When I started asking for birth stories, I never thought in my wildest dreams that I would get so many! It started with people I haven’t met – I guess it’s easier to send your story to someone you don’t know! But thanks to the confidence of strangers (and a little bit of coersion on my part), my friends have started to send them too! I recently got a message from, Rachel, saying “Would you like me to write up my birth story with Maddy. The ‘baby arrives on due date by emergency c section and then you realise she is a baby with Down syndrome’ story?”
Rachel and her husband have been friends with my parents since before I can remember. They helped look after my brother and me as young children in Oxford – for a while they lived next door (or down the road – I forget!) and they would take it in turns to pick me up from ballet. Apparently I would always complain that whoever got me was not who I wanted! How rude. One of my earliest memories of being with Rachel is saying “when are you going to have a baby? I’d like someone to play with.” Little did I know how close to the bone that probably was.
I never underestimate how personal and intimate a birth story is and I am thrilled and deeply honoured that Rachel would be willing to write her story for me to share on this blog. Maddy’s birth was very much a shock for Rachel and her husband. Firstly, their precious and much longed for baby would arrive in the world in such a scramble but then, secondly, they would quickly discover that Maddy had Down Syndrome. Despite the shock and fear surrounding Maddy’s arrival and what the future may hold for a baby with Down Syndrome, Rachel’s story is full of hope. 5 years on Maddy was and is still a beautiful gift. (more…)