The First in our “Dear Doctor” series – Maria Stacey

Maria Stacy is the proud mother of two children with Down Syndrome, Nancy and Joey. She shares the powerful story of how she learned that she would become a Down Syndrome parent. Follow her on the Hormones and Chromosomes Facebook Page.

Dear Doctor,

I know it’s early in the morning and you have just come on shift. It’s a Monday too. The start of another busy week in Paediatrics.

And a midwife has come and found you. Telling you, you need to see the baby boy in bay 1.

And you are dreading examining him. Because if the midwife is pretty sure she’s seen those signs then you know she’s probably right. But it will be left to you to confirm it and deliver the news to a mother with no idea.

Then you walk in the room and see her and your heart sinks a little lower. She’s got that new mother glow and happiness about her and you know you are about to break her world.

But don’t be scared.

Don’t be scared of all those little signs that you are hoping you won’t see, but that are there.

See those eyes? The ones shaped like large almonds with the epicanthal folds? Well soon they will open wide. They will have brushfield spots (another common trait) that will make them shine like they have had diamonds placed in them.

Those eyes will see the world and look deep into the soul of those around him and steal their hearts.

See that nose with it’s flat nasal bridge? That will be the cutest nose his sister has ever seen.

See those feet? The ones with the sandal toe gap? Those feet will soon walk and he will follow his daddy everywhere. He will walk 130 miles around Anglesey with his daddy before he reaches four. They will kick a ball and they will run.

See that floppiness? That’s caused by low muscle tone. That will become stronger. It will leave those around him in awe of how hard he works to get stronger. It will also leave him able to give the best cuddles.

And those hands? Those hands that you are dreading unfolding to see the single line crease. Those hands will build blocks and hold books. Those hands will grasp his mother’s hand every night before he sleeps. And she will dread the day he gets too old and stops.

So doctor don’t be scared. Those things you see aren’t there to be feared. They are the very things that make him beautiful and make him powerful. They are the things his family will adore.

For yes you are about to change this mother’s world, but you will not break it. You are about to tell her that she’s just welcomed something wonderful into her life.

Don’t tell her you’re sorry. Because you shouldn’t be.

Tell her congratulations. Tell her that the road ahead may not always be easy. But tell her it will always, always be worth it.

From The Mum of the baby boy in bay 1

Stephanie Westerman

Stephanie Westerman

Stephanie Westerman is the founder of She is an executive at Florida Blue, Wife to Brandon and Mom to Hudson and Juliette. She lives in Jacksonville, Florida.
Stephanie Westerman