Parents often feel frightened when they have a child born with special needs. Down Syndrome is one particular condition that worries many people. But one Down Syndrome mother has shared her story on Love What Matters.
When Laura Yost was pregnant, she went in for her 20-week ultrasound.
That was when she and her husband learned they were having a baby girl. The ultrasound technician also spotted something around the baby’s heart considered a “soft marker” for Down Syndrome — meaning it could be connected to the condition but didn’t necessarily mean it was.
Yost and her husband declined further testing since the chances were quite low.
Nothing else in her pregnancy had indicated the baby had Down Syndrome. But the moment their daughter Scarlett was born, they realized the truth: despite all the odds, she did, in fact, have the condition.
When Scarlett was born, I hugged and kissed her. I told her I loved her. Then I passed her off to the nurse to be cleaned up. When the nurse handed my daughter back to me, I instantly noticed her cheeks were really red and big and her ears were teeny tiny. I looked at my husband and asked him, ‘Do you think she has Down syndrome?’
Yost cried. But everything she’d ever heard about Down Syndrome didn’t match up with what she saw when she held her daughter. “My daughter was the first person I knew with Down syndrome,” said Yost. “I had always heard Down syndrome was bad, but I was staring at this tiny baby, and she was perfect.”
She was so beautiful.
Everything changed the next day when friends came to meet the baby. To them, she was just a new baby — a brand new person who deserved to be welcomed into the world.
“They didn’t need to see Scarlett’s features that indicated Down syndrome,” said Yost. “They just wanted to hold her and celebrate her. I realized Scarlett deserved more and deserved to be celebrated like her siblings. I decided there were no more tears allowed.”
Everyone loved her.
The resolution was further cemented by Scarlett’s pediatrician, who confirmed the diagnosis.
But she didn’t say that Scarlett couldn’t live a full and happy life. “To her, these features were just facts,” said Yost. “They did not make Scarlett any more or less valuable.”
Slowly, the Yost family began to realize that although their daughter’s life would be different, it would also be happy.
“Down syndrome is not bad, it is just different,” said Yost. “Scarlett makes me proud every day.
She is a compassionate and loving human. We are truly blessed to have her in our family.” Now in preschool, Scarlett is a smart and loving little girl.
She can talk, but she also knows hundreds of signs. She uses both speech and signs to communicate, even teaching her older siblings. Yost said that when Scarlett was born, she was worried about how their family would change. But she never considered that it would change for the better.
“At her birth, I worried about how her diagnosis would impact our family,” she said.
“I did not know Scarlett would make our lives richer and fuller because of her diagnosis.” Ultimately, she said, her fear wasn’t a fear of Down Syndrome itself. It was simply a fear of the unknown.
Even though diving into the unknown is scary, it can lead to wonderful things — like a new little girl in a family.
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Source: Love What Matters