To say Nardy Mejias has her hands full is an understatement.
With five children under age 7 and another one on the way, the Basingstoke, Hampshire, England mother and her husband, Enzo Lattanzio, stay busy. Their youngest born children, 18-month-old twins Rachel and Hannah, also have Down syndrome.
Mejias recently spoke out about the blessings that her children are, and encouraged other moms who are expecting unborn babies with Down syndrome to choose life, the Daily Mail reports.
“So far raising twins has been hard, like harder than running a marathon – but caring for our twins brings us great joy,” she said. “We enjoy how they bond together, and celebrate when they reach a milestone at their own pace. They are lovely – they are not defined by the condition.”
Mejias admitted the news that the twins had Down syndrome was “a little bit hard at first,” but they adjusted. She said she had a healthy pregnancy, and they did not find out about the twins’ condition until three weeks after they were born.
“For people who don’t know anything about Downs Syndrome, they might be scared getting a diagnosis,” she said.
She encouraged other expecting parents not to give into that fear.
According to the report:
She recommended that anyone who learnt during pregnancy that their baby had Down’s Syndrome should seek to inform themselves about it, and consider that it is possible to have a fulfilling life, rather than a termination.
She added: ‘You never know how your life is going to change and enrich your life, rather than the way you were expecting.
‘If I had found out during the pregnancy, I would have been worried. But if the baby is healthy, you do not need to worry about it.
‘We did not know about Down’s Syndrome in the beginning, and I’d only met one child with the condition before.
‘It’s OK to be different, we all have something to bring to the world we just need love, care and the same opportunities afforded to everyone else.’
Though the twins have some health problems, she said they are doing well. Mejias said her girls are learning sign language, crawling and standing up; and her older children have been excellent teachers.
“My husband and I have great expectations to reach their full potential according their future talents and we’re working to give them the right opportunities in life,” she said. “They won’t be defined by Down’s Syndrome but as girls with great capabilities, self worth feeling good about themselves.”
Unborn babies with Down syndrome and other disabilities are discriminated against at astronomical rates. Parents whose unborn babies have Down syndrome or other disabilities frequently report feeling pressure to abort them by doctors and genetic counselors.
In 2017, a CBS News report shocked the nation with its exposure of the discriminatory abortion trend. According to the report, nearly 100 percent of unborn babies who test positive for Down syndrome are aborted in Iceland. The rate in France was 77 percent in 2015, 90 percent in the United Kingdom and 67 percent in the United States between 1995 and 2011, according to CBS.
Some put the rate as high as 90 percent in the United States, but it is difficult to determine the exact number because the U.S. government does not keep detailed statistics about abortion.
Stories like the Mejias family’s combat this discrimination by demonstrating that every baby’s life is worthy of protection and love.