Why Down Syndrome is a blessing

I met my husband as I was turning 31. We had both lived enough to know that we were “the one” for each other (he sooner than I). When the time came for us to begin our family, I was a worried because 1) I had this lifelong fear that I’d be infertile or unable to conceive 2) I have endometriosis and was worried that would cause problems with conception.

After about 6 months of purposeful and timed trying, I went to see the doctor. I had read that after 30 your fertility drops and given my concerns, I figured I should get the ball rolling sooner rather than later. We made a fertility doctor appointment for some time in April and went to Virginia on spring break at the end of March.

I never went to the fertility doctor because I got knocked up while on spring break.

We were elated and I wanted to wait until the end of the first trimester before telling anyone, except I couldn’t wait that long before I told my closest friends and family. My first blood screening went well, it confirmed I was pregnant. Then I had another more in-depth ultrasound and blood screening. That came back with abnormalities stating that I had elevated chances of Trisomy 13 and Trisomy 18. This means that either the 13th or 18th chromosome had an extra copy. Both of these diagnosis were fatal. I went to work distracted and sad. I stopped talking about the pregnancy with my friends. I stopped checking the What to Expect app because, what was the point? I thought how could I have waited my whole life to get pregnant with the perfect guy only to be told that the baby would die? What kind of cruel universe would do this to me? I tried to not be angry with God. I prayed that whatever His will was for our family, that He give me the grace to accept it and the peace to live with it.

I elected to have the Panorama screening, which would be about 99% correct in identifying chromosomal abnormalities.

The wait for the blood test and results were the longest 2 weeks of my life. The doctor called and I remember sitting in the car thinking this is it, this is how my heart breaks. She said that the test confirmed her thoughts.

“So, which is? Trisomy 18 or 13…?”, the music on the radio playing over my sadness.

“No, it’s trisomy 21. It’s Down Syndrome.”

“So it’s not fatal?”

“No, it’s not.”

Hearing that it was Down Syndrome was the best news I had heard since finding out I was pregnant, because it could have been worse. I am always reminded that it could have been worse and I am thankful for the blessing of her life.

It’s just Down Syndrome.


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