A few months ago I sat down with a local woman and new mother, Ashley. Her daughter Willow, at the time of our talk, was 11 months old, diagnosed with Down Syndrome. I will admit that there was a part of me questioning whether I should do this interview. Ashley had reached out to me about telling her birth story. I was very excited and said of course I would love to hear it. But as the time got closer and I had some more interviews under my belt, I began to question my ability to properly hold space for someone not even a year in to their journey. I remember how raw and intense that first year was for me, how sensitive and exposed I felt and just wanted to be a safe space for her to talk about this time.
Then Ashley came to my house and she began to talk…I listened, and I sat there in awe of her strength, her openness and her ability to speak with such clarity about her experience…the unexpected cesarean, the ridiculously ignorant and unhelpful comments from medical professionals and her continued push for others to acknowledge that her baby was not a ‘Down Syndrome baby’, but a beautiful, strong being whose name is Willow.