Why Doctors Need to Change the Way They Deliver a Down Syndrome Diagnosis
They say when you become a mother, your life changes completely. I had heard this all my life, but on the 1st of August 2017, I started to believe it, too. I still remember the moment my precious little angel came into this world. But unlike many other mothers’ experiences, my moment wasn’t happy. It wasn’t because my baby had Down syndrome, but because the people who delivered the news to me said it with so much grief in their voice, that I thought maybe it was sad indeed.
Being a physical therapist, I was aware of Down syndrome and the therapy requirements that may be associated with it. But I wasn’t completely aware of what it meant (I now use the term possibilities). Even before my family could properly introduce themselves to Laksh, he was taken away and put in the NICU. After a few days of tests and examinations, we were finally in an informed position. We were aware of our son’s diagnosis. He had Down syndrome and Hirschsprung’s disease.
Those days were very confusing for my husband and me. In the first few days of my son’s life, we were told about all the things he would not be able to do and all the difficulties he would face. In those moments of weakness, I cried. I cried every day, before I went to visit my son in the NICU and after I came home in the evening. As I sat at his bedside looking at his tiny hands and feet and his big eyes, I refused to accept that he wouldn’t be able to do the things that my husband and I had wished for him since the day we first found out I was pregnant.
I decided to research about it on the web, but that didn’t help either. Then, I reached out to some mothers online and heard their stories. I was relieved when I heard what their children have done and are doing. There are some individuals with Down syndrome who are entrepreneurs, some are actors, some dancers, some are baristas, but the takeaway for me from all of this was that they are doing what they want to do with their life. They did not listen to the world when it told them that they couldn’t — and neither will my Laksh.
Laksh is 2 years old. He walks and has just started to run a little. He says a few words like mumma, dadda, book, nana (grandfather in Hindi), but most of all he communicates with his actions and words combined. He can sign a few words like more, all done, milk, water, shoes, socks, etc. He loves music and can open the YouTube app all by himself and play his favorite songs. Every single day, my little munchkin is learning something new and teaching us as well.
I do not want any new parents to go through what we did. I want all parents to celebrate their children and not worry. I want these parents to look at our kids and see how lucky we are to have been blessed with such beautiful children and a wonderful journey. And I want them to believe that they are going to be OK with their little guy or girl.
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