Another email was waiting for me when I got up this morning. Without further ado:
"It's been an emotional ride for me this week. I should probably start by telling you about my husband and his family. He was with me, of course, when the doctor told me the results and he didn't even flinch, all he did was take my hand. He had had an aunt with cerebral palsy who died when he was in his teens and of whom he still speaks with love and affection. He wanted the child no matter what but agreed to leave the decision up to me. His family was equally supportive and there was no difficulty in telling them at all. Most of them seemed genuinely excited about the baby, it was like they didn't hear the 'Down Syndrome' part.
My family has been another story, however, and it has caused me no end of sorrow. My sister in particular has been on at me about the decision to keep the baby. She thinks it is reckless and irresponsible to bring a 'defective child' into the world and then expect 'taxpayers to carry the burden'. She's been angry and adament. My mother has been torn between the two of us wanting to support me but, in her heart, agreeing with my sister. I've tried to explain that I've learned a lot about Down Syndrome and that it doesn't mean what they think it means. But they won't listen. It got so bad that my mother threatened to cancel our Easter celebration tomorrow if my sister and I couldn't agree to leave it alone for the day.
Well, I don't want to leave it alone. I don't want to go and pretend that everything is fine while my sister is sitting there passing judgement on a child that hasn't even been born yet. My husband, ever the peacemaker, says that I should let it go because what my sister think ultimately doesn't matter. He says that my sister and I are always at each other about something, this is just the latest battle ground. That's true but all our squabbles now seem petty, this isn't petty. This is my baby. More than that I don't want her passing her attitudes on to my other children. They don't really understand what the whole fuss is about, they are just pleased at having another brother or sister. For reasons I don't understand they really love their aunt and I'm afraid of the influence she will have on them.
So when I came on to read Chewing the Fat this evening I was wondering if you would have posted my letter to you. I was pleased that you did and then I saw that there were 65 comments. I read them and started to cry. Really cry. I called my husband and he sat here with me and we both cried as we read all the notes of encouragement and congratulations. It took us hours to go through the comments because we kept stopping and talking and hugging each other. All these people from around the world were embracing us, becoming a new family to me. I can't thank you enough for your words of encouragement and for the people who commented on your blog made such a difference to me.
My sister had not swayed my decision to have the child (no I don't know if it is a boy or a girl) but she shook my faith in people. I had it restored this evening. Thankyou."
I have, obviously, editted out the parts of the letter that were to me personally, I can just tell you that I'm going to meet up with Mom and Dad in only a few weeks as I am going to be in their part of the world. I'll keep you updated.