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Friends baby looks likely to have DS. I want to be positive/appropriate for her. What should I not say/say?

(15 Posts)
TheProfiteroleThief Thu 11-Jun-09 18:27:34

It is looking likely that a friend's baby has DS. She has waited a long time for this baby and I know he or she will be very much loved. I also know from RL and MN, that DS is not the worst thing, by any means.

However, I suppose it is not what she was hoping. Please forgive me if I say the wrong thing to you guys, I really don't want to offend or upset.

So, bearing in mind she has told me about the results so far, I would guess she will tell me when she definitley knows, either way, I want badly not to say the wrong thing - I don't know if there is a right thing.

Anyhow, I wondered if there was any advice you might offer.

lou031205 Thu 11-Jun-09 18:32:59

I would say that the best thing to do is just allow her to speak, and let her know that you will be there to support her along the way. You need to strike the balance between being one of the people she can be 'real' with, and complain about how hard it is, and being one of the people that can see past the 'DS' tag and see her child as a wonderful blessing, IYKWIM.

TheProfiteroleThief Thu 11-Jun-09 18:44:42

Thanks. Can you tell I am stressing already about saying the wrong bloody words, even if my sentiment is right.

It seems odd, just to say 'oh right' or 'I see' but I don't want my stupid mouth to run off. I know also DS can have some heart complications, so if the heart looks good, then that is positive news.

Dammit, I know I am going to say the wrong thing. I just don't want to say nothing and seem negative (which I am not)

geekgirl Thu 11-Jun-09 18:54:20

has the baby been born yet? The loveliest thing someone said after dd2 was born was that holding her made her feel all broody - it was just soooo lovely to have that kind of casual positive comment and made a huge difference to me.
You need people to acknowledge that you have had (or are going to have) a gorgeous baby and that there is cause for celebration, not commiseration. On the other hand, most parents are shocked to find out their baby has DS. I was a tearful mess for weeks really and had such conflicting emotions. It is a very, very difficult time.
You could say something along the lines of 'that must come as a real shock to you' and see how she responds.
I need to go now and watch my dd2 with DS be enrolled as a Brownie but here's a lovely article on welcoming babies with DS: www.bellaonline.com/articles/art32534.asp

TheProfiteroleThief Thu 11-Jun-09 19:01:17

will read - thank you

enjoy brownies!

SunisShinin Thu 11-Jun-09 19:23:18

My nephew has DS and although he is a lovely boy (age 5) I know it is not all sunshine and roses for my s-i-l.
To give your brain time to engage just ask her how she's feeling- immediately hands control of direction of conversation back to your friend.
Do not say 'oh, do you think you'll try for another baby' (since this one is faulty I guess) - it didn't go down well(not from me I hasten to add)

marmoset Thu 11-Jun-09 19:33:55

Agree with geekgirl - one of my neighbours wasn't sure whether to send a congrats card or not when ds1 was born (with DS) but luckily my friend told her of course she should. I wanted his birth to be treated as a celebration which it was but of course, there will be grief over what might have been and maybe worries for the future so you'll have to be tuned into when she wants to be positive and be there for the other times.

I was given a great booklet called 'Just Kids' when my ds1 was born - lots of pics and stories of kids with DS. It might be worth checking what info she gets about DS.

When I took him into work, one of my bosses said quite a good thing after all the oohing and aahing which was long the lines of 'are there any special things that you have to do for him?'. Something like that allows the parent to either say 'no' or to launch into a discussion - it put the ball in my court and I thought it was a good approach.

I guess it really depends on how close you are and what type of person she is.

marmoset Thu 11-Jun-09 19:35:16

PS by type of person, I mean is she private or demonstrative!

TheProfiteroleThief Thu 11-Jun-09 19:38:50

I actually think she is very unprivate, if that is a word. Very open and sharing, but I thin this sometimes means she does not the privacy she might want at a later date.

tbh, i think it will be easier when baby is born - a cute cuddly bub rather than an abstract piece of information.

I think I'll just try to take my cue from her.

feelingbetter Thu 11-Jun-09 19:46:26

This is a lovely thread. Perhaps not completely appropriate for your situation, but I think it does give some ideas of how us parents feel.

There are two particularly lovely posts on there (IMO), by Nikos and Moondog, which I think of often.

Good luck, you sound like a very dear friend. I'm sure your friend already knows that and will quickly forgive any foot in mouth episodes.

FWIW, I second the suggestion of approaching depending on the type of person she is. I cannot bear dancing round the subject and prefer straight talking and dark humour. I loathe with absolute passion any form of poetry/story of what a special Mummy I am/how God has chosen me etc etc etc.
But plenty of people find comfort in them, your friend might too.

geekgirl Thu 11-Jun-09 20:18:30

Back from Brownies - dd2 did well and was very proud!

I really like Welcome to Holland. It sums the whole thing up perfectly for me... I know lots of people deride it, but they seem to forget that it is written for parents of children with DS, not with other SN which might be a lot more difficult to deal with on a day-to-day basis.(and I don't really go for the usual SN poetry either!)

TheProfiteroleThief Thu 11-Jun-09 21:19:28

yay!
I have an imp and a pixie in my house! I adore the way they take it so seriously [grin

eidsvold Fri 12-Jun-09 11:52:22

I have a baby with ds and we were basically told before she was born if she was born without ds it would be very rare.

When the baby comes - just celebrate the birth of a gorgeous wee baby - you know as you would any other baby.

Let her know you can be someone to talk with should she need it. My dh spoke to one person and that was it - dd1 is dd1 and so be it.

Let her be the guide - take your cues from her.

On the practical side - perhaps you could read up yourself so that she does not need to keep explaining etc and so you may be able to help her with information or point her in the right direction. I was pleased when my dad contacted his local ds association and asked for information and spoke with them so I did not have to keep telling him things.

You can always ask us here. You can point your friend in our direction. If you do a search - I have written tonnes of posts about ds and my dd1 ( as well as my other two dds.)

marmoset do you have the new or old Just Kids. If you have the old one. We know the young lady on the front. I never got to meet her mum to whom the book is dedicated but dh knows the family very well. that young lady is now a teenager!!

TheProfiteroleThief Fri 12-Jun-09 15:46:27

Thanks v much. Will bear all this in mind and try to be a psoitive part of their life rther than a pita.

marmoset Fri 12-Jun-09 22:18:11

Hi eidsvold - it's the old one so that's lovely to know!

PS anyone else finding this new MN layout quite disconcerting or am I just stuck in my ways and unable to deal with new things?!!

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