A Letter To My New Friends Who Have Just Received A Prenatal Down Syndrome Diagnosis
Oh sweet friend, first off CONGRATULATIONS!
Our beautiful Savannah Lanier is now 2 years old, and she happens to have an extra chromosome! She was also born with an Atrial Septal Defect (ASD), which is a “hole" in the wall that separates the top two chambers of the heart. This defect allows oxygen-rich blood to leak into the oxygen-poor blood chambers in the heart. ASD is a defect in the septum between the heart's two upper chambers (atria). Savannah had open heart surgery last summer to repair this defect and she is thriving! I went public with my Instagram account shortly after our third daughter, Savannah, was born because I want to show “there is nothing down about it,” and to shed light as our precious family walks this journey. I am still learning myself, and will continue to do so with each new chapter.
It was at my 20 week ultrasound that we first discovered a heart issue with Savannah. My biggest concern at the time was that they would accidentally tell me the sex, because we wanted it to be a surprise at birth! My 11 year old and 9 year old, at the time, were both present during the ultrasound. The technician found an issue with Savannah’s heart and then said “the child may have Down syndrome." She wasn’t a doctor, nor was there a doctor present. The way she said it was anything but professional. I did have an amnio to confirm the diagnosis.
I understand “what if scenarios” will haunt you! The unknowns can consume you. There was a period of time where I couldn’t even read anything about Ds or look at photos of children with Down syndrome. Out of ignorance and a desperate heart, I prayed that God would “heal” Savannah. I believe the negative scenarios given by “medical professionals," who are ignorant about Down syndrome, and not having inclusion in many advertisements can subconsciously make one believe a Down syndrome diagnosis is like a death sentence. Rhetorically speaking, how wrong is that?!
After several doctor appointments, I was convinced I was going to have Quasi Moto from the Hunchback of Notre Dame. Shame on the medical community for doing that to us and countless others! I didn’t know anything about Down syndrome or know anyone associated with Down syndrome. All I had was web MD and google.
Don’t listen to statistics! Your precious child is and will be ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING he/ she wants to be! They will just achieve it in their own timing, with your love and support!
You will have concerns and worries, but guess what? You will with any child! I’m a mom of three girls and I treat Savannah no differently than I have treated my older girls.
There will also be amazing physical therapists, and others that help in accomplishing goals if needed, and you will look back on this blessing, and won't want it any other way!
My advice would be not to get an amnio. If blood tests show a positive result, just enjoy your pregnancy! Please don’t think of this diagnosis with gloom!
This beautiful child will smile and laugh. This beautiful child look at you and call you “Momma” or “Daddy." This beautiful child will cry and be comforted in your arms. This beautiful child has a purpose!
Down syndrome is what our babies have - NOT WHO THEY ARE!!
There are Olympians and Emmy award winners that happen to have an extra chromosome. The sky is the limit on our children, sweet friend! Surround yourself with POSITIVE influences and stories of everyday, but amazing parents that are in this journey with you!
Welcome to the “TEAM!"
Let me know if you have any questions or just want to talk! I’m here!