Thanh Thuy’s story, her first twenty years

(Thanh Thuy story written in French by her mother in the years 2000, and 2012)

              » On the 23rd of February 2001, Thuy will be twenty one years old…

               Nearly more than twenty years ago, I practiced my profession with enthusiasm,  waiting for the birth of my third child that I so dearly wished to be a girl.
                For about a year now, our family had been impatiently waiting to welcome this third baby, because after having given us two healthy boys, handsome and smart as all boys are for their mother, life seemed ready to shower us with more happiness…

                The desire to have a pretty little girl had prompted me to follow a special dietary plan prescribed by a hospital based doctor, along with the rubbing of hormones on my chest in the hope of enhancing my chances to give birth to a daughter.

                 And came a girl, all so beautiful and adorable, who entered our world !
With her first cry, she became so precious to me.
She had the facial features of her eldest brother, had almost the same birth weight, birth length and more so, her features were enhanced by an especially sparkling glowing peach skin tone.

                 However this instant of perfect happiness was fleeting; as almost immediatly afterwards the obstetrician came by, a concerned look on his face, and told me that he had detected signs of Down syndrome-Trisomy 21 with Thuy’s appearance.
In the immense fog that descended on my mind, I still had enough strength in me to ask him : “What could I do for her ?”
                  In the following morning, my husband was the only person I informed of the medical verdict from the attending physician.

                  My relatives were somewhat surprised to find me so tired and sad as this birth was so highly desired and impatiently waited for.
But were these simply the usual physiological after effects of the delivery process?

                  I obtained the phone number of Professor Lejeune department so we could bring our baby in as soon as possible for his expert evaluation .
Professor Lejeune was a well known French specialist in the therapy of genetic conditions, who had exposed the findings of the presence of an extra chromosome on the regular pair of chromosomes 21 responsible for the medical features of this condition.

                   During my delivery stay in the hospital, my husband and I went through intense distress, yet we had to hide our feelings from our family and friends.

                   Our sadness was even more pronounced as we heard all the compliments on how beautiful our baby was, as we ourselves knew that she would never be like other babies.

                    My in-laws were ecstatic at the announcement of the birth of their grand–daughter.
However, my mother in law, who had always been a very observant person , was already intrigued at her unusual lack of neck tone and her pointed tongue .
Later they were to be the first to learn of Thuy’s ailment.
They received the news with a lot of grace, love, and philosophical acceptance, which was a big comfort to us.

                    On the other hand, our two sons were so happy to finally have a little sister that we did not have the heart to temper their enthusiasm.
In any case, being that young, they would not have been able to understand all the implications of their sister’s predicament.
And this situation persisted for many years.
They lived with their sister who was afflicted with frequent health problems, giving her the care, the support, the love she needed, without asking a single question.

                     I myself have so often thought about the probable causes of my daughter’s ailment.

                     It was true that with my third pregnancy, I was not in as good physical and psychological conditions as with my previous ones.

                     With my first child, I was in my best physical form.
Though already a certified surgeon dentist, I hadn’t practiced my profession yet because I wanted to dedicate myself totally to the education of my child, at least for the first couple of years of his life.
During my pregnancy, I scrupulously followed the advices of pediatricians especially those coming from doctor Laurence Pernoud’s book, and also advises from my mother in law who was well versed in traditional wisdom,  in all matters pertinent, be it dietary, vitamins, in particular ginseng root, or relaxing leisure walk.

                      Everyday, I alternated reading sessions, consisting often of novels about Vietnamese heroes or of epic Chinese warriors, with daily walk with my family, to achieve the best harmony for my body and spirit.

                      At birth, the pediatrician complimented me on having “the most beautiful baby” that he had ever seen. And even if I suspected that he was always that kind with all new mothers, I readily believed him because my baby was really gorgeous !!!

                     Our second son came two years after, somewhat unexpected, and not only was he as good looking as the first one, he proved later to be the more perfectionist of the two.

                     Aside from the little health problems usual to all children, the two boys were really adorable children.

                    Two years after the birth of my second son, I started to practice my profession.
In those years, my personal and professional lives were frantic rides between hospital visits, dispensaries, office work, familial obligations and raising the boys along with supervising their scholastic progress.

                     Added to all these, were the hardships of my extended family in our native Vietnam in wartime that brought many repercussions to my life and the life of the people around me.

                     I worked very hard and applied a lot of efforts to guide my children through their study, and consequently, I was not any more in my best physical and psychological forms.

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  • Kim Chi, Zach, Sebastien Huan va Annabel Loan  On 24 août 2012 at 21 h 47 min

    Thưa Bà Dung Ông Đào yêu mến,
    Các cháu mới đọc chuyện của Thủy trên site eaufine và thấy thật cảm động . Cháu thấy Ông Bà và Huy Khang và cả gia đình luôn luôn sẽ có đời sống trọn vẹn vì Thủy giậy cho mình giá trị của tình thương không điều kiện và sụ tận tâm . Các cháu mừng thấy Thủy có đời sống tự quản tuy vẫn được gần gia đình . Thủy có nhiều tài và có nhiều nhạy cảm . Thủy gíup người chung quanh thêm tính nhẫn nại, từ bi và tận tâm . Cám ơn Bà Dung Ông Đào đã kể lại chuyện cuộc đời Thủy .

    Merci va mi cả nhà,

    Cháu Kim Chi, Zach, Sebastien Huan va Annabel Loan

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