Monday, September 13th, 2010
…when you read this story in our October issue by Kelle Hampton, who shares the remarkable details of the birth of her second daughter, Nella.
Nella has Down syndrome, and Kelle didn’t know it until she gave birth. Reading her story–originally posted on Kelle’s mega-successful blog–touched me very deeply. One of my uncles has Down syndrome, as I’ve mentioned before, and I’ve spent my whole life watching my grandparents raise their fourth son. He’s now 45 and my grandparents, in their mid-80s, are still raising him, still trying to help him be as independent and prepared for the future as they can.
Both times I was pregnant, I thought a lot about what would happen if I learned that my child had Down syndrome. I grew up hearing my grandparents say over and over again that having Chris is the best thing that ever happened to them. They believe that he enriches their lives in ways that they could never have imagined. They’re right; Chris is an exceptional human being. Still, I suspect that if I found myself in Kelle’s shoes, my reaction would be a lot like hers was.
I’ve never asked my grandmother what went through her mind right after Chris was born, but I’m going to find out. I’ve been waiting to show her Kelle’s story until it was in print (she’s more of a magazine reader than a blog reader, though she does go online, bless ‘er). I wonder if she’ll be able to relate to–or admit to–the raw pain that Kelle describes. I am positive, though, that she identifies with where Kelle is now, which is utterly grateful for the path she’s been put on, thanks to the birth of her incredible child.