Born Yesterday

072005 article born Born YesterdayFrancis Joseph Bauer

July 10, 2005

11 a.m.

8 1¼2 pounds

Home birth

Two days after Rebecca Bauer, 37, bore her second-born in a birthing pool in the living room of her family’s Prospect Heights apartment, she discovered that the baby had Down syndrome. “But your role as a parent doesn’t change,” she said. “You still love them; you still want to find out how to give them the best future possible. All those basics don’t change. The first few days are so full of love that your whole heart cracks open with hope.” Ms. Bauer, a Web site producer for the National Campaign to Restore Civil Rights, has been married for four years to Quentin Jennings, 42, an independent musician and composer. “This is really hard for us,” she said of their son’s condition, “but it’s not the end of anything—it’s the beginning of his life. This isn’t who he is; this is something that he has.” Francis’ older sister, Lily Celia, 2, has been extremely supportive, maintaining that her baby brother is perfect. “And he is,” said Mom. “You can’t ever know how a baby will turn out. We still don’t know how he’ll turn out. He might have been a healthy boy and turned out to be a racist pig.”