Dream Shard Blog: The Scintillating Adventures of Our Household

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Jan '08


This week John and I were remembering how difficult that first day was after Wes was born. The words “Down syndrome” were big and scary then. But now we both agree that it’s not a big deal, not like it was then.

The first day of our child’s life was harder for us than for other parents of healthy children because what immediately followed the words “Down syndrome” was a long list of the medical risks associated with DS and the physical and mental challenges that one extra chromosome would bring to our child. It was scary–a laundry list of everything that could go wrong.

Can you imagine what the birth day of every normal child would be like if doctors rountinely confronted the parents shortly after the delivery like this:

“I’ve looked over your baby and I’m sorry to tell you that he may get sick four times a year and throw up in his bed. Very possibly he’ll be bullied in the playground and come home crying and with bruises. He may wake up with nightmares that you can’t console. He might have dyslexia and hate to read. Possibly he’ll be enormously shy and have trouble making friends. He may have a terrible temper and break things. Statistics show he’ll try cigarettes and alcohol and may become addicted. Likely he’ll cheat on some tests. He might get in a car wreck and be seriously injured. Don’t be suprised if he lies to you rather than tell you where he’s been. Worse-case scenario: he becomes a drug addict, fathers several children that he beats, and shoots himself in the head before he’s thirty. Oh, and by the way, congratulations on the birth of your beautiful baby boy.”

I’ve said it before but it’s worth saying again: Every child will have some problems during his life. With Down syndrome, it’s a little more intimidating up front because the possibilities of what could go wrong with him are spelled out pretty frankly. But like with any kid and any situation, you have to expect the best. And with Wesley, we try.



2 Responses to “.”

  1. tara72 Says:

    most of the people that I know who are the trouble-makers in society are NOT the kids with down syndrome. the people with DS to ME are the ones who are genuinely sweet and kind and sometimes too honest (often in a cute way). I see them on the news for good reasons. :) yeah, we’ll all be dealing with different problems with our kids as they grow up. but hey, that’s why we have family for a shoulder to lean on, right? wesley is great and beautiful and will provide lots of joys and pains just like Savannah and Logan and Ethan and any other little members of our extended family. oh yes, we will all be going through our trials together. lucky us. :)

  2. breewordpress Says:

    I just went to a mission farwell on Sunday and they actually had two missionaries giving talks. One was a young man with down syndrome, but he gave a fabulous talk and was so excited to be going on a mission. It made me think of you and your little one. Wesley is and can be destined for great things.

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