I hope you don't mind me reaching out! I saw your post, and first, I hear you about the fear. Please know you are not alone. I was worse than afraid, I was pissed. I was mad, I was disappointed, and I thought I was about to ruin the lives of my unborn baby's typical big brothers. I really thought that. I'm SO embarrassed about it looking back, but it's my truth. And I'm human. And, alas, I was wrong. So there.
My dream is to connect with parents that are receiving a new diagnosis for their baby, and in particular any parents that may experience some or all of the emotions I went through when my now 16 month old was diagnosed in utero at around my 12th week of pregnancy. She had three typical brothers getting ready for her, so this is NOT what we planned. What I MUST say is that all the positive words you will receive in the coming days and weeks, the outpouring of love and CONGRATULATIONS, they are indeed the most real and genuine emotions on Earth being shared with you. You are now a part of a club you never knew you wanted to join. You are not ready to hear this yet, but you will be one day.
That initial diagnosis was a real blow to me with my baby Sarah, after having three typical boys. I wish I could have a conversation with myself from back then, letting myself know, sincerely, what an amazing blessing baby Sarah would be. I thought it was just something people said, you know, to make me feel better. Boy, was I wrong. I genuinely thought it was fluff. A consolation prize. Actually, I thought it was bullsh*t and that I didn't WANT or need A DOWN SYNDROME BABY. (Those were my thoughts at I lay down at night. My goodness what a waste they were...)
I can tell you now, it's not FLUFF. It's not a consolation prize, and it's so far from bullsh*t. I needed Sarah, and not the Sarah I dreamed of but the Sarah that is EXACTLY who she is. I literally needed her. She is a blessing we had NO idea we needed and I'm not sure I'm even worthy. That's the truth. I'm EMBARRASSED looking back at my initial reaction, but that was part of my journey! The mourning and grieving the baby you wanted is SO ALLOWED and SO NORMAL and please don't try to squash that part of your journey. It'll happen on its own soon enough!!!!!
We now have a second T21 baby, also a girl, and she was born ten weeks early with LOTS of medical issues; we are addressing them one at a time and she, too, is doing great. She's really amazing!!! I needed her too, but I'm still very much getting to know her...through all the tubes, wires, and drama. I'm learning about her, about me, about life. I wouldn't change a thing. And I'm not just saying that. Let yourself grieve over the baby you pictured, that's totally fair. But be open to the insane beauty that you will welcome in about another 20 weeks.
It'll ALL FALL INTO Place! And you'll be writing something like this to some other mom some day. For now, just breathe.