Saturday, October 1, 2011

Down syndrome - my story

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October is Down syndrome awareness month.
And that gave me the little push I needed to write about it.

I have been thinking for a while if this is a subject I want to write about on a craft blog. But since it's such an important part of my life, I feel like I just want to share this. During the past year I have learned so much, and if this little blog could even help only one person, it would be worth writing about it. I have quite a few new visitors on here every day, so this is a great way to 'reach' a lot of people.

I don't write much about personal stuff, but some of you who have been following this blog for a while, might know that we had our third baby girl last May. One thing I haven't shared here before, is the fact that this beautiful little girl has Down syndrome.

It wasn't a surprise at birth. During a routine ultrasound early in my pregnancy, we learned that there was the possibility that our little baby would have Down syndrome, or possibly another chromosomal abnormality. Since we didn't want to wait more than a half year to find out what was going on, we decided to have an amnio. We learned that we were having our third girl, and that she came with a little extra: an extra copy of the 21st chromosome, also called Trisomy 21 or Down syndrome.

We were pretty nervous at first. You simply want the best for your child and looking at all the possible health issues and other 'limitations' that our baby might have, was pretty overwhelming, to be honest. And looking around the web randomly didn't help a lot, I should say. Reading that about 90% of people in our situation would decide to terminate the pregnancy, added to my anxiety. If all these people didn't think they could handle it, how would we do it?

But there were a lot of things that DID help us during that time.
In the first place, faith that God won't give us anything we can't handle.
We also had a lot of support from family and friends.
We found out about resources in our community, and met with families who had children with Down syndrome, and they showed us that they were basically just like any other family.

During the months that followed, I found some helpful blogs and websites.
Of parents who gave us a peek into their lives with a little one with Down syndrome.

And slowly, the sadness went away, and got replaced by something else:
we actually started to look forward again to meeting our little girl.

Writing this, I feel bad to say that at first I was all worried and sad about our baby, who is just amazing and perfect!  She has some health issues, and she has physical therapy, at this point about every 2 weeks, but in the big picture these things are not that important. We're just so happy to have her in our lives!

As I am taking part in the 31 for 21 challenge, this month you can expect to read more about Down syndrome and a lot of things we learned. Hope you'll come along for the ride!

(And this is the link to the blog that all started it,
I would really appreciate it if you'd put a button on your blog to get the word out!!)

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Patti said...

I can't wait to read more- and I LOVE her outfit! :)

Paige said...

She looks adorabe in her skirt and top. Looking forward to reading more.

Robyn said...

She is beautiful ;-)

Charley said...

She is very beautiful :-) Thank you for sharing your story and i look forward to reading more x

D. Scott said...

My granddaughter has Downs born on June 30, 2011 and I can't imagine not having her in my life! She is awesome and we thank God everyday for her. She makes me look at life differently and she along with my 2 grandsons remind me daily what a precious blessing God gives to us in children. Thank you for sharing your story with others.

Laura said...

Hi Mariska! Now I'm your newest follower and have added your button to my blog. I've just spent the last hour totally engrossed in your blog. Your daughter is so cute and is just a couple months younger than Ben. I'm so happy to have "met" you and I plan on keeping up with your blog!