This week we are sharing Aarti & Niam’s story. Aarti is one of our wonderful teachers who is training with Blossom and Berry.
We found out that our baby had Down’s Syndrome when I was four months pregnant. My husband and I felt a mixture of emotions; confusion, sadness, anger to name a few. After the initial shock, I thought to myself, I’m not going to give up on our baby. This has happened for a reason and I’m going to make sure I’m ready to be the best mother I can be. I started researching and finding out as much as I could about Down’s Syndrome to make sure I was prepared. But no matter how much you prepare, every child is different and you just learn as you go and how your child develops.
Our beautiful son was born at 32 weeks by a planned c-section. Soon after he was delivered, he was placed in an incubator and taken to the neo natal ward. I didn’t even get to touch him. The first few days were tough, whilst I battled through the physical pain as well as the emotional pain. My baby was without me. He was all alone in his incubator, without his mum. He needed me. I felt helpless and felt like a bad mother.
It was only when he was transferred to another hospital a few days later, for more specialised care, that I was introduced to Kangaroo Care. “Would you like to hold your baby?” The nurse said to me. “What really?” I said excitedly. I couldn’t at the previous hospital as he was all wired up. She explained what skin to skin contact was and how it would help baby and me. She helped me place my baby in my vest. What a wonderful experience it was! It was the special bonding time I was waiting for. I instantly felt amazing and as I looked down at my baby and whispered, “I love you,” he responded by moving his head up and I felt like he made a sigh, as to say finally my mummy is here. It was a very emotional experience.
He stayed in the hospital for the first 5 weeks of his life and I did kangaroo care whenever I could to have this special time with him.
It was almost three years later that I came across Blossom and Berry. I was searching for a new skill, something different, something to help others. After reading about the baby massage course and the charity project Little Blossoms in Malawi, I booked a weekend course in London. I admired Gayle’s passion and ethos. As soon as I completed the first day, I realised that I was meant to study this course. I learnt about the benefits of baby massage, to create a special bond between parent and baby. I also learnt how it can help aid in strengthening muscles for children with Down’s Syndrome, who often have low muscle tone.
I wish I had known the benefits of baby massage when my son was born. My son is nearly four years old and he cannot walk independently. I know he will get there but maybe massage would have helped him achieve this sooner.
I decided to support the Down’s Syndrome campaign ‘Tell it Right’ to help raise awareness of what life is really like to have a child with Down’s Syndrome. I encountered a negative experience with a hospital ‘specialist’ who told me that my child would be severely retarded if I continued with my pregnancy. Unfortunately, there are still some negative views and opinions out there. This campaign helps to train healthcare trainees and professionals to support new parents to be of a child with Down’s Syndrome. It focuses on the facts and real life experiences. Our son is three years old and cannot walk or talk yet, but he is perfect in our eyes.
I cannot wait to start my baby massage classes to help support mothers. I want to reach out to parents with premature babies and parents with children with Down’s Syndrome. I want to continue changing mind sets about Down’s Syndrome and help the world perceive the world in a more positive way. Every baby is a gift from up above. That’s the meaning behind my son’s name, Niam. I want to give parents the gift of baby massage to help support and create love. Love is after all what we need to survive.
To join a love creates love group see details here….https://www.blossomandberry.com/benefits/love-creates-love-campaign/