“Nobody’s Plan A”
Those few words, delivered to my wife and I by our consultant paediatrician when confirming that our newborn daughter had Down’s Syndrome, will stay with me forever.
I don’t really think about the words often. Maybe occasionally in a particularly tough moment, they come back to me. This article at the weekend reminded me of those words and made me wonder if my experiences could help if someone ends up in that consultants room. Could my words help anyone about to embark on their very own plan B?
Our whole experience in the early days was frankly shocking and if I can do anything to help those in the same position as us, then good. I don’t have all the answers, in fact I have none, but I have my experiences and I can offer those.
There are quite a few good blogs and support networks out there that helped me and my wife. Hearing that you are not the only one that wished their new born child away, wished that the anger and jealousy would pass, that the sick feeling in your stomach would go away, that your shame would dissipate and that you could function as a human again is hugely comforting when you are experiencing this particular trauma.
Eilidh is 2 now. Actually 2 and a half, according to her older brother, so I genuinely can’t talk in detail about my feelings back then. I will make reference where appropriate but my blog will be more about life now – your future if you are currently sitting in that consultants room, or on a labour ward with a pile of booklets telling you how bad things could be, or sitting at home crying as your baby sleeps in the crib, thinking through how your life has been screwed up.
I don’t feel ‘blessed’ to have a child with DS. I don’t feel cursed for having a child with DS. I am pro-choice and I don’t think there is right or a wrong for all the questions, views and opinions people have about the condition.
By being open and honest in my blog I hope that it helps you to understand DS and the impact it has on family life better. I want this blog, including comments and responses, to help you if you are faced with a tough decision about DS, or to provide insight for anyone newly facing into this world.
Read. Engage. Find your plan A.
October 21st 2015