When couples are blessed with a “large” family, it often happens that the first words of people around them is shock, horror, questions of how they will cope etc. It’s disappointing to say the least because the first words that should be expressed when a woman announces she is pregnant is Congratulations, no matter what the circumstances. We need to remember at all times that children are not burdens, but gifts. This story demonstrates how society can influence pregnant women as to how they should react especially when faced with the news that their longed for baby has an extra chromosome.
Genevieve Shaw Brown, Travel and Lifestyle Editor for ABC News.
Genevieve recently wrote about her infant son, William Michael Brown, who has Down syndrome. The Browns knew prior to his birth that he would be born with Down syndrome, and of those months leading up to his birth she writes,
Still, the months that passed were anything but easy. I broke down in the bathroom at work. I had panic attacks in the night. I had accepted that my child would have Down syndrome, decided there was nothing in the world that could change my love for him. I had loved him from the moment I knew I was pregnant with him. Did I love him unconditionally? I did. But still. The pain was there.
William is now six months old, and Genevieve’s inspiring article about his presence in their lives is worth reading from beginning to end. Her closing words touched my heart in a very special way. She writes,
Yes, I think about Down syndrome often. Right now though, it doesn’t mean a lot. I take Will to see specialists to make sure he stays as healthy as he is today. He sees therapists weekly to be sure he meets each milestone. Of course I would take those extras away if I could, if only to have more time to relax. But being his advocate, being his caretaker, and being his appointment-maker is an honor.
As is being his mother.
And one day, when William reads this, he will know that there was a time I was very scared to be his mom. For that I will always be sorry. But he’ll also know that even though I was scared, my love for him was stronger than the fear. And that he has brought me nothing but pride and joy. And that I can’t wait to spend our life together, the four of us.
The message derived from heartfelt stories like this one is that providing unselfish love for another requires an awareness deep inside your heart that children are gifts, not problems. It reminds us that love that runs so deep and is so noble is the antithesis of what society would have us think.
Through Genevieve’s agony and her joy we see once again that love does conquer all