It’s been a surprising, complicated and emotional journey for model Amanda Booth since she entered the world of motherhood last year. While she was not expecting her son, Micah, to be diagnosed with Down Syndrome, she has learned to not only accept, but embrace the challenges with positivity and passion.
For the first time Amanda Booth reveals her journey as a parent to a child with special needs and how her son has given her an incredible new outlook on life.
“My life has changed in more ways than I could have ever imagined.”
Like most mums, model Amanda Booth had a plan during her pregnancy with her first child – she was going to give birth naturally at home to a perfectly healthy baby boy. She would get into a routine, return to work six weeks later and life would continue much as it was before.
However, things did not go quite to plan as Amanda was rushed to hospital during her home birth and, shortly after Micah was born, she was greeted with an abrupt, “I think your son has Down Syndrome,” by one of the doctors.
“I still know very little about Down Syndrome, but I know a lot about Micah.”
After months of testing it was confirmed that Micah did indeed have Down Syndrome, something that Amanda admits she was very unfamiliar with. While she started to research about the condition, she also found a new paediatrician to help Micah along the way and discovered social media groups that offered comfort and support.
“I used Instagram as a platform for information,” Amanda explains. And while she was met with plenty of rude comments, she also encountered plenty of like-minded supportive people.
“With the first few trolls I encountered, I wept for my son. But I am fully aware of the battles he may face and it just brought that reality to my doorstep a little sooner than I had anticipated. I needed some practice before he was old enough to hear the negativity, so I can know how to raise him to be greater than that.”
Apart from the trolls, there was one more demon Amanda had to battle – her own mind.
“I still don’t understand why it’s assumed you’re going to have a typical, healthy baby. I did—and it took a while to let go of the blame for being so selfish and naive.”
However, with every milestone Micah reaches, with every sweet smile the two share, it becomes more evident just how amazing this little man is and how powerful the bond between a mother and her child can be.
Every mother can learn the most important life lessons from their children. And Amanda has clearly discovered these lessons through her son.
“When Micah was born, there were so many complications and doubts, but it was in those moments that I discovered his strength; and he taught me to see mine.”
“He won’t miss out, that’s my job.”
Amanda has never been one to take the “easy way out” and she vows not to let Micah miss out on anything. Now that Micah has entered the toddler stage, Amanda plans to continue her campaign and advocate for her son.
“What I’m trying to do is make people aware, give them a hand to walk with, a shoulder to borrow, and clear eyes to see the possibilities of this life.”
For Amanda, her number one priority is being a good mother. But she also hopes that with every photo she shares and with every story she tells, she can help others see beyond the stereotypes.
She hopes she can give others the strength, the compassion and the optimism that her son has given her.