Mom Refuses to Abandon Daughter with Down Syndrome Only Hours after Her Birth
Stereotypes can cause many of us a world of pain. One mom refused to leave her baby out in the cold and was determined to defy stigmas, even if it meant becoming a social pariah.
Many mothers fear what the future holds for their children, hoping they have raised them to create the best possible life for themselves.
This anxiety generally increases when a woman gives birth to a child with a disability, scared of how and if they will survive in everyday society.
Charlotte when she was a baby with her mother Nicky Laitner.┃Source: twitter.com/YOUMagSocial
A WOMAN'S CHOICE
Individuals sometimes terminate pregnancies when they find out via tests that they may give birth to a disabled baby. When pregnant at 29 years old, Nicky Laitner from St Albans, England, opted out of taking these tests, recollecting:
"I wouldn’t have had a termination so I didn’t see the point, and because of my age, I’d no reason to think I was having anything but a ‘normal’ pregnancy."
The now-53-year-old Laitner looks back at her naive assumption. She remembers the midwife weeping when she found out the baby had Down Syndrome. A maternity nurse suggested she go home and abandon her daughter.
Laitner chose to ignore the recommendation. However, apprehension still washed over the new mother, stating that she was utterly lost. Laitner remembers:
"Despite the deep love I felt for her, I was plunged into uncharted and unexpected maternal territory, and I was scared."
However, as her beautiful child grew older, she had a realization: Although there were numerous difficulties, they were both able to overcome these with grace.
FIGHTING THE STIGMA
For Laitner, she faced an extensive amount of judgment, with individuals asking why she did not get tested when she was pregnant.
The mother was also overcome with condescending sympathy and individuals avoiding her because they felt uncomfortable.
On the other hand, Charlotte faced bullying, among many roadblocks, and there were some everyday tasks she couldn't handle, such as driving. Nevertheless, both survived.
DEFYING THE LIMITS
Charlotte managed to pass conventional school and obtained a Bachelors' Degree in inclusive performance. When speaking about her condition, the now-22-year-old expressed:
"When I look in the mirror, I see Charlotte. I happen to have Down Syndrome but it doesn’t define me – it’s a small part of who I am."
Charlotte is just one of the countless individuals fighting against stereotypes of what individuals with her disorder can and can not achieve.
IVY LEAGUE AMBITION
As more people with perceived limitations continue to go against the grain, Ding Ding, born with cerebral palsy, has certainly taken it to the next level.
In 2016, he was accepted into Harvard Law School located in Massachusetts. However, he would never have made it there if it wasn't for his mom Zuo Hongyan.
She birthed him in 1988 in the Hubei province of China. Although doctors suggested it, Hongyan refused to give him up due to his condition -- leading her husband to divorce her.
A STRONG SUPPORT SYSTEM
Throughout his life, and despite his condition, Ding Ding's mother pushed him towards excellence. She recounted:
"I didn't want him to feel ashamed... Because he had inferior abilities in many areas, I was quite strict on him to work hard to catch up where he had difficulties."
Both Charlotte and this Harvard student managed to do what many thought they couldn't. What barriers has society placed on you? Are they true, or do you have the courage to prove them wrong?
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