Mum’s moving story ‘For the Love of Oscar’

A HORSELL mum who writes an award-winning blog about her son who has Down’s syndrome has written a moving and candid book about her experiences.

In For the Love of Oscar, Sarah Roberts admits to dark thoughts when her son, now aged seven, had the condition diagnosed an hour after he was born.

HAPPY FAMILY – Oscar Roberts with his mum Sarah and siblings Flo and Alfie

Sarah has been writing the blog Don’t Be Sorry, in which she gives an honest account of her and her son’s life, for five years. The blog has more than 40,000 followers.

She says the title of the blog was a reaction to the way such diagnoses are given.

“The lady who told me said ‘I’m so sorry to tell you this’. I’m sure she’s lovely and is a professional and can’t be too emotional, but the impact of those words at that time of night has always stuck with me,” Sarah says.

The news was a massive shock for Sarah and her husband Chris. In her book, and the blog on which it is based, she describes herself as “terrified” in those first days, with feelings of wanting to run away and being full of terrible thoughts, such as was it her fault, and whether her marriage would survive the pressures that lay ahead.

Sarah says that the turning point for her came when Oscar was nine months old and the routine of caring for a baby helped to give her a feeling of peace.

She says she realised that not only was she coping, but she loved being Oscar’s mother.

“I look back now to how I was in the early days and its nowhere near as bad as I thought it would be. There are challenges, but it’s how you deal with them.

“We all have a habit of imagining a scenario and build it up. Things are never as bad as they seem.”

For the Love of Oscar goes from birth to the first day at school three years ago and Sarah is thinking of writing a second book based on her blogs over the following years. She receives constant feedback from other parents of children with Down’s saying how much they relate to her writing.

“It would have been good for me to read something like that when I first had Oscar. I did read a few things but they were very sugary sweet and I wanted something warts and all. I write about the good bits but am also really truthful about the challenges that have come up.

“I would love to do another book because there is so much to share.

“If it can help someone else, that’s great.”

For the Love of Oscar is published by Soho Friday. Follow Sarah’s blog at https://www.facebook.com/dontbesorry2/ and https://www.instagram.com/dontbesorry2/

For the full story get the 17 October News & Mail

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