A Mother’s Unconditional Love ( On having a Child with Down Syndrome )

Delivering a baby whom you carried in your womb for nine months, more or less,  is a very satisfying and heavenly experience. More so, if the baby is the very first of the new mom. Even if the baby is SPECIAL. A mother’s unconditional love simply explains this feeling.

Only a mom can give this nurturing love , and our special needs mom, Lee can attest to this, on how she wholeheartedly accepted her son Mark, whom she found out only at birth as having Down syndrome.

Lee is married and blessed with four kids, 3 girls and a boy.  Her eldest is now in university, while the other two young ladies  are in high school and all are doing good, all of them with honours.

Mark, her only son, is the youngest  and presently enrolled in a Special education program.

How old were you when you had Mark and how did you know that he was special?

” I was 42 when I delivered my baby and I knew right away when I saw him at the delivery room that he was special based on his facial features. I had a sister who also had  Down syndrome  but she passed away a few years back and  so their features are quite familiar to me. “ 

Tell me about your special son.

A mother's unconditional love

” Mark’s Down syndrome comes with  a congenital heart disease. Because of his heart problem, he had on and off cough and colds when he was younger. It is only mild though, with no shortness of breath or bluish discoloration of his nails and lips. 

He is a jolly kid who loves watching sports on television, especially motorcycle and car races. He would jump with joy when he enjoys watching his favorite shows. He would keep on groaning if you are watching your own show in TV and then he will stop and jump when you switch the show to his.

At  eleven years old, he is  still unable to talk but communicates  in his own way, like if he wants to watch TV, he will hold your hand and bring you close to where the plug of the TV is.

He can walk on his own, but still needs full assistance in eating. He is not yet fully toilet-trained as well.”

How did you and your family react to the news that he is special?

” I was initially  shocked because I had no idea when I was pregnant about having a special baby. Then, I was depressed for awhile. I guess I was unprepared emotionally during his birth.

Eventually my maternal instinct kicked in and I was on my way. Our whole family just got together and pooled our love and support for him. 

Because I lived with Pangga, my sister with Down syndrome,  until I got married, I saw how she developed slowly, and eventually became partially independent. Same thing,  Mark’s sisters and my husband observed first hand how Pangga was, so  it was somehow easy for us to accept Mark and just be there for him to show our unconditional love. “

 

A mothers unconditional love

 

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Do you have any fears about his future?

” Yes, because Mark is special, he will be dependent on us throughout his lifetime and I don’t know when we get older if we can still take care of him or if we pass away, who will be responsible for him. I just hope that later on, he will learn to take care of himself  and be productive. 

I guess parents always think about the future of their kids especially if they have special needs. “

Did you have any struggles on caring for him and how did you manage?

” Taking care of  Mark has been a challenge and still is, because he always needs special attention, especially since he has a congenital heart disease. Of course we also have to understand how he behaves, because until now,  he is non-verbal.

I remember he had several episodes of convulsion with fever when he was around 4 years old and he was admitted to the hospital for several days. It was then that we realized that we could lose him and that we really love him dearly.

With the support of my family, and him getting more independent, things are becoming better and easier each day. “

Is he having therapies or attending Special Education?

” Mark is seeing a Pediatric cardiologist at least once a year and he has maintenance medicines for his heart.

For the last four years, he has been going to a Special Education program from Monday to Thursday for one and a half hours in the morning in a class of 3-4 kids. At first, he did not want to sit down in the chair and would just roam around the classroom. Eventually, with the continuous support of his teacher, Mark learned to sit still and do some sensory play and simple lessons.”

Do you have advices that you can give to parents, especially  moms, on how to take care of a special child?

” Love your special child no matter what. Be very patient with him or her.

Provide your kid with everything that you feel he needs for him to grow up like a normal kid.

Taking care of your special child brings lots of struggles and you just have to accept them as challenges that you can always hurdle. Always ask the help of your family, even your extended families and friends, because you need  every help that they can offer, otherwise you will always feel overwhelmed and stressed. 

You also have to take care of yourself so you can always be there for him and your whole family. Find time to go out with your friends. Do things that you love to do on your own or with the rest of your family and friends.

I am a member of our church choir as well as the office choir. I’ve always loved to sing and our regular practice and performances give me joy and relaxation. Singing in church and in programs give me inner peace and profound happiness. I feel I am always blessed and ready to give my all to my family and my special needs child after I attend mass.”

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Having a special child is indeed a blessing

Truly, these special kids maybe a challenge to take care of, but usually they are the darlings in the family, they bring so much joy and  love to the whole family, every time and everyday.

Support from the family, especially the spouse and the other siblings and relatives as well as the whole community is of utmost importance for our special kids to thrive and develop fully.

They are God’s blessings and angels in our midst.

Kudos to Lee and all special needs moms and parents who offer unconditional love to their special needs children. You all deserve praise and recognition for making our special kids grow up to be the best version of themselves.

 

A mother's unconditional love

 

As a special needs mom/parent, how do you show your unconditional love for your special child? Please share your experiences with us.

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12 thoughts on “A Mother’s Unconditional Love ( On having a Child with Down Syndrome )”

  1. I love you, Manang Lee! I know your challenges but you are a strong person deep inside. You may be the quiet and shy type but your patience especially your faith in God is shining through.

    Mark is surrounded by a loving family so you really don’t have to worry about his future. Thanks for sharing your inspiring story. You may not know it but this will surely touch many lives especially those families with special kids like Mark.

    We miss you all and hope to see you soon!

    Love,
    Odette

    Reply
  2. Thanks so much on this article about mother’s unconditional love.

    Have you ever considered why must we all look up to women? The answer is simple; it is because of the love embedded by God in them.  Mothers are virtually everything, a wife to her husband, a teacher and mother to her  kids, finance manager and adviser to her kids and sometimes to their dad.

    A mother’s love is unending, no matter the wrongdoings  of her children, they cannot let her down.

    I honor all mothers globally, you all are a blessing to the earth. 

    Most especially our special needs moms, like LEE.

    Reply
  3. Hello there Marita, 

    Thanks a lot for sharing this interview with Lee. 

    We appreciate it as it gives encouragement to people who are in the same situation and who feel they are alone in this world. It also goes a long way for people who are still in the depression stage of trying to accept that they have a special kid. 

    I am going to share the post on my social media account for more people to read. It really deserves more reads from many people out there. 

    Thanks again and have a good day!

    Dave

    Reply
    • Hi Dave,

      I’m so touched of your concern for Lee and all special needs moms out there. Support from people like you are so important.

      Thanks for sharing to your social media account.

      God bless,

      Marita

      Reply
  4. Very touching and heartwarming. Moms who raise special kids are the strongest. This reminds me of the mom I often see during Sunday mass when she tags her special child along during communion. She always has that smiling face, calm and peaceful demeanor which makes me feel sometimes envious. I have four kids – all normal and happy but her courage and strength is just incomparable to mine.

    Reply
    • Hi Judith,

      Very true!

      Like you, I doubly honor moms with special kids. I believe their children with special needs give them pure joy, just being with them and caring for them.

      They are angels in their midst.

      Thanks for reading!

      God bless,

      Marita

      Reply
  5. Marita,
    Thank you for helping bring stories like this to our attention. All to often we get caught up in our own lives and begin to take our children for granted. A mother’s unconditional love…it is for real carries even more meaning on this day after Mother’s Day. Some Special children cannot express themselves, perhaps we should all remember to say a special thank you to Mother’s with Special Needs Children. I think it is wonderful that you have chosen to honor your sister in this way.
    Sanders

    Reply
    • Hi Sanders,

      That was my thought yesterday, on Mother’s day, we need to honor doubly mothers of children with special needs because they do a lot more than the moms with normal kids. 

      My very own mother is one. She raised two special kids out of her ten children. Yes, we are a really big family. 

      I only have a son and step-daughter who lived with us when she was already 15. And raising my only son gave me more appreciation for my mother who raised a lot more.

      Indeed, mothers of special needs kids ( who also include 3 other sisters of mine ) are really ” special” themselves in a different connotation being able to be very patient and caring to their special angels.

      Thanks for stopping by.

      God bless,

      Marita

      Reply
  6. Marita – your passion for these wonderful children of God shines through beautifully within your blog.

    Very touching and extremely well done. I really enjoyed the interview and believe this is such a great way to bring people to realize how special these people are.

    All the best to you – keep up the good work!

    Dallas

    Reply
    • Hi Dallas,

      These special kids are truly gifts from God. They bring extra joy and hope to their families .

      Helping them and their families is a way for me to remember my lost sister who had Down Syndrome. We lost an angel in our midst but her legacy will continue.

      Thanks for the nice comments.

      Marita

      Reply

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