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card for new baby - with DS

14 replies

SoftFroggie · 08/11/2004 15:26

A (not particularly close) friend has had a baby, with Down's Syndrome. It wasn't expected at all, and they are distressed about it. They are a very lovely couple and I'm sure she'll be a much loved child.

I'd send a new baby card, but am not quite sure how to best write it - don't want to offend / upset by being upbeat or downbeat, by referring or not referring to the DS etc. On the other hand, I don't want to not send a card (appols for split infinitive) just because I'm awkward about what to say...

umm ... probably being really gauche in being oversensitive ... sorry ....

OP posts:
Blu · 08/11/2004 15:31

Address the card tp the child? this is something I quite often do, anyway - 'welcome little ' - or, I think I would write the card just as you would to any other new parents, after all, they deserve to be congratulated, and the child offered a welcome. Then maybe at the end, or at the bottom of the 'facing' side of the card, 'we know you and little ** are going to need our special support at times, and we look forward to meeting her and being there for you'

geekgrrl · 08/11/2004 15:49

hi softfroggie, when our dd with DS was born we had a card from one of dh's work colleagues that really touched me ... will dig it out from dd's baby box and type the text out. He was acknowledging the fact that it was time of very mixed emotions for us. Anyway, will go and find it.

Dingle · 08/11/2004 15:51

AS a mum with a dd of 3 who has DS, I have been on the recieving end of the congratulations cards!
Some of the most "hurtful" cards were those with such sentimental words, such a "gods gift..." I cannot deny that they had me in floods of tears during the shock of having a newborn with DS. Looking back now, that was all part of the learning process and I needed that to realise how lucky I was to have such a special baby.
I personally did not really celebrate her birth initially, I suppose I was too emotional- but after opening my first congrats card, the tears came and then the guilt. Why was I being so stupid, I had a beautiful baby girl and she was certainly worth celebrating.
Sorry for the waffle but what I am probably trying to say is choose the wording carefully but at the end of the day it is still a life that deserves to be treasured & celebrated.
If I can be of ANY help please don't hesitate to CAT.

geekgrrl · 08/11/2004 15:57

ok here it is:
"Dear geekguy and geekgrrl,
I can't possibly know the conflicting emotions you must be expecting.
I think what must be guaranteed are the huge joy and rewards that lie ahead as well as the challenge.
You should know that people are thinking about you."

I think that sort of thing is good. Makes you feel that people aren't just ignoring that 'minor' issue of your new baby not being what you expected and all the pain that goes with it.

connyflower · 08/11/2004 16:20

not been in this sitution but afterall this is a new little life id send a card just the same as if you would normally! yeh its bound to be a shock to the new parents but theyve still got this lovely little girl to be proud of at the end of the day! i wouldnt think youd need to refer to ds in the card, what differnce does it make! I do know what you mean about not refering to itin the card i dont think its needed, you could send a seperate card just saying your there if they need you!

luckymum · 08/11/2004 17:17

I have a friend who's baby was born with heart problems - she was gutted because they didn't get the usual congratulations cards - they lost him a few months later too

Blu's wording sounds lovely

nailpolish · 08/11/2004 17:28

what blu said is lovely

hana · 08/11/2004 17:41

my initial thoughts are for you to send a card as you 'normally would' - why would you have to put anything extra on it?

eidsvold · 08/11/2004 21:21

I agree with hana - when dd was born - we simply appreciated everyone celebrating her birth as you would any child. I guess our was a little different as dd was born with a congential heart defect - diagnosed antenatally and ds - we knew they went hand and hand and so dd being born with ds was not such a shock as if we had not known.

Those who were closest to us then called or came and visited... and then took their direction from us iykwim.

sinclair · 09/11/2004 17:11

So agree with you Dingle, the cards which came with little homilies, cuttings, anything about God's special children - yuck. Send the card you would normally send - and then when you meet in person take your cue from the parents as Eidsvold says. Save the encouraging anecdotes about your cousin with DS/something you saw on TV/read in a mag for the face to face, when you can gauge how they are coping.

Debsbabe · 10/11/2004 01:37

Everyone treated my baby with DS the same as my other children at birth, we got the usual congratulations cards and gifts just the same as we did when we had our other son a couple of years before and it was so nice that everyone was seeing he was a baby first not a downs baby (a baby who has downs syndrome) just treat parents and baby exactly as you would have if she hadn't of had DS.

I hope that made sense?

Love Debbie xxxxx

Thomcat · 10/11/2004 10:35

You should congratulate them on their onderful new baby, tha same you would with anyone.

I hated it when people weren't sure whether to congratulate me or not. I'd just given birth to a my first born, a beautiful baby girl. Sure I was shocked and shed soem tears but I was still to be congratulated and treated the same as any new mother.

Don't treat them with kid gloves and single them out as being different just do whayt feels right in your heart. There will be times she needs you as a shoulder to cry on but for now celebrate.

When you're bith ready tell her about Mumsnet and tell her to come on here and share parts of her journey with us, when she's ready, we're all here for her.

SoftFroggie · 11/11/2004 14:53

Thank you for your lovely and obvious replies - sorry for asking such an insensitive / daft question! Of course their baby should be celebrated like all babies.

OP posts:
eidsvold · 11/11/2004 19:58

soft froggie

  • no need to apologise - i was impressed that you were so caring in terms of wanting to know the best way to approach the situation and wanting to do it sensitively. I know very close friends of ours were not sure what to do or say at times and I really appreciated if they asked or just took the cue from us iyswim.
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