Life with Down Syndrome is beautiful.
We all live a life full of expectations and assumptions. Expectations are designed most of the time by society and assumptions of what the future will hold for us.
I was one of them. I had expectations designed and already curated by the world. Expectations of having a job, of having a family, of having a baby, of leading a luxurious life. A life that everyone desires. I couldn't have ever imagined that I was destined to take a path in life not tread by many. A path only I only saw in movies, a path that I only saw from a distance.
I was blessed with a baby girl, on 18th September 2016. A day my life changed forever. It hadn't even been 24 hours since her birth that I was told that my baby girl had down syndrome. That feeling, that pain in my heart, I can never forget it.
Why, how? All the tests during my pregnancy were normal. My pregnancy was so healthy and beautiful, then how could this happen? Is this the doctor’s fault? I kept looking at my girl. She looked so beautiful. She could not have down syndrome.
My world came crashing down when karyotype reports came positive. I spent sleepless nights reading about it and seeing the pictures of kids with down syndrome.
Then, one day, I was looking at her, while feeding her. I saw just my daughter. I finally saw her beyond her diagnosis. Acknowledged that my baby is a baby first.
She was here in my life, over-thinking would not have solved anything. I had to accept what was in front of me. The other day when I woke up with this thought, my day was beautiful. My girl made it beautiful. I started enjoying every moment with her without worrying about the future.
Acceptance is key. And we named her Demira, the blessing of Lord Krishna. My mother used to tell me that life should have a purpose. I found mine.
Until Demira, I was just living a shallow life, a life just filled with materialistic riches. I changed as a person. Demira taught me to be patient, to enjoy little moments of life, to accept life as it is. She taught me that needs are much better than wants.
Today, I stand strong. Today, I am glad I have her. Today, I am on a beautiful journey that gives me the power of perseverance and courage. Power, to change the perceptions, to change the narrative. Power to tell people that “Down syndrome is beautiful, that life with down syndrome is beautiful”.
With the right support, kids with down syndrome can do wonders in life. And today, looking back at that moment from five years ago, I want to replace that anxiety, sorrow, and anger with different emotions. Emotions, full of hope.
There were many things I didn't know 5 years ago. If I could go back and relive that moment, I would seize the chance to tell myself the things I have learned since that day. Every celebration with down syndrome is so much more joyful. There is much beauty in Down syndrome.
Demira’s beauty takes my breath away every time I see her. Her sparkling almond-shaped eyes and her captivating smile that often leads to laughter so infectious that the hardest of hearts will melt.
The last thing I would like to say to the world is, allow your stereotypical reality to crumble and truly get to know the person hidden under your so-called labels.
My daughter's diagnosis has already provided me with new perspectives, ways to love, and a deeper appreciation for the little things and simpler things in life. I hope it does the same for you.
Priyanshu (Mother to Demira)