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To the Doctor Who Said Life Would Be 'Better' Without Our Baby With Down Syndrome

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Dear Doctor,

You sat next to me in a cold conference room and told me that our baby would be born with Down syndrome. But you didn’t stop there. You went on for more than 10 minutes, explaining to me that aborting this child at this stage was OK, or that I could still decide in the next two to three weeks. You said our life would be very difficult and affected negatively by this child.

We met again after non-invasive test results came in, and again you went on and on about terminating my pregnancy. Saying our life would be “better” without this baby.

You failed to tell me that my baby would look into my eyes with trust and joy seconds after being born. You failed to tell me that our baby would pull herself to a sitting position by holding on to my thumbs at only 2 days old. You failed to mention that she would roll over at 6 weeks old. You failed to mention any of the amazing things she could do.

You never once mentioned that our baby would be a joy and a gift. You seemed more interested in making my baby non-existent.

The fear you implanted in our hearts caused a lot of grieving, tears, anger, frustration and sadness. It breaks my heart to think of all those mothers you may have scared into terminating their pregnancies, robbing them of the beauty Down syndrome can bring.

Our baby is not a mistake. I believe God doesn’t make mistakes. Our baby has a name; she’s not a label. Our baby has feelings and a magical personality. She has a way of magnetically attracting people to her.

Doctor, I invite you to do your human research, to follow families who are blessed with loved ones with Down syndrome on social media. To see how we live each day, to witness the joy, the love, the ability these wonderful people possess.

I’m writing this letter to respectfully let you know — you were wrong! Your words have an impact on others. I encourage you to humanize science and take the time to follow the lives of people with Down syndrome, to give parents hope. Because the statistics you gave us have changed.

People with Down syndrome are not only living longer, they are owning businesses, they are getting married, and they are even winning Emmy’s! Our loved ones are living full, beautiful lives. You must be willing to give them a chance, and offer a loving path for their parents to help them understand.

Our lives feel more blessed than we could have ever imagined. Our daughter is loved and cared for by many, including strangers.

If you have just been given a diagnosis of Down syndrome, I want to be the first to congratulate you! Welcome to #theluckyfew club. You will learn that your baby will look like your family, your baby will bring you so much love, and he or she will be successful in life with your guidance and with your advocacy.

Your baby will be unique, because we are all different yet we are all human, we all have a heart, and we all have feelings. And the best part is that you will live a very “normal” life.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Originally published: October 25, 2016
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