*swipe left* Pt. 3 What is deeply ingrained in us, as women, is a beautiful, barefoot, perfect woman carrying a perfect baby. Probably in a meadow with a slight breeze. She has a warm smile, sparkling eyes, she is full of love and light. She is strong and sensitive. She is kind and brave and the sun is always at her back. When she gives birth to her perfect baby, with the perfect cheeks and the big eyes, she is overwhelmed with emotion as she enjoys the skin to skin contact and the first time she is able to breastfeed. This is (in some form) how we imagine it is. From the earliest memories possible, many of us have played mother and as we’ve grown, the idea is solidified until it’s no longer an idea, but truth.
Except what happens when it no longer becomes our truth? When we discover our perfect baby isn’t “perfect”? When the doctor says “characteristics of Down syndrome” or some other type of disability? What happens when you continue to try to become pregnant and it just doesn’t happen naturally and you need help? Well our “truth” actually doesn’t become a lie. What happens is, we still believe in that “truth” of what motherhood is and should be, but we blame ourselves. It must be that something is wrong with us. When I first heard the diagnosis of Down syndrome, I felt shame. Especially when learning it usually has something to do with the mother’s body. With tears in my eyes, I looked at my husband and said these three words: “I’m so sorry”..
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