Currently in England, Wales and Scotland, there is a general 24-week time limit for abortion, but if the baby has a disability, including Down syndrome, cleft lip and club foot, abortion is legal right up to birth.
I personally wasn't aware of this, neither were family or friend's. There is at present a case against the UK government to change these laws. I have linked some webpages which can provide more information.
An important view I have always had since Noah was born 7 years ago is that he is not defined by Down Syndrome, he is Noah & that's what comes first. Trisomy 21 is just a beautiful part of him and I hope in the future more people can see & follow that.
Noah is the eldest of three boys, they're all close in age and the bond between them is beautiful. Its wonderful to watch them grow up so close to each other, they're honestly like 3 best friends. Yes, they argue and fight but what siblings don't, the younger two both protect, help and support Noah in things daily which is a lovely natural trait to have at such young age. When Noah achieves a new milestone or adds new words to his vocabulary Dougie is the first to enthusiastically praise him, which for a 5 year old that level of maturity to be able to recognise his brothers progress is incredible & I'm extremely proud.
One thing that sticks in my head is how Dougie & Bodhi starting using Makaton which they had taught themselves whilst watching us use it day to day with Noah, it was lovely they could communicate together using it alongside verbal communication. To me we just live a typical family of 5 life, yes Noah needs extra care & some mobility support, yes we do encounter behavioural difficulties & a hugeeeee amount of stubbornness, and yes we do have to go to the hospital on occasions, but I definitely, hand on heart wouldn't change a thing.
If I was writing to a new mother/family who had just given birth to a beautiful baby with Down Syndrome I would say please don't worry & don't be frightened of the future. Health professionals will try and implement their forecasts on what your baby will or won't be able to achieve & what medical conditions they will have in the future. This is something I experienced myself. Every child with Down Syndrome is different, whether it is their health, abilities or personality you will find that out on your own beautiful journey. Also, reach out, reach out to parents with children with Down Syndrome, people who have a first hand account of having a child with the condition, I feel that this for me has been where I have found the most information, tip's, health care advice and support networks and most importantly such amazing lifelong friendships.
If anyone reads this who has just had a baby with Down Syndrome then my door is always open with tea, cake and open arms. ~ Bethany . B
Our eldest Lucas has a typical brotherly relationship with Max, they play together Lucas supports Max to learn games and tasks & they give each other the best hugs; however, they also annoy each other and refuse to share toys! We have never sat Lucas down and explained what Downs Syndrome is, however we will mention it in passing "Max has an appointment today to help with his Downs Syndrome" or "we nee to help Max a bit more with his walking, it takes him a little longer because of his Down Syndrome". I remember one time I said one if those sentances to Lucas and his response was "no mummy, its not because of that, its because Max is a baby" and in that moment I realised to Lucas that is what Max is, he's his baby brother! Lucas doesn't see anything else and it doesn't matter to him.
When pregnant with Max not once did we discuss or even think that there would be ant implications onLucas having a brother with a disability, it was only when Max was born, I read on forums of parents being told, whilst pregnant, their their child with Down Syndrome will be a strain on their siblings - I mean wow, what an awful thing to be told. I truly believe Lucas will learn how to treat Max & other people by watching us and learning from us, Max will only be a burden of we that on Lucas, we hope they continue to have the most special relationship and one day if Max needs support from `Lucas it will be given from a place of love and friendship. ~ Hayley . M
In 2013, at 21 years old I fell pregnant with my first baby. I had my 12 week scan & also bloods to test for Down syndrome, Edwards' Syndrome and Patau's Syndrome. It was a few days after that I got the call to say my baby had come up at a 1:51 chance of having Down Syndrome & it is normally in the thousands for someone of my age. I felt worried & anxious at first because I didn't know anyone that had Down Syndrome, so I sat for weeks & weeks researching & reading up on everything about Down syndrome. I came across a couple of support pages called 'Future of Downs' and 'Designer Genes 2013/2014' seeing photos and videos & hearing from parents who had been in my exact position really helped, I felt a sense of relief now I had a better understanding.
At my 20 week scan my baby had duodenal atresia which is a blockage in the intestine tract, something which is extremely common in people with Down syndrome, this, along side the blood results raised my babies chances of having DS from 1:51 to 3:10.
This pretty much confined to us that our baby boy did in fact have Down syndrome, to us this diagnosis made absolutely no difference to how we felt. I loved him so much & was excited for our future & our exciting journey ahead as a new parent and as a family unit.
Bobby brings so many smiles, laughs and adventures to our lives, he is so kind and caring to everyone around him. He always says 'hello' to strangers and gives them his incredible smile which is so infectious that they always smile back or engage in conversation. Bobby certainly keeps us on our toes with his mischievousness, but his antics are what makes Bobby - Bobby.
When I asked his brother Harley what he loved most about Bobby he said 'I love when Bobby gives me nice cuddles', his younger sister Phoebe said she loves it when Bobby plays babies with her. Bobby is a fantastic big brother, friend and son.
Bobby's favourite things in life are pizza, Pringles and Christmas, even in June he is jumping up and down in his bedroom to all the Christmas tunes. Having a child with Down syndrome makes you see everything in life in a different light, he's opened my eyes in may different ways & honestly, its beautiful. ~ Stacey . M