I have always planned (well, since I knew she had Down syndrome) to speak out for Rachel. I have no shame in her having Down syndrome. I don't care if everyone knows she has it. I don't hide it. But, I've never said to a room of people, out loud, that my daughter has Down syndrome. Today at a Baby and Me yoga class we all sat around and had to introduce ourselves and our babies. As other people talked, I debated in my mind whether to even say anything. If I don't say it, will it seem like I'm ashamed of her? If I do say it, will that be all they see in her from now on? Person by person it got closer to my turn and I knew I had to decide. I decided to say, "Hi, I'm Maggie and this is Rachel. She was born 10 weeks early and we found out four days before that she has Down syndrome." Wow, that felt good. I think that if people know she has Ds and they see who she is and what she can do maybe if they give birth to a child with Ds they will think of her and go, "Oh, this isn't going to be bad at all. I remember that girl from Yoga. She was cute and acted like any other baby." I want to save them at least some of the pain that I felt at hearing those words at the hospital. I didn't know anything about Ds. I never saw any babies with it before so I reacted the way I thought I should at hearing my daughter wasn't "perfect", I cried my eyes out and yelled at God. I think if I had been around another baby with Ds before she was born, I probably wouldn't have reacted as badly as I did. I'm only glad that I moved on from that grief stage quickly because it would have interfered with me being able to see the beautiful, goofy and strong willed girl I gave birth to.