Jaxon’s story by Lorraine Buckmaster

Written by Guest Writer

January 3, 2023

I didn’t want a baby with Down syndrome

That day I got the call from the screening midwife will stay with me forever. My world crashed in.

1 in 5 “risk”, she called it a risk, of my baby having Down syndrome.

Not altogether unexpected, we all know its more likely “to happen” to older mothers. Pushing my luck having another baby at 45 years old. But I didn’t expect it to happen to me.

I cried, so many tears. I was frightened. I was so sad for my unborn baby. Would he/she have a miserable life. I wanted a “normal” baby. A baby who would have a happy life. Grow up, travel, fall in love, get a job they love.

Mark was in Australia. I had to break the news over the phone. He was more optimistic 80% chance the baby wouldn’t have Down syndrome. We would be one of the lucky ones… Our baby would be fine.

The pregnancy was my easiest. I sailed through. Each scan showed no soft markers for Down syndrome. We hadn’t had screening for my other kids… Maybe low Papp-a is just normal for me? We were probably going through all this worry for nothing.

The only time I actually wanted a baby with DS was when I found out 90% of women would terminate. I made a little deal with God. If there were 5 women in a room and the other 4 would terminate for DS, then I would happily have the baby… Give it a chance of some sort of life.

I was ignorant you see. I saw children with Down syndrome and I felt sorry for their parents. Imagine having a baby like that?

It must be so hard. I wondered if people were embarrassed of their children.

So you see, Jaxon wasn’t delivered into a special family. He wasn’t lucky to have us. We weren’t more suited to this role than any of our friends. We were just ordinary parents hoping for another ordinary baby.

Then Jaxon arrived and it quickly became obvious he had arrived with an extra copy of his 21st chromosome. And we loved him. At first in spite of his DS but very soon because of it.

His extra chromosome made him a very content baby. A dream. His snuggles were melt in the arms perfection.he rarely cried, even now, aged 6, he has to really hurt himself before he cries… And when he does he will stop sobbing, give a wavering smile and say “happy now!”

Life is a huge adventure. He loves his family and friends. Loves school. Loves learning new things.

Those things I wanted for a normal baby…. Grow up, travel, fall in love, get a job he loves and most importantly have a happy life…. I have no doubt he will achieve them all.

I didn’t want a baby with Down syndrome… Until I got one and realised he was everything I never realised I needed in my life.

First published by Lorraine Buckmaster on Jaxon Rio Buckmaster life’s ups and Down’s


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