To the Woman Who Asked Us, ‘Do You Want a Normal Child Now?’
To the woman who asked us, “Do you want a normal child now?”
Your question implies our experience raising a daughter with Turner syndrome is in some way unsuccessful or unsatisfying.
While still pregnant, I listened to my doctor explain each part of our daughter’s body that was “abnormal” and cried heavy, painful tears. As I explained to the doctor that termination wasn’t in the cards for me, I shook with fear. As I handed my newborn daughter to the surgeon to perform her heart procedure, I begged God to watch over her and guide the surgeons. When I heard her labored breathing after surgery, I prayed for strength and for peace.
But when I heard the simple question you posed, my heart sank into a deep, dark place — a place where my deepest fears reside.
My daughter’s life is nothing short of a miracle, a word reserved for only the greatest successes. She was born defying odds. She made it to term and delivery. She survived heart surgery at 4 days old. She endured multiple complications and sailed through them all. She learned to breastfeed at 2 months old. She learned to roll and sit and eat and showed the world exactly how strong she is. All the while she has showed us we have nothing to worry about. She is beautiful, strong and can do whatever she wants.
But the fear deep inside my heart surfaced when you asked me if I wanted a “normal” child. I hoped with my whole heart the world would never fail to see our darling girl just as she is.
The truth is my daughter is perfect. She is my greatest source of pride, strength, joy and love. My daughter thinks, feels, laughs, smiles, cries, learns, grows, eats, poops, coos, babbles and loves just like every other “normal” baby out there.
So to the woman who asked me if I want a “normal” baby, I want you to know this: I adore my daughter with or without her missing chromosome, and I’m completely satisfied with my perfect little family.
I’ve never wanted anything more than that.