Down syndrome, also known as Trisomy 21, is a genetic disorder caused when abnormal cell division results in an extra full or partial copy of chromosome 21.
Down syndrome varies in severity among individuals, causing lifelong intellectual disability and developmental delays. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately one in every 700 babies in the United States is born with Down syndrome, making Down syndrome the most common chromosomal condition. About 6,000 babies with Down syndrome are born in the United States each year.
Read what one mother wants the world to know about Down syndrome.
We knew at 16 weeks he would have Down syndrome. Our first reaction was fear as anyone would have, but it’s only fear of the unknown. While we were shocked by this diagnosis, the reality is that he will be more like his parents and brothers than different. We saw specialists and a regular OB to make sure everything was medically okay during my pregnancy. Due to fluid levels being low, he was born early at 35 weeks. He weighed in at 3 lbs, 8 oz and 16 inches long.
The announcement on Facebook read:
“He was born extra special with 10 fingers, 10 toes, and 47 chromosomes!
We knew this would be a surprise to everyone, and while no one dreams of having a child facing any challenges, we share this news now so that his birth can be met with the JOY and CELEBRATION his brothers and any other child deserves.”
If I could go back and tell myself anything, it would be not to shed one tear and enjoy the pregnancy because he is AMAZING. We cannot imagine our life without him. He is our GREATEST joy and his brothers adore him. They will be better as we are for having a brother with DS. They will be kinder, more loving, and will always accept and include anyone that is different.
I wish every family could hit the JACKPOT, because until you experience that kind of love, you really haven’t truly loved. I tell people, “if you want to see God, look at a child or person with DS. They have so many similar traits. They love unconditionally. They don’t see negative like we do. They don’t judge or hold grudges. They have the purest of pure hearts like Jesus”. The say it should be called UP syndrome rather than Down’s syndrome. I believe they are the perfect ones and we all are actually the ones missing that extra chromosome God blessed them with and sent them here for that reason.
He will be three in December and is currently in PT, OT and speech weekly. All will help him reach milestones like his peers.
My biggest message would be to not fear the unknown and to open your hearts for inclusion. Not only will they learn along side typical peers, but your child will learn as well and develop into a kind and caring human being who someday will work alongside our children. There has never been a better time to be born with DS. Therapies, started as early as birth, are now exploding their capabilities to excel in all things.
We still, as a society, have a long way to go as the abortion rate is still 90%, which is the saddest thing.
God has revealed sweet plans for our baby boy and we know that he will not only be our GREATEST BLESSING, but he will be a BLESSING to all that get to know him.