I now have just over two years in. I feel like I should attend some meeting and announce to the group, “Hi, my name is Karyn and I have had Down syndrome in my life for the last two years.” This occasion must be commemorated somehow – hence this posting. I couldn’t miss my anniversary, June 11 – I was thinking about it all that day (although I was too busy preparing for vacation to post about it then; sorry for the delay).
June 11, 2007 was the day that I received that telephone call with the amniocentesis results. I remember it vividly, “I’m so sorry to tell you that the baby has trisomy 21.” I never thought it would happen to me. But it did. It has.
So what did I do with that time while I was pregnant? I read books like Gifts, I cried many tears, I looked at beautiful photos on downsyn.com, I prayed, I cried more tears, I met beautiful families, and I grieved the loss of what I envisioned my daughter to be.
And now, where am I two years later? I am in absolute love with my daughter. I just held Quinny in my arms moments ago. Her toothy grin, her beautiful skin, she is absolute perfection – just glowing. She is the most beautiful daughter I could have asked for. I call her “little me,” I sing a silly little made-up song to her about her being “little me” and that is exactly what she is – she is me, but most importantly she is the best of me. Better than me. She is the best parts of me times two on that 21st chromosome. That dreaded chromosome that actually made my life better. Every time I look at her she is a reminder of something – she is a reminder that when a difficultly and an uncertainty came knocking at my door, I handled it in the best way possible. I kept strong, listened to my heart, and loved my little girl. She is alive today because of it.
I am actually pro-choice and don’t want to make this a pro-life/pro-choice debate, but I write this post more to say that it is possible to have a prenatal diagnosis and find love in your heart for your little one. Even though roughly 80-90% terminate, it doesn’t always have to be that way. You can make the choice to have this little child. She/he will change your world, make you a better person, teach you what is important in life, and much much more. I don't know it all because I am only two years in on this journey, but I know that little girl is essential in my life.
Unfortunately there are so many articles published about the other side. Recently I read an article about a couple who filed a lawsuit because prenatal testing failed to indicate that their child had Down syndrome when the child in fact did. They say they would have terminated if only they had known. They want money now. But very little is said about the other side, those of us who have the testing and who have their child and are happy they did – so this is what I share on my anniversary. Just know that you can get through this.
For me, Quinn’s day is October 20, 2007. The day of her birth. However, my day will forever be June 11, 2007 – the day I was tested and had to examine what I was made of. Now this is not to say that everything is all sunshine and roses for me right now. I still have difficult times and struggles that I face (if you read my blog you know this), but overall I know I made the right decision.
So I write this to all of you with a prenatal diagnosis right now – stay strong and know that someday your child will look at you with that toothy grin and you will find peace in your decision. It may be hard right now all the tears you are crying, but beautiful moments are to come. God bless you and I hope your pregnancy goes well.
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