When it comes to raising children with Down syndrome, parents often face a variety of challenges. The public's lack of awareness about Down syndrome, and insensitivity are just two of the problems. For mom Courtney Williams Baker, the issues started when she was still pregnant.
When a doctor diagnosed Baker's baby with prenatal Down syndrome, the prenatal specialist allegedly suggested Baker abort her daughter because the quality of her life would be "horrible."
Baker gave birth to her daughter, Emersyn, and now has penned an emotional letter to the doctor. When Baker posted the letter June 5 on Parker Myles' Facebook — a website that educates people about raising children with Down syndrome — it went viral.
She included a photograph of Emersyn mailing it.
In the letter, Baker writes how she was " terrified, anxious and in complete despair" during her pregnancy, and the specialist did not provide her with the encouragement she required.
Instead of being angry about the situation, Baker says she was sad.
"I'm sad the tiny beating hearts you see every day don't fill you with a perpetual awe. I'm sad the intricate details and the miracle of those sweet little fingers and toes, lungs and eyes and ears don't always give you pause. I'm sad you were so very wrong to say a baby with Down syndrome would decrease our quality of life. And I'm heartbroken you might have said that to a mommy even today. But I'm mostly sad you'll never have the privilege of knowing my daughter, Emersyn."
Baker explains that Emersyn has actually improved her and her family's quality of life,
"She’s given us bigger smiles, more laughter and sweeter kisses than we’ve ever known. She’s opened our eyes to true beauty and pure love."
In closing, Baker writes that she hopes that no other mother will go through the negative experience she did and the specialist sees love in every sonogram.
Baker's letter has received an outpouring of support. Since being posted on the Parker Myles Facebook page, people have been expressing their words of positivity, and commenting on their similar experiences.
One Facebook user wrote, "Doctor told us the same at 13wks. We did CVS and it confirmed [Down syndrome]. But I told the doctor, 'I am not god, nor do I play god', if he wants this baby to be in our lives then she will. So meet Cyanna Lynn 1yr old and she is amazing and brings love to everyone she meets."
Another said, about Emersyn, "She is beyond perfect! She is a priceless example of love. What a wonderful Mommy she has and a smile to melt the cruelest of hearts."
Baker's letter may be specifically about her daughter, but there are many parents out there with similar stories, and the message from all of them, just like Baker's, is about how love and positvity [sic] conquer all.
(H/T: Good Housekeeping)