Thursday, July 2, 2009

Summer Giveaway

What would you say to a woman who has just found out she is carrying a baby with Down syndrome and is torn about what to do?

Answer this question by July 31 in the comments section of this post or in a post of your own and you will be entered into the DSNM summer giveaway. During the first week of August, I will post my answer to the question and link to all your posts. I will also list the random winner who will have the choice of either prize pack listed below.

The Child Pack
The child pack consists of a bottle of Nordic Naturals Children’s DHA, strawberry flavored, in liquid or soft gel form (your choice) along with the book, No No Yes Yes by Leslie Patricelli.

The Parent Pack
The parent pack consists of the book, More Than a Mom: Living a Full And Balanced Life When Your Child Has Special Needs by Amy Baskin and Heather Fawcett. (Ok, Dan, I hear you... if it were me I woulda named it More Than a Parent...) and a Lindt Classics Caramel Assortment box of candy. (Can you tell ds.mama likes to read and eat bon bons?)

The real prize is that the words you write may well be read by a mom who needs to hear the truth from a parent who knows what that is.


  1. All lives are worthy of dignity. Give this child life and you will learn more about yourself than you ever dreamed there was to know. It will be a roller coaster ride, just like with any new baby. The only difference is this little one will not judge you, just love you. They say God only gives special children to special parents. That's wrong. I was no where near special before my little guy came along. He's the one teaching me what special is.

    That's a lot of unrelated sentences, but it's just so hard to sum up in a few words how having Little J has enriched my life. I'll feel forever indebted to him.

  2. In a nutshell, I personally feel that children (and adults) with Down syndrome are angels - they have more of a direct link with God than I will ever have. I feel that I have the priviledge of caring for one of God's special angels. I would recommend reading the book, "One Tattered Angel" by Blaine Yorgason and "Gifts: Mothers Reflect on How Children with Down Syndrome Enrich Their Lives" by K.L. Soper. Our son with Ds is adopted and needs open heart surgery soon. No one said it would be easy, but I feel honored to be his mother. I know the challenges will be outweighed by the joy he will bring to our home.

  3. One more thing... if you don't feel you can handle the challenges being presented to you, just know that there is a waiting list of families specifically seeking to adopt a child with Ds :)

  4. I just know that for me, once I got over the sadness, I took notice that I was changed. I was different. I am not the person I was the day before Benjamin was born. The day before I knew. I am more compassionate, more loving, and I just have so much joy in my heart. I know that I never could have had such a life change without my sweet boy. God knew I needed him.

  5. Breathe. Just breathe for a minute. I understand the fear that you are experiencing. I felt it, too. Because of it, Down syndrome becomes a monster in your mind but really it's just a tiny part of life. Your child will walk, talk, read, graduate from high school and all the other things you'd hoped for him, he just may need a little extra time. More importantly, he will be a delight and will bless your life in so many ways. He will thoroughly charm everyone around him and I promise that you will be smitten when you first hold him in your arms.

    I understand you need to grieve the child you thought you were having. I needed to do that, too. But, please, don't let that grief rob you of the gift that you've been given.

  6. Congrtulations! You are blessed!

  7. I would tell them congratulations on their baby and how blessed they will be. They are going to learn so much from this child. They are the lucky ones!!

  8. This little life is not what you were expecting but everything will be alright. In fact, everything will be great! This child will transform you if you receive them as the gift they are. They will come with their own special radiance that will chip away at you until you radiate too. I am only 4 months into this process but I'm in love with my little sweetie and as I take it one day at a time, I grow to know that all is well and all will continue to unfold as it should.

  9. I would say Congratulations!!! How exciting that you are having a new baby. I really recommend reading Gifts: Mothers Reflect on How Children with Down Syndrome Enrich Their Lives. There are SO many short stories in there that will make you laugh and cry, just as you will with your new little one. My little guy is about to turn one on Thursday and as I look back over the year I am AMAZED at the experiences we've had and how we have all changed for the better because of him. It's certainly not easy, if you're going to be a parent of any child you should come to grips with that. Please look up your local Down syndrome association and meet some of the families if you can. It will most certainly change your expectations in the most delightful way.


  10. I posted a reply here:

  11. I would show her pictures of our adorable babies and let her see that the diagnosis does not make the baby any less your adorable little baby!

  12. When I found out my little girl had Ds, I was devasted but still elated at the same time. I was elated because I was having the little girl I always dreamed of having but devasted because my "perfect" picture was torn apart. I soon realized though that my hopes and dreams really didn't change as I adjusted to this "New Perfect" child I was blessed with. I still want her to be loved, happy, to take dance and play soccer. I want her to grow up to be a beautiful happy woman...and she is doing just that. She shows me everyday what it means to not give up if you don't succeed the first time around. She has taught me patience and courage and to be proud of who I am and to enjoy the little things in life.

    I know that as a new parent it is hard to see past all the "big picture" things but just stop, take a breath, and enjoy your child because they are going to be just like any other child. Maybe they will have a few more doctor appts or have to go to therapy but it will be to them just like having more friends and getting to have someone special to play with while still learning to do new things. My little girl is the best thing that ever happened to us and even her big brother thinks so. He is so protective of her and loves her and he didn't know she had Ds until about 4 mths ago. (He was too young to understand).

    I hope you will embrace the life your child has and the one you are going to blessed to be a part of and if you don't feel this is for you, please know that there is a waiting list of people wanting to adopt a child that specifically has Ds.

  13. I would give her a hug, congratulate her on the upcoming birth and invite her to come hang out at our house for a morning. I would invite her to forget about this diagnosis for a little while and to come meet my baby. Come see pictures of her, come hold her, cuddle her, smile and laugh with her. See that she is a baby first, second and last. Then meet my toddler (who does not have Ds, but is what we like to call "spirited"). See the incredibly ordinary and yet special relationship between the two- how they make each other smile and giggle. Come see that our house really isn't any different then anyone else's with small children underfoot. I'd also spend time pointing out the similiarities between thetwo girls and how the majority of our baby's strengths and weaknesses really parallel our "typical" child's development.

    After that I would see if she wanted to talk about supports and resources so she could see that she will have so much love and support through all of this. I'd also give her a copy of Gifts and a copy of Roadmap to Holland and highly suggest she read these before moving on to the more diagnostic books about what to expect. I'd also give her a list of the hoardes of family blogs there are out there so she can see that this isn't just my view. I really think that the priority is to help her see that she doesn't need to think about only the diagnosis. There are plenty of drs and others that are going to focus on that- I'd want to help her keep some perspective that this is just a baby- and you need to hold onto that no matter what other people say or feel. You can't know what your child will need or be like until you take the time to get to know them anymore then you can any other child.

    Hugs- Nicole, mom to Abby- 5 mos old

  14. Hi - thanks for your visit. If you are looking for something to tell moms I would love to share my letter to those with a prenatal dx

    By the way, I emailed this too - but I am totally cool with you using Quinn for your project. Thanks and take care!

  15. When Saturn cars first came on to the market one of their marketing ideas was to get people to get out of their cars and greet another Saturn owners whereever whenever. Meet strangers and share the joy of being a Saturn owner:)

    I have a beautiful almost three month Down Syndrome son. I did not know before I gave birth but knew the moment we met eye to eye. Since that day I have been seeking out other DS "owners" at parks, resturants and blogs. It has been a wonderful experience every single encounter. You get information first hand and tried and true. Keeping in mind that every single down syndrome child is different. Overall hearing that it is going to be OK from someone who has a 16 year old or a 2 year old really makes it sink in faster.
    Hearing Congratulations was shocking the first couple of times. All the information is overwhelming at first. But really Congratulations you have a support team that never ends unlike when you have a "normal" child. And you have a beautiful life to feed nuture and grow with just like any other human being.

    One tidbit of information I learned from a mother/educator was we have a brain that looks like a file cabinet organized and easily retrievable information. Down Syndrome children have a bucket!

    It is okay to grieve for a moment but it is more fun to be proud!

  16. Ok, I guess when you get the news it knocks you right down, at least that's what happened to me.I didn't know which way to turn.I needed to hear that it was going to be OK. I searched and researched the internet. Needless to say the sites I found didn't exactly help me to have a peaceful nights sleep.The medical sights will scare you to death and give you no hope, stay away from them. Look to the families living with these rare gems, our special children. There may be struggles but you will never find regrets. One bit of advice, listen to your baby. When I was pregnant with Emmie, she never stopped moving. She was more active than all my other children put together. It was as if she was trying to let me know, everything was good. And everything will be good. The love you will have for this child will take your breath away.I never would have believed it myself. You really just have to experience it for yourself. It is amazing. When they placed Em in my arms for the first time, the love I felt for her... well, let's just say my heart hurt because it was so full. All the anxiety, doubts,worry, pure panic at times that I had during my pregnancy disappeared and have never been seen again. They were replaced by happiness,joy, endless smiles and hope.So much hope! Emmie has enhanced our lives in every way possible. This little creature who has us all under her spell. This baby you carry is no mistake, he /she is the greatest blessing to ever come your way. Embrace this wonderful gift with open arms and an open heart, you will wonder how you ever got along without him/her.

  17. My daughter is three months old and we first found out about her heart defect and then of the possibility of DS. We felt completely stunned and since we have never known anyone with DS or a heart defect we were scared for what our childs future held. At the time I remember crying because the heart defect could be fixed but the DS couldn't. Well now I know that as much as I was scared at the time, I feel like we are blessed to have our little angel. The second I looked into her big eyes I felt so glad that she chose us.

    It helped me to look at pictures of other children and see how "normal" they truly are. My perinatologist, who just might be the most amazing Dr. I have ever met, told me when we first suspected DS that these kiddos are far more normal than different. And that is totally true, Laiken rolls over, plays and coos just like any other baby. She is amazing, and I feel blessed to have her. Also a good read is "Expecting Adam", my cousin gave me this book and it's great. Also, try not to ever feel guilty for wondering what if, I think we all beat ourselves up sometimes over our uncontrollable feelings and everytime I think if the what ifs I also think what I would be missing if she didn't have DS. You know Holland is absolutely breathtaking. =)

  18. It's ok to grieve for the baby you thought you were going to have. I went through that stage. It's ok to feel envious of other parents whose children do not have Down syndrome. It's ok to feel confused and angry. These are all natural emotions. But these feelings will pass.

    A baby is a miracle and a blessing regardless of any diagnosis. Your child will bring you joy just as any child would yet at the same time, a more profound joy than you ever imagined. You are meant for your baby. Your baby is meant for you. Amidst the choas of emotions, you will find strength and resolve to be the best you can be for your baby. Your baby will show you the way. He/She will grow and hit every milestone at his/her own pace, with your guidance. It may take more effort but it will be cause for a celebration each time.

    You are not alone. Early intervention is key. There are also many parents who are walking this road, many are more than willing to share their experience with you. I have not come across anyone that has wished for their lives to be without a child with Down syndrome. Everyone cherishes the fact that their child has Down syndrome and would not change them for anything.

    Congratulations on your baby! You are about to embark on an amazing journey. Ours started in October 2007 and our lives are richer and more meaningful because of our son.


Please share your experience and opinions, or ask a question. I won't even mind if you correct me on something.

ds.mama will delete any comments that are simply product advertising.