I walked into a shop with our week-old baby boy nestled into my shoulder. One of the shop assistants ran over and squealed with delight, “That is the most gorgeous baby I have ever seen in my life!”
I smiled at her but, in my head, I wondered if she would have said that if she knew he had Down syndrome.
I took a thousand photos of him and each one I pondered over, deciding which to post on social media. I deliberated over which photographs didn’t make his “disability” quite so obvious.
As I woke up each morning following the diagnosis, I experienced a sinking feeling in my stomach as I remembered, yet again, our baby was now labelled with a “chromosomal abnormality.” I’d never asked for this to happen to us.
Now, as I wake up each morning, three years on, seeing my son’s beautiful face and hearing that little voice call out “hello” is the highlight of my day.
Now, I look back at those squishy newborn photographs and see how perfect he was. And still is.
Now, I wonder how we got so lucky.
To my beautiful boy,
I hope you know how lucky we think we are to have you in our lives.
I hope you didn’t notice when you were tiny and we spent too much time gazing at your almond-shaped eyes, noticing their difference instead of their beauty, and worrying how Down syndrome would fit into our world.
I hope you always know how loved you are. By us. By your extended family. By your tribe.
I hope you forgive us for when we were so caught up in a diagnosis we forgot about the perfect baby right in front of our eyes.
I hope you know how often we count our lucky stars that we made it through that dark time of diagnosis, because we have been rewarded with such an awesome light in our lives.
We are so lucky, buddy. Oh so lucky.
* This post first appeared on The Mighty.
Loved this just as much as the first time I read it. xxx