A little follow up after my post that was featured on Her View From Home….
I often think back on my prenatal diagnosis with Joey and remember the pain and the emotions I felt at first knowing that my baby was going to have Down syndrome. Anger, confusion, denial, and sadness just to name a few. Eventually those feelings started to turned into anticipation, nervousness, and joy.
After all, what’s an extra chromosome? He was still going to be our baby and no one else’s. He was something my husband and I created together through our love for each other and God. And that was something that no one could take away from us.
Unfortunately I still had some of the previous emotions lingering I had felt early on once we received Joey’s prenatal diagnosis. I remember those last couple weeks before he was born. Like every typical mother, I was wondering what my baby was going to look like. Was he going to look more like me or his father? Or was he not going to look like either of us and just look like a baby with Down syndrome? I was honestly terrified of the looks I imagined in my mind that people were going to give us having a “not normal” baby.
I remember being one of those people who would stare at people with special needs. Not necessarily in a mean way or to be rude, but more out of curiosity. Occasionally thinking, “I don’t know what I would do if that was my child.” Never did I imagine that my thoughts would someday become a reality.
I also remember praying to God that I just wanted Joey to be healthy. No other complications besides him having Down syndrome. That’s what I prayed for…
Between 40-60% of individuals with Down syndrome have congenital heart defects. We had found out during my pregnancy through a fetal echocardiogram his heart was perfect. There were no defects visible through ultrasound. There are other health complications sometimes associated with Down syndrome parents have to worry about: thyroid problems, childhood Leukemia, low muscle tone, swallowing difficulties, sleep apnea & other ear, nose and throat problems, gastrointestinal issues that could be detected after he was born.
The day Joey was born, I sat in my hospital bed, holding him, studying his face, trying to decide who he looked more like, me or my husband. I remember looking at every inch of him, falling in love instantly. His little nose, teeny tiny fingers and toes, everything. He was so beautiful!
Thankfully after being checked out by his pediatrician, all appeared to be good with Joey. No major health complications! All those previous negative emotions flew out the window. My mother in law said it best when she came into meet her first grandchild later that day in two simple words: “He’s perfect!”
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.