When our first child Kush was born, shortly after his birth we were delivered the news that he has a condition called Down syndrome.
We had heard of Down syndrome, but to be honest we didn’t really and truly know what it meant for us as a family or our little boy, but everyone kept apologising to us and saying how sorry they were, so naturally we assumed it of course couldn’t be good. I’m pleased to say I now know this couldn’t be further from the truth.
Saying the first few months were hard would be an understatement. I mean the first few months with a new born is hard for any first time parent, let alone being thrown into a world of special needs which we had no idea how to navigate.
We got over the shock and accepted and embraced our new reality, like most parents we made it our priority to give our son the best life he could have, and do whatever it took in order for him to maximise his potential. We found local support groups and families that were ahead of us in their journey, all whom have been instrumental for his development and such a support to our family.
Today, Kush is 5 years old. He has 2 younger sisters, and I am the proudest mother in the world. Kush has quashed all the negative assumptions that are frequently assumed about people with Down syndrome. He is a wonderful, resilient, caring, cheeky, stubborn, hilarious, gorgeous, intelligent little boy. He loves to sing, dance, he is one of the best readers in his class at mainstream school, he swims, he horse rides, just like his typical peers. He’s even a signed model! And even if he didn’t do all of these things, he’s our son, and that is reason enough to love him. He has drawn our family closer together more than I could have ever imagined. I feel blessed to be his mum and to have him in our family. He’s the apple of everyone’s eye, sometimes I look at him and I wonder how I got so lucky. We now spend a considerable amount of time raising awareness of the condition, and are trying to get rid of the negative associations commonly made.
Ask me if I have any regrets? Yes – I have just one; I wish I never wasted so much precious time after he was born worrying about the future, believing all the negative outdated perceptions that are out there. I wish we could have just enjoyed our new born baby boy, I feel robbed of that time and I will never get it back. To all expectant mothers out there, if you get a pre natal or post natal diagnosis – don’t believe the negative hype about Down syndrome. Speak to us parents who live it and breath it everyday, and love it and wouldn’t have it any other way!!
Nisha is happy for her story to be shared and that of all our other families.
Photo credits Chris Waud