The blessings of being the mother of a child with an extra chromosome

By Maria V. Gallagher, Legislative Director, Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation

A woman blessed with a child with Down syndrome is reaching out to other mothers to help them during what can be a time of uncertainty and stress.

Heather Gregg of Whitestown, Indiana, launched a program called the Lucky Mama Project with the aid of a group known as Down Syndrome Indiana. As chronicled in the pages of Woman’s World magazine, Gregg’s project delivers goodie bags to new mothers of children with Down syndrome, to help them to know that they are not alone. The bags include baby clothing, books, and other gifts to help brighten a mother’s day.

As Gregg told the magazine, “I want every parent of a child like (my) Ivy to know what a gift they’ve been given.”

Gregg was inspired to deliver her “blessing bags” by her own experience as a mother of a child with Down syndrome. She longed for friendship with another mother of a child with Down syndrome who could have offered her reassurance and guidance. Out of that desire, a beautiful project was born.

Fourteen weeks into her pregnancy, Gregg took a test to determine if her preborn child had Down syndrome. She was shocked by the positive result. When she met with her doctor, she was advised she could “terminate” the baby.

As Gregg told Woman’s World, her heart “skipped a beat,” as she thought to herself, “No! This is our baby…We will love her no matter what.”

It is that can-do attitude that now inspires other mothers who face similar circumstances. Gregg, who has a seven-year-old daughter in addition to three-year-old Ivy, told the magazine, “This special little girl brings so much love and light to our family.”

By delivering goodie bags to new mothers of babies with Down syndrome, Gregg hopes to inspire in families happiness and excitement for children with special needs. She is succeeding. One mother told her that she was the first individual to offer congratulations, giving her a renewed sense of hope.

May all parents of children with an extra chromosome experience similar joy!