Meet baby Louise. The gorgeous four-month-old of Caroline Boudet, Louise is a healthy baby who, yes, also has Down’s Syndrome.
Sadly for Caroline and Louise it’s this last point that many people focus on when meeting the bright-eyed bub.
So much so that the mum has taken to Facebook with a request that people rethink what they say when they meet the pair.
In the post which has gone viral, Caroline write:
Here is my baby girl, Louise. She is 4 months old, has two legs two arms, and one extra chromosom [sic].
Please, when you meet a Louise, do not ask her mother « how come you did not find out during the pregnancy ? ». Either it was, and the parents took the decision to « keep the baby ». Either it wasn’t, and it was surprising enough for them, to talk about it over and over now. Keep in your mind that mothers have a tendency to feel guilty about each and every thing, so a surprising extra chromosome… I let you guess.
Don’t tell her mother « it’s you baby no matter what ». No. It’s my baby, period. Plus : « nomatterwhat » is quite an ugly name, I’d rather call her Louise.
Don’t tell her mother « As she a down’s baby, she will… etc ». No. She is a 4-months old baby who happens to have Down Syndrom [sic]. It’s not what she IS, it’s what she HAS. You wouldn’t says « she’s a cancer baby ».
Don’t say « they’re like this, they’re like that ». « They » all have their features, their character, teihr [sic] own tastes, their life. « They » are as different between them as you are from you neighbour.
I know that if one does not experience it, one does not think about it but words do matter. They can comfort and they can hurt. So just give it a thought, especially if you ‘re a doctor or nurse of any kind.
I usually do not make my status « public » on facebook, but this one will be. You can read it and share it as you want.
Because each year there are (in France) 500 new « mothers of Louise » that can have a day ruined by those kind of words. I know it’s not meant to hurt. But you just need to know.
Understandably the poignant message has been shared by over 27,000 people.
Here’s hoping the message breaks through – because how can you think of anything but how sweet baby Louise looks in this pic?