"My new baby has Down's Syndrome - how can I handle this?"
This is sort of urgent. I sent you a question (number 240) a while back. My baby was born three weeks ago, and was diagnosed a couple of hours after his birth as having Down's Syndrome. I am very confused. I feel as if though my world has been shattered, and yet I go through the daily motions. I am worried. I do not know how to handle or face this. I look for information and I panic. My partner is a lot calmer than I. He seems to have accepted our son very well. He says we should relax and have a great deal of faith and love. We both understand that this diagnosis means that it will only be as our son grows that we shall see what the effect of his extra chromosome is upon his development. There is no way to forecast or measure this beforehand. I don't understand exactly where my pain is. I feel as if though I have failed my partner and our daughters, and yet when I look at baby I just feel love and wonder how on earth he could be a failure or a punishment
I have also thought that he is a punishment for all the bad things I have done, like abortions etc.). What I hate is that his birth makes me feel abnormal. And it has been really hard to accept the diagnosis as we are still waiting for the genetic tests and baby looks like every other baby, in fact, he is truly beautiful physically, and very perfect looking, which makes it even harder to understand where his syndrome lies. We were told that he is probably a Mosaic, and that he might be a "milder case" but I know this is a fallacy as there is no real way to tell which cases are more severe, and yet I cling to the hope that it is milder. People tell me that he was sent here to teach me and/or my partner to love, that we are blessed etc. Right now, I can intellectually understand what people say, but do not feel blessed. I feel like I have undergone an amputation of a limb and that my life can never be the same as it was before. And yet I have always been a person with many ups and downs. Strangely enough, my relationship and family life all seem to have taken a turn for the better and not for the worse as might be expected. My partner seems really happy with baby and says he would not want another baby and that he is really proud of our child. He sits with him for hours and they seem to communicate (baby is very young but spends a lot of time with his eyes open and gazing round) for ages and he always looks happy when he is with baby. He is also being very loving toward me and the girls and tells me he feels in no way cheated as I imagine he does (obviously I feel cheated). There is peace in our home, and I feel like I am the only unhappy fool. The baby's two daughters live their happy young lives and love their brother. We haven't mentioned the diagnosis to them and plan to do so once we receive the test results. Also, our families and friends have rallied round and are being really supportive. I feel that it has brought my mother and I closer, and his family, who before mainly ignored me, are also being supportive and behaving warmly towards us. Please help me. I would really appreciate some advice. I feel like a very selfish woman. I think this, in part, is a blow to my ego, my perfectionist side, my silly dreams and expectations. I now want to move on and learn to live with my child and my new life. Thanks.
Hi. Well, I think that you have your answers already - now it's just a question of accepting them. You are on the right track when you said that this feels like a blow to your ego. This has been a blow to your sense of personal honor. Often women feel that they have done something wrong, that they have not "performed their job as a woman correctly or perfectly", if their child is born with something other than what we call "normal". There actually is no normal. There are only life lessons teaching us about love. I believe that we all make soul contracts with everyone who comes into our lives before we incarnate. If that is so, then you and this soul, your new baby, agreed to be together in this way for the purposes of soul growth for you both. It sounds as if that is already happening. Everyone around you is feeling love and closeness more than ever before, from what you described. For this soul to choose to come into life with this syndrome is a pure act of love - he is indeed, a great teacher for you, stretching you beyond what you thought was going to be, beyond who you were, into something far greater.
Part of you may still be in shock from having things turn out differently from how you thought they would be. There is the life we think we're going to have, and then there is the life we learn by. You are now in the life you will learn by. That adjustment may take some time as you come to terms with what is going on - as you work through whatever issues this brings up for you, and it is bound to bring up all your deepest issues that have caused you pain, that don't work for your highest good (such as beliefs that you are "bad", that cause you not to love yourself, thinking you do things wrong or not good enough, etc.), you will become a much stronger and clearer being. Give yourself all the space and time you need to do this work - this is the work we all come in to do - it is the work of a whole lifetime - many lifetimes - our inner, personal growth. As you come to acknowledge what this is really all about - as you see deeper into what is happening, if you choose to do so, you will change and grow in ways you never imagined possible.
It is totally ok for you to have whatever feelings of shock or disappointment or grief that you feel - that is part of the process, and it is important that you speak and own your truth about that, as you did in your letter. We always need to honor, honestly recognize, and claim whatever it is that we feel, and get it out in the open, bring it into the light, in an appropriate, non-harming way. Maybe seeing someone professionally for a bit with whom you can safely release these feelings would be a good thing. It's like cleaning the wound so it can heal. We have to let those feelings out. Then, we gain a clearer vision of what is really going on, and we move on. By doing so, we heal - we honor ourselves and make room for the next stage of our growth and understanding to happen. Right now you are judging yourself and thinking in terms of right and wrong, bad or good. God does not punish. God, or Universal Intelligence, whatever you choose to name it, is only Love. There is nothing else. How surprised would you be that this is your opportunity to move beyond judgment? Judgment is not love. If you judge yourself as bad, or your baby as wrong in some way, you are not in Love. You are caught in an illusion. This is your opportunity to move beyond judgment, beyond criticism, shame, and blame, beyond right or wrong, and into the wholeness of what Love and Life is really all about.
There are many children incarnating on the planet these days called "the Psychic Children", who are choosing to come in with handicaps of one sort or another in order to teach love and compassion on a world wide level, and to move people beyond the limits of the physical body, beyond form, and into the consciousness of pure love. I think that you have that opportunity here as well: to move into a far greater state of Love.
If you haven't read The Laws of the Universe, now is the time to do so. I also invite you to take a good look at how you decide to go through life from this point on - what commitments you choose to make, for yourself, about how you want to perceive things. You can remain caught in right or wrong, in judgment, which is a state of illusion, or you can move to a higher vision of life, which sees everything from the eyes of compassion and love. When one chooses to see from this perspective, one sees the God in everything, the beauty and perfection of everything. No one is "bad". You were not bad for going through life and having experiences which you grew from, as we all do. You were learning and growing, right? A great book for you to read is called 'Behaving as if the God in All Life Mattered' by Machaelle Wright. I also invite you to get hold of Jack Kornfield's 'The Inner Art of Meditation' audio series, which is an enriching, wonderful, and often delightfully humorous way to learn how to live from this place of compassion. I think it will help you a lot.
Many blessings, and give that baby a hug for me - Ayal