Professional photographer and blogger Kelle Hampton recently discussed her experience in giving birth to a baby with Down Syndrome in January telling CNA that life for her and many other families with a disabled child is “beautiful and normal.”
In an interview with the online ParentDish on Tuesday, Hampton recalled how her blog, “Enjoying the Small Things,” received 2,000 hits for her Jan. 29 post which candidly detailed her emotional experience in giving birth to her daughter, Nella Cordelia.
“I knew the minute I saw her that she had Down Syndrome and nobody else did,” Hampton wrote in her January blog post after giving birth. “I held her and cried. Cried and panned the room to meet eyes with anyone that would tell me she didn't have it. I held her and looked at her like she wasn't my baby and tried to take it in.”
“And all I can remember of these moments is her face,” Hampton noted. “I will never forget my daughter in my arms, opening her eyes over and over ... she locked eyes with mine and stared ... bore holes into my soul. Love me. Love me. I'm not what you expected, but oh, please love me.”
Hampton recounted how she and her husband had no indicators that Nella had Down Syndrome before her birth.
“My experience, although painful, is still beautiful to me,” Hampton told ParentDish, “and having my beautiful, perfect daughter placed in my arms was still a reward and holding her and loving her took the pain away so much more quickly than if I would have had to deal with the news for 20 weeks prior.”
“I wouldn't have done anything differently if we were to have found out Nella had D.S. during the pregnancy,” Hampton told CNA in a separate interview on Thursday. Considering that many parents who undergo testing for Down Syndrome are given the option of aborting their pre-born babies if the results are positive, Hampton said that “although I do not judge anyone who has different views than mine, I would ask anyone considering termination to at least talk to other families with children with Down syndrome.”
“It has been such a comfort for me to see pictures of children and talk to other parents, realizing how normal and beautiful their lives are,” she underscored. “Nothing much changes but for the addition of a little more love and the acceptance of a few more challenges, but we make that same commitment when we welcome any child, regardless of special needs.”
Kelle's birth story can be found at: http://www.kellehampton.com/2010/01/nella-cordelia-birth-story.html