Finally, formally:

020When we were told after a few hours that Gracie did have Down Syndrome it simply didn’t matter – we already knew.

The situation was clearly difficult for the hospital staff who didn’t really know how much general, and medical, reference to make to, you know, the baby having DS; being that it was the first child of a ‘girl’ of 18 and a ‘young lad’ in his early 20s probably didn’t help although my unashamed pride, optimism and refusal to resent my child probably did.

Each evening of the 6 Gracie stayed in hospital (mainly to check feeding, general tests, and mostly, I think, to check her Mum would cope) I would proudly saunter down to the TV room with this gorgeous bundle of (a couple extra) chromosomes, decked out in peach velour (her not me), and comfortably nestled in the nook of my then rather more muscular arm. There, when people made a beeline for the young dad with the the cute baby, I would immediately say she had DS – I didn’t want the awkwardness of ‘the elephant the room’; I wanted to eliminate that elephant from people’s thoughts; I wanted them to see, as I did, just Gracie, who happened to have DS.






It’s OK, I know: The 20 seconds between your baby being born and you knowing she has Downs.

Purple like a blackberry…a shock of red hair, a cute button nose and almond eyes piercing her soft swollen face.

“She’s got Downs hasn’t she?”

“She what? No, just, she’s doing fine, she’s just swollen,

hold on, hmmm no, her hands look normal, she’s a big girl. Look don’t worry. We’ll¬†get the doctor to come and have a check over her.”

“It’s OK, I know she has, it’s OK. She’s just beautiful, just perfect.”