Down Syndrome

There's a lot out there on the internet regarding Down Syndrome.

A lot of it is Mothers or Fathers who have children with Down Syndrome describing their fears and the loss of their dreams and how their lives have changed in a positive manner because of their unexpected blessings in a unique new life.

Some of them are people making fun of Down Syndrome and "Retarded" Children and laughing at how their intelligence compares to their own (a sad ego boost for people who need to justify their own self worth by putting others down)...

And then some of them are people who are trying to justify their choice to terminate their pregnancy because of a Down Syndrome diagnosis.

All of them share the same context, Down Syndrome starts out as a scary mystery.

At first it's mortifying, to realize how little you know about Down Syndrome when it is such a common occurance among young and old and rich and poor.

Somewhere along the road of fears and confusion, playing the blame game (or having people in your family play the blame game... "Well there's nothing like that in OUR family.") happens. Stop that.

For those of you who are dealing with that... Down Syndrome, 98 percent of the time, has NOTHING to do with inheritance or family history. It just happens. No one knows exactly why, though lots of people tend to guess, but it just happens. It has no pattern, it happens the same among the poor and rich and young and old.

And it's one of those mysterious things that you don't need justify or blame.

I try to be sympathetic to those who go into the depths of despair, because I myself have been known to go there from time to time- but it's important to realize that a diagnosis of Down Syndrome does not change who your child is.

Your child will still look like you and your spouse. Your child will still have a personality all of their own. Your child will also have traits related to their Down Syndrome diagnosis.

Some of these traits are breathtaking. Like the brush-fields spots in the eyes- speckles of white stars throughout the eye color turning the eyes into a star system all their own. Toes that are perfect peas in a row.

Some of them are just funny. Shorter arms that make it harder to grab toys at first... (Gabe couldn't reach his hands to the top of his head when he was newborn... But got there over time.

Your child is a miracle.

70 percent of pregnancies with Trisomy 21 abort themselves in utero. Your baby had a thirty percent chance of surviving to birth, and they did it!

50 percent of babies have heart issues, usually an issue known as an AV Canal Defect- but sometimes as simple as a hole in the heart that goes away on its own, and sometimes more complex.

30 percent of children with Trisomy 21 will develop Leukemia.

Staring at these odds, looking at your little one who has beat them (or is surviving despite illnesses related to Trisomy 21...

You are lucky you ever met them.

I was lucky I ever met my son, Gabe.

Mr. 1 percent chance of survival past his first operation... Well, take that statistics!

You can't have a rainbow without a little rain.

So this is for you people out there holding miracles or waiting on them.

Check out "Trip to Holland" and be thankful for your chance to meet your little one tonight.

I know I am.

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