How Down Syndrome Completely Changed Caterina Scorsone’s Stand on Motherhood
Being a mother already, Caterina Scorsone thought she had motherhood all figured out. That was up until her second child, now two years old, was diagnosed with Down Syndrome.
While talking to the Motherly podcast, Scorsone detailed the life-changing moment when she found out that her child had a serious illness that would affect her for the rest of her life.
According to the actress, becoming a first-time mom six and a half years ago to daughter Eliza led her to believe that motherhood was about equipping her child with the necessary skills required to survive in this highly competitive world.
And that’s what she had been doing, till her second born, Paloma, came.
Special and Different
When she realized that Pippa (Paloma’s nickname) was to be a special and different child, her world was, at first, sent into an uncontrollable descent. She stayed in this start for quite a while, and it is easy to understand why.
A Down Syndrome diagnosis for your child would be hard-hitting for any parent. It would throw your life into serious disarray, and it takes the utmost amount of courage, strength, and perseverance to pull yourself out of that hole.
Luckily for Scorsone, one day everything just clicked into place. As she put it, it was like a voice a came to her, and they had a conversation.
She recalls that her first thought was that she had no idea what to do, but the voice told her that it was actually pretty simple. She just had to keep Pippa safe and shower her with unconditional love.
And in that instant, she figured that all along, she had gotten the concept of motherhood wrong. She looked back at how she had raised her firstborn, admitting that she loved her for her qualities.
Eliza is quite an intelligent girl, she’s beautiful and funny too. But in that moment, Scorsone realized that these were all external qualities.
She had to confront the idea that Pippa could fail to be as funny, as clever, or as pretty as her elder sibling. But at the time when she was having these thoughts, she knew very little about Down Syndrome, just like many of us.
Looking at her daughter now and recalling her initial fears, she even feels stupid that she ever thought Pippa couldn’t be all of these things.
Mother Nature’s Gift
However, these exact thoughts are what made her cherish her second daughter more. She accepted her wholeheartedly, loving her for her essence, with her external qualities being just a bonus.
According to the Grey’s Anatomy actress, her new stance on motherhood is a great gift from mother nature.
The misinformation on the internet concerning Down Syndrome had almost brought her to her knees, but now that she is enlightened, she’s ready to provide Pippa with the best life possible.
Scorsone also recommends reading Martha Beck’s Expecting Adam for mothers raising kids with Down Syndrome. The book is packed with useful information on the illness and how to provide the best life to your child no matter what they’re going through.
Amy Brenneman, a close friend and former co-star, has also helped Scorsone on her journey, seeing as she’s raising a daughter with a chromosomal variation. She told Scorsone that you raise them just as you would any other child. Learn who they are, figure out what they need, then provide just that.
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