Motherhood: Caterina Scorsone says raising a daughter with Down Syndrome radically changed her

Grey’s Anatomy’s Caterina Scorsone opens up about raising a daughter with Down Syndrome

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Grey’s Anatomy’s Caterina Scorsone says raising a daughter with Down Syndrome completely changed her ‘concept of what motherhood was’

Caterina Scorsone says raising a daughter with Down Syndrome radically changed her ‘concept of what motherhood was.’

The Grey’s Anatomy actress talked about what it was like to raise daughter Paloma Michaela during an episode of the Motherly podcast Thursday.

Admitting she had it all wrong in the beginning, the mother-of-two said: ‘What I unconsciously thought about my job as a mother was that I was supposed to equip her to survive in a competitive world.’ 

Motherhood: Caterina Scorsone says raising a daughter with Down Syndrome radically changed her ‘concept of what motherhood was’ during an episode of the Motherly podcast

Scorsone, who is also the mom of a six-year-old named Eliza, confessed that she was set ‘into a tailspin’ upon learning about younger daughter Paloma’s [who she calls Pippa] Downs, a genetic disorder that would leave her with ‘some physical differences and some cognitive differences.’

But then she had an epiphany.

‘This simple voice came to me where I was like, “I don’t know what to do — oh, I’m supposed to keep her safe and I’m supposed to make her feel loved,”‘ she said. ‘And suddenly my understanding of my job as a mother completely distilled and opened.’

Still, she had some problematic preconceived notions about Down Syndrome.

‘…The more I know more about Down syndrome, I’m like, “Oh, what a stupid thought I had,'” she admitted.

Sweet: The Grey's Anatomy actress talked about what it was like to raise daughter Paloma Michaela during an episode of the Motherly podcast Thursday

Sweet: The Grey’s Anatomy actress talked about what it was like to raise daughter Paloma Michaela during an episode of the Motherly podcast Thursday

She explained: ‘I saw how I was loving my first daughter, Eliza, for her qualities. I loved Eliza so much because she was so clever, and she was so beautiful and she was so funny … but all those things were external qualities.’

‘I had to confront that thought experiment of “I don’t know if [Pippa is] going to be clever, I don’t know if she’s going to be funny”… And now that I know more about Down syndrome, I’m like, “Oh, what a stupid thought I had,”‘ 

‘But I didn’t know, and it forced me to realize that I was loving my other daughter and everyone, including myself, for absolutely the wrong reason. I was loving people for their external qualities and not for their essence.’

She said the pivot in perspective ‘was the most healing and nourishing gift that I could have possibly been given by the universe.’

Learning: '...The more I know more about Down syndrome, I’m like,

Learning: ‘…The more I know more about Down syndrome, I’m like, “Oh, what a stupid thought I had,'” she admitted

Offering her advice to parents in the same situation, she said ‘It’s important to “create a safe space for them to feel all of the feelings that they’re having.’

‘I definitely don’t say, “Oh you’re so lucky,” because they have to grieve a perception that has been fed to them culturally our whole lives. When I feel like they’re ready for it, you say things like, “You hit the jackpot” and “Oh my gosh, you get chosen for this experience, this is unbelievable and your world is going to open up in ways you could not have imagined.”‘

‘People said that to me at the beginning … and now I get to pay it forward,’ Scorsone continued.

A gift: She said the pivot in perspective 'was the most healing and nourishing gift that I could have possibly been given by the universe'

A gift: She said the pivot in perspective ‘was the most healing and nourishing gift that I could have possibly been given by the universe’


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