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Don't Say 'I'm Sorry' When a Baby Has Down Syndrome

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“I am sorry.”

These are the words many families hear when they are being told their baby has Down syndrome. These are the words I heard in the doctor’s office as I was shocked by the news that my unborn son had Down syndrome.

Doctors, nurses, friends and family, it’s fine to recognize that the family is dealing with unexpected news — but please don’t say you’re sorry.

Having a baby with Down syndrome is not a consolation prize. God did not make a mistake. It is not a death sentence. The hopes and dreams and excitement for this child do not need to end with the diagnosis.

Are you sorry they get to raise a child who dances like no one is watching?

Are you sorry they will get more love and affection from this child than all other people combined?

Are you sorry that raising this child will probably make them a better parent?

Are you sorry their other children will learn about kindness and acceptance?

Are you sorry they will get to witness the highest level of perseverance and determination to break barriers and overcome obstacles?

Are you sorry they will experience supernatural pure joy and happiness each and every day?

This child needs to be celebrated and welcomed for who they are, and there is no need to say “sorry.”

Saying you’re sorry generates fear and worry and sadness and defeat and may ultimately lead to a family terminating the pregnancy. Nearly 70 percent of Down syndrome pregnancies are terminated because the other side of the story is not being told. The real side. The amazing side. The positive side. A diagnosis surrounded by doom and gloom does not reflect what a life with a child with Down syndrome is really like.

Finding out my son had Down syndrome was very unexpected and scary, but nothing about him is worth being sorry about. Life with my son is incredible and fun and so rewarding. So don’t feel sorry for me. I am blessed, lucky, and grateful I didn’t miss out.

This story originally appeared on Growing With Cody.

Originally published: July 7, 2020
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