Tuesday, October 1, 2013

31 for 21 Challenge: Day 1: DS Awareness

October marks Down syndrome awareness month.  I have decided to, once again, participate in the 31 for 21 challenge.  This means that each day during the month of October, I will post a fact/thought/etc about Down syndrome.  It is all in an effort to raise awareness for Down syndrome.

I was twelve weeks pregnant, when the word 'markers' was used as a warning.  A routine test indicated that the skin of the back of Josiah's neck was too thick.  This was the first possible sign of a 'problem'.

As the next several weeks passed, more markers became evident.  Josiah's leg and arm bones appeared shorter than 'normal.'  The bridge to his nose appeared (possibly) flatter.  He appeared to have a hole in his heart.  As the number of markers grew, so did the chance of a Trisomy 21 diagnosis.

At 19 weeks gestation, we decided to have amnio.  We hadn't had the test with our first two boys.  This time, it seemed the responsible thing to do.  We knew it would either confirm or disprove the theory of a chromosomal abnormality.

48 hours after the amnio, our OB called.  I think it was the only time he has ever called our house.  The preliminary report was in.  Josiah, in fact, had three copies of the 21st chromosome.

We were relieved that it was Down syndrome.  Trisomy 13 or Trisomy 18 were two possibilities we had feared.  It was neither; We were relieved.  That was on a Wednesday.

On Sunday, we decided to share the news with family.  

At no time did we ever consider the possibility that we wouldn't keep, and raise, this life we had been gifted.  Any suggestions to the like we immediately, and vehemently, discarded.

As Josiah nears his second birthday, I remain in awe of a beautiful boy with an extra chromosome.  He has added life, love, laughter, and spirit to our home and family.

We have no regrets. 

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