Things only got worse from there.

“Charlotte was just a few hours old when a maternity nurse suggested to me I could leave her at the hospital and return home to carry on my life without my baby,” Laitner said. “It was the first but not the last time I felt pitied to have a child with Down’s syndrome.”

Yet her advice had the opposite reaction. “Her words roused me from the fog of shock and worry I’d been in since giving birth ‒ when it was immediately obvious Charlotte wasn’t the baby I thought I was having ‒ and fired up in me a fierce sense of protectiveness that has never left me,” she said.

Laitner already felt deep love for her daughter, but was still scared. Then, a meeting with a pediatrician the next day began to allay some of those fears.

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