Mum had to fight to give birth after tests showed her son had Down Syndrome
"If you could measure joy, it would be off the scale"
People are flooding to social media in support of British mum Natalie who had to fight to give birth to her son after finding out he had Down Syndrome.
Yesterday was World Down Syndrome Day and so mum Natalie O'Rourke joined Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby on This Morning to speak about her experience.
Natalie who is the owner of Park Lane Stables, a Riding for the Disabled Centre, opened up and explained how she had to "fight" with doctors not to terminate the pregnancy.
After she fell pregnant unexpectedly, she went for her first scan and noted it was "very quickly" ascertained that "something was wrong" with her baby.
She explains: "The nurse just said, 'I'm going to leave the room and go and get my colleague' but didn't tell me anything.
"I just knew that there was a problem."
Natalie was told that they believed there was "something wrong" with the baby and so she was urgently referred to Queen Charlotte's hospital in London.
She said what the doctor's told her "sickened" her.
‘It was like in their eyes, he was going to be a drain on society, and that his life would have no value’ Natalie joins us to raise awareness of Down’s syndrome, and offer some reassuring words to parents.❤️ #thismorning pic.twitter.com/B1TvOPpt7G
— This Morning (@thismorning) March 21, 2023
What the doctors said
Natalie told Holly and Phillip: "They called me to tell me the baby had Down Syndrome.
"I really wasn't surprised at that point. The phone rang again, it was an unknown number and they said, 'We are just confirming your appointment for tomorrow'.
"I said, 'I don't have an appointment for tomorrow, I think you have the wrong person.'
"I realised they had booked me in for a termination the following day."
Natalia told the hospital that she didn't want that and to "cancel that appointment" but she claims she was told that they would "keep the appointment just in case you change your mind."
Natalie has a daughter older than Woody and told of how grateful she is to be a mum.
She said if Woody had been her first child, she "might of had to go along" with the termination and wouldn't "have realised that there was a choice."
Natalie explains: "It was like, in their eyes, Woody was going to be a drain on a society and that his life would have no value.
"But actually Woody's a life enhancer.
"He enhances anybody's life that he meets, if you could measure joy, it would be off the scale.
"I remember holding him in my arms for the first time and he was crying. I was so happy that he was healthy and I thought, 'I fought for you and now you're here'."
Natalie concludes that her experience at the hospitals was "very confusing and frightening".
The mum says: "It was like we were put on a pathway without a choice really. This happened 10 years ago so I really, really hope it's different now.
"But what I want to say to anybody that is having a baby with Down Syndrome or gets a diagnosis or isn't even pregnant yet, it's okay."