Since having Daniel, I’ve noticed that there are two questions I get asked often.
First: Did you know he had Down syndrome before he was born? And no, we didn’t, but really? This question is irrelevant. It wouldn’t have changed the outcome, nor would I have been more prepared for what having him would be like. You know how you don’t REALLY know what it’s like to have a baby until you have a baby for the first time? That’s what it’s like to have a child with Down syndrome. You can read all the books and listen to other people’s stories all you want, but until YOUR child is here, you aren’t gonna know what it’s like.
Sometimes I think people are asking if I “knew” he had it, asking more about my intuition than whether or not we did testing. And yes, I worried about Down syndrome specifically. And those worries were completely unfounded- I had no reason to think he would have Ds. And yes, I knew immediately when the NICU nurse started asking questions that she would tell us they suspected Down syndrome. Does that mean I knew ahead of time? Not really. Does it matter? Again, not really.
The second question is: Will he always live with you? And the answer is: Maybe? But who knows if ANY of their kids will always live with them? I mean, I got asked this multiple times while we were living AT MY PARENT’S HOUSE. Granted, we weren’t living there forever, but STILL. You just don’t know what the future holds for any of your kids.
Interestingly, I am almost NEVER asked outright if he has Down syndrome. I’ve been asked maybe twice? People will start conversations about him and make comments like “they’re such angels” or “they’re all so sweet” (which, let’s not generalize, mmmkay?) so I know they THINK he has Down syndrome, but nobody wants to ask about it. I suppose they don’t want to offend me by asking, but Down syndrome has a pretty specific set of physical characteristics. It’s not hard to see if you know what you’re looking for. And I think MOST people recognize it! Anyway, just an observation.