Mom with Down Syndrome Loses Friends Because of Pregnancy, Is Then Forced to Raise Baby without His Dad
In a surprising turn of events, a woman with Down syndrome conceived a baby, but things didn't go as planned. During her journey of motherhood, she lost her friends and had to raise her son without his father.
Do you think people with Down Syndrome can raise babies? If they do, does society let them live according to their wishes? Many people feel obliged to present their opinions to others, making them feel bad. They never think about what the other person might feel after hearing their words.
The woman in today's story also faced people's judgments and opinions when she conceived a baby. People around her disapproved of her giving birth to a child because she had Down syndrome.
Twenty-five days after turning 18, Patti White gave birth to a baby girl with Down Syndrome, Lisa. While her little girl was in the incubator, the doctors came and told her how difficult it would be for her to raise her daughter. They suggested she abandon her child by giving it to the state.
The young mother heard what they said but silently disagreed. White wasn't ready to give her daughter away, despite knowing raising a child with Down syndrome wouldn't be easy. She recalled:
"I silently resolved that I would never abandon my child."
After deciding she wouldn't abandon Lisa, White did her best to raise her daughter and give her everything she needed while working as a birth coach. She treated her like other kids and invested in her education and upbringing like every parent.
Once Lisa turned 16, she expressed her wish to move out. White and her husband, Norm, respected her wish and allowed Lisa to move out after her 18th birthday. The little girl had grown up to become an intelligent and independent woman who could do everything except a few tasks.
People around Lisa helped her live independently. White believed a "Circle of Support" was necessary for Lisa because she needed people to teach her how to do basic tasks like catching a bus. She also had an art teacher who polished her creative skills and helped her become an artist.
LOVE FOR BABIES
Since childhood, Lisa's actions made White understand that she loved babies. When White gave birth to her son at home, little Lisa stood beside her, telling her to remain calm. Later, Lisa and her brother pretended to have babies in the backseat of the car. White said:
"I was her role model, so of course, she wanted to have babies."
White recalled that Lisa refused to get a permanent birth control implant in her body because she said she wanted to have babies. At that time, no doctor would go against a 17-year-old's wishes, so they accepted her decision and let her live without a birth control implant.
A NEW RELATIONSHIP
While living independently in her apartment for 11 years, Lisa gained confidence. She felt comfortable in her skin and was never ashamed of her Down syndrome. Lisa worked at a local Goodwill store which helped her choose a career path that best suited her.
When Lisa was 29, she met a 24-year-old man with Down syndrome at work and developed feelings for him. They started dating and often visited each other's houses, making White worry about her daughter. White recalled:
"I am a little concerned about the boyfriend. I'm not sure. But I am pretty sure they are being very intimate."
AN UNEXPECTED ANNOUNCEMENT
The worried mother discussed her concerns with a knowledgeable friend who assured her that men with Down syndrome were sterile. Others also told White not to worry because they were sure Lisa wouldn't get pregnant.
Things took a different turn when Lisa surprised White with an unexpected announcement. When White returned to her desk after having lunch at work, she checked her phone and heard a message from Lisa saying:
"Hi mom, I just wanted you to know you are going to be a GRANDMOTHER!"
FEAR AND HAPPINESS
As much as White was shocked after discovering Lisa was pregnant, she feared her daughter would lose the baby to Child Protection Services. White explained that hospitals viewed disabled mothers as "detrimental" to their babies, so Child Protection Services often intervened in such cases. White recalled:
"She [Lisa] said to me, 'If I have a baby with Down syndrome, he will be like me, and I'll be so proud of him.'"
After dealing with a high-risk pregnancy, Lisa gave birth to her son, Nicolas, four weeks earlier than the expected date. His father was also there in the hospital room, but he and Lisa soon parted ways.
SIGNIFICANT LIFE CHANGES
When Nicolas turned five, his father passed away, leaving Lisa depressed. Soon, she had to undergo heart surgery, so White and Norm had to look after Nicolas.
White felt Lisa's life changed significantly after giving birth to a baby with Down syndrome because she needed assistance raising him. She had stopped going to work and mostly stayed with White and Norm.
Moreover, her social life had also deteriorated because her friends' parents didn't want their girls with Down syndrome to hang out with Lisa, fearing they might start wanting to have babies.
In 2016, 20-year-old Nicolas gave an interview where he talked about his mother. He said he loved her because she taught him to do so many things. Nicolas said:
"I have two moms. My mom Lisa is my greatest future in my life. She give me life, and she give me love, and she give me birth, and she give me special needs, and she is always wonderful, and she is beautiful. [sic]"
Despite what other people said, White supported her daughter's wish and helped her become a mother. She also cared for Nicolas like her son while appreciating Lisa for being a wonderful mother.
What would you do if you were in White's shoes? Would you also support Lisa knowing how difficult it would be for her to raise a child?
Click here to read another story about a father who built a theme park for his daughter after seeing other kids shying away from her.
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