Cheryl’s story: Embracing a beautiful journey of motherhood 

**This special Mother’s Day story was submitted via #MyDsStory 

Written by our guest writer, Cheryl Sewell 

My son Cruz’s diagnosis was a total surprise to us when I gave birth. When he was born, he looked me right in the eyes and I immediately felt an energy and connection that I had never felt before. I think about that moment often.   

Moments later, the doctor came over to tell us he saw soft markers for Down syndrome. He spoke to me with an apologetic tone and almost like there had been a death when here we were welcoming in a special, beautiful new life.  

Within moments the mood of the entire room shifted, and I felt so scared and honestly hopeless. I didn’t know much at all about Down syndrome at the time, only that I had a great aunt who had it and she had passed long before I was born, not much else. But the way that doctor had delivered the news, I felt like all of my dreams of motherhood were being shattered right as they were beginning.  

Well, was I ever wrong. When I look back to the waves of emotions, thoughts and feelings that I had at that time I’m often ashamed but give myself grace because of the experience I had with the medical professionals and the stereotypical picture of Down syndrome that was painted before me. It didn’t take long for me to see just how special the son we were given was and the joy he brought to our family and literally everyone around him.  

Cruz has an empathetic nature that is unmatched and a silly spirit that evokes joy and laughter like I have never seen. He is thoughtful and attentive to all the details and beauty in life and helps me to see more than I ever did before he was here. He loves to sing and dance, read and learn, run around the park, swing and slide.  

Everyone at Cruz’s school knows him and he hasn’t even officially started Pre-K yet.  The kids lined up in the hallways can’t wait to high-five him and little girls have brought him drawings and notes when he comes in for speech and therapy. His magnetic personality and laughter is so infectious and he shines beauty on all aspects of our life as a family and in our community. 

 While I felt a wash of emotions the day Cruz was born, and I still have some fears of the unknown and the obstacles we may face moving through life, I am no longer afraid that I am missing out on a single thing in this journey of motherhood. I have so much more than I ever imagined thanks to Cruz and his extra chromosome. More love, more community and support through GiGi’s Playhouse Detroit, and an ability to find joy in the little things in life which might otherwise slip by. Cruz has taught me that. 

**This story was submitted via #MyDsStory. We invite you to share and submit your stories so we can continue to highlight the beauty of Down syndrome! Submit here. 

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