The Hailey Herald

The Hailey Herald

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Hard to Accept

Earlier in the week, I received a message from a fairly new mom with a beautiful little boy that happens to have Ds.  It was a link and all she had written is "this makes me sick".  I clicked the link, but in my heart I had a hunch what it was about.  She had seen what I had hoped she would not encounter until later.  It was a message board about women who had aborted their children for "medical reasons".  In reading the discussion, they had all aborted due to a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome.   I know those women are out there.  I honestly try to put them out of my mind.  It breaks my heart to think of them and then look at my beautiful little girl.  I gave the new mom the same advice I was given by other moms when I stumbled upon a similar post.....

"There are some people that you will never be able to change.  Children with Ds will not and do not have the same value as "typical" children.  They do not see our children's value, love and absolute awesomeness.  It is hard and heart-wrenching.  Unfortunately, we have to accept there may be no changing their minds.  You have to walk away, breathe and look at your beautiful child.  He is perfect.  God does not make mistakes.  He was purposely put on this earth and in your family.  We just have to keep educating others about our children with Ds."

It is incredibly difficult to look at Hailey and other children with Ds and know there are many people out there that do not see the value in our children's lives.  I believe it has become part of our role as their moms.  Not necessarily go on soapboxes (but yes, I know I have)...we show the world how fabulous our children are and how they enrich the lives of the people around them.  I can honestly say that Hailey has touched more lives in 2 1/2 years than I have in almost 40.

I know I shared this pic once this week, but I love it so I wanted to share it again...
so rotten, such sass, so cute and love those dimples!!!

Below I have included the blog post from last August when I happened upon a similar message board....

Last week, I stumbled upon a chat on a message board  that I wished I had never seen.  I wish I could erase it from my memory...but we all know it doesn't work that way.  It has weighed heavy on my heart ever since.  It was a support post about women who had found out their unborn babies were less than perfect and they were terminating their pregnancy.  The majority of the "imperfections" were trisomy 21, Down syndrome.  My heart broke.  I should have closed it the moment I realized what it was.  I knew better.  I couldn't.  I read it all.

I have always been against abortion.  It was one of the reasons we chose not to have any testing while we were pregnant with any of our children.  We would have never considered terminating any of our pregnancies.  We never felt it was our place to put value on a life and decide whether a child enters the world.  We felt every pregnancy was a gift and it was our responsibility to preserve that gift.  On the other hand, I'm not judging the women that chose to terminate their pregnancies.  I wasn't placed on earth to be their judge and jury.  Yes, I was heart-broken with the number of women in that conversation that did decide to terminate their pregnancies due to prenatal testing and the news that their child had trisomy 21.  The part that struck me the most was their reasons for terminating.  They weren't crazy thoughts...they might have been a little irrational...they were typical feelings that many parents have had when presented with the news that their child is less than the "perfect" that we dream of.

"I don't want my child to suffer."
"I don't want to burden my other children."
"I am not strong enough."
"What will happen to my child after I pass?"
"I don't know how to handle a child with special needs."
"What if he/she has other medical problems."

Heck, most of these questions/concerns are made by all parents.  No one knows what the future holds.  No one knows what will happen with our children that were born "perfect".

I just can't imagine feeling so strongly about any of these concerns that would make me want to end a pregnancy.  I wonder if any of these women would have felt differently, if they had met some of the fabulous children with Down syndrome and their parents.  Some of the fabulous self advocates with Down syndrome.  The beautiful faces of the Buddy Walk video that airs in Times Square.  The normalcy of our lives.  The typical toddler behaviors that Hailey exhibits every day.  The joy her smile brings to every person she shares it with.  If they saw the love my boys show for their little sister.  If they saw the love that my husband and I have for Hailey.  If they saw the dimpled, mischievous grin that I see every day.  The deep belly laugh I hear when she thinks she is funny.  The love I feel when she wraps those tiny arms around my neck, plants that wet open mouth kiss on my cheek and then says mama. 

The chat that I stumbled upon broke my heart on so many levels.  It made me sad that those little ones were never given the chance at life.  It makes me sad that those mothers felt so strongly about the unknown and the life they "didn't think" they could handle that they chose to terminate.  It disappoints me that because of this type of thinking there might be fewer and fewer people with Down syndrome born.  It upsets me because these actions might one day have my daughter questioning her worth.  Lastly, it makes my heart hurt that those mothers will never feel the joy and love that I receive from my absolutely PERFECT daughter!

What...I'm not supposed to have these? can carry the little one to bed,'re on your own!

Shhhh...don't tell the boys.  I just want to play one round.

What do you mean my hair is a mess & I have food hanging out of my mouth?
My family thinks I am awesome!

Who could resist this face?

That chat I stumbled upon reaffirms why I blog and advocate for my child and all people with Down syndrome.  It is the reason I will never stop.  It is not realistic to think that we can change the opinions of everyone, but we certainly won't give up and we will certainly try!


  1. Reading stuff like that use to devastate me. It was very difficult to think there were people that ignorant out there who viewed my son as a burden or less than. Now when I read stuff like that I feel sad, but not for me, and not for Russell...I feel sad for them because they are missing out on knowing such amazing people like my son or Hailey. It's their loss.

  2. I couldn't say anything more than what Jenny said--absolute DITTO!

    Hailey, Russell, Owen, and all of the wonderful kiddos we know are just awesome. It's sad that others won't get to experience what we already know!

  3. Oh those chat rooms. . . and also comments on certain articles. It just breaks my heart that people cannot see what we see. Who we have been blessed with. Sometimes I wonder if when people stare extra hard at Ellie or Hailey or Owen if they see the child that could have been, the child that they have aborted. While we may not have changed their minds at the time these woman considered their abortions we do not know the pain that may haunt them for life. Keep on blogging for you ARE making a different. Miss Hailey is making a difference.