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									   Stories of Inspiration: Postnatal                   Stories of Inspiration: Postnatal
               Diagnosis                            Diagnosis and Advanced Maternal Age

          I like to say I was blissfully, blindly            I was 44 and my husband was 50 when
handed Joseph’s diagnosis of Down syndrome          we found out we were pregnant with Caleb.
when he and his twin brother, Jackson, were         Our daughter was 17 and we thought we were
just 28 hours old. My pregnancy had not been        done having kids. Surprise! I had monthly
typical from the beginning; I had no                sonograms and things looked great. After he
intentions of having anymore children but           was delivered, I was recovering and my
found out I was pregnant at the hospital while      husband came in and told me the doctors
being prepped for surgery. My husband and I         thought Caleb had Down syndrome. We were
discovered I was carrying twins during a            stunned; it really hadn’t entered our minds

                                                                                                       A celebration gift for
routine ultrasound at 21 weeks gestation; I         that Down syndrome could ever be part of our
would have 4 more ultrasounds and none of           new baby and now our lives too.

                                                                                                       parents who have just
them indicated Joseph would be born with 47                  Caleb does have some heart issues,
chromosomes instead of 46 like his twin             but the doctors believe they will not need

                                                                                                      learned their child has
brother. Joseph had no major heart defects.         surgery. Almost 2 years later, our lives have
The days following the diagnosis we began to        changed tremendously. Besides the fact that

                                                                                                          Down syndrome
learn all we could about Down syndrome; some        we are “older” parents, we are raising a child
of the information is scary, some is outdated,      with a disability, bringing both challenges and
and some very encouraging. Joseph did a have        blessings. Life is busy with therapy and
feeding tube for 2 weeks but then took right        workshops, but it is also filled with work,
off with his bottle and we began therapies          church, and playgroups. All of which are very
when he was just about 3 months old. Today,         normal, everyday things. Caleb is a happy,
he and his brother are nearing their 2nd            delightful child, learning and growing at his
birthday and both boys are doing wonderful!         pace. He is truly a gift; we cannot imagine
Joseph doesn’t miss a thing in our house and        him not being in our lives. I wish new parents
we have learned Down syndrome is nothing            all the best. It can be a long road at times,
more than a label. My son is Joseph and he          leaving you wondering about what makes life
just happens to have 47 chromosomes. Best           meaningful and worth living; but also, leaves
wishes to you and your family.                      you filled with great happiness and yes pride
Christie Taylor Kokomo, IN                          too. God Bless,
                                                    Karen & David Prewitt Jacksonville, FL


                                                                                                           Christie Taylor
                                                                                                      Kokomo, In (765)461-3900
                                                                                                       Partners in Policymaking Graduate 2009
                                                   Stories of Inspiration: Prenatal                 Stories of Inspiration: Prenatal
         It is my personal hope this                          Diagnosis                          Diagnosis and Advanced Maternal Age
pamphlet and book will help to encourage
you during the months and weeks to come.                At 17 weeks gestation, our screening              I just turned 40 when we received
Many parents are frightened, sad, or           came back with a 1:5 chance of Down               the news our baby girl would be born with
angry when they first receive a diagnosis      syndrome and a 1:68 chance of Trisomy 18,         Down syndrome after having an amnio done.
of Down syndrome for their child. All of       which is fatal. I couldn’t believe my ears. I’m   Unfortunately, my OB was not supportive of
these emotions are perfectly normal, do        only 34! I still have another year before this    our decision to continue the pregnancy and I
                                               is a concern, they must be wrong. We chose        eventually chose a new OB who was wonderful.
not feel ashamed. Often times parents
                                               to do the amniocentesis because of the high                 After we went through the initial
grieve the loss of the child they believed
                                               risk of Trisomy 18. Ten days later, we            shock & tears; we started to learn about T21
they would have but if you can look into       received the news our first born child, our       and all the things the medical community just
the future, you will see these feelings are    son, had Down syndrome.                           don’t share with people, such as, our kids are
natural and you will LOVE your child                    My dreams were shattered. He would       kids like everyone else’s kid. Our OB made
unconditionally. One day you will be able      never play soccer or go to college. Then I        sure everyone knew in the delivery room
to look back and say, “I wish I knew then      read the book, Gifts, and I knew my son could     about our child and her birth was truly a
what I know now”.                              play soccer AND go to college! He could even      celebration. Having the diagnosis ahead of
         Our children do have delays but       get married! I realized at that moment that       time gave me time prepare myself emotionally
with therapy and love our kids can thrive      my dream wasn’t shattered. It was different,      and mentally.
                                               no better, no worse, just different, but there              I have learned children born with
in life. Will it always be easy? Probably
                                               all the same.                                     Down syndrome are not made from a cookie
not, but then again raising my typical
                                                        Kai is the joy and the light of our      cutter. Our family is also unique because we
children (my other boys with just 46           lives. His smile is infectious. Strangers walk    are an interracial married couple; my husband
chromosomes) has not always been easy.         up and talk to him all the time. We could not     is Black and I am white. Our daughter is 21
There have been fevers, colds, and             have been more blessed. We could not have         months old and she is like every other toddler
surgeries for 2 out of 3 of my kids.           been luckier. Our son could have had Trisomy      always getting into things, climbing, and
         I cannot fully explain the blessing   18 and our story would have been one of loss      babbling away; she even has a wonderful
my family has received since Joseph was        and sorrow. Instead we were lucky; Kai has        independence about her. I wish you all a
born but I can say this; having him in my      Down syndrome and our journey with him has        wonderful pregnancy and birth. One day you
life, having the privilege of being his        just begun. I can say today that I would not      will say "If only I knew it was you, I would not
                                               change a thing about my son, he is perfection.    have been afraid."
mother, has changed me for the better.
                                               Julie Kehm           Houston, TX                  Cheryl Bridges               Hempstead, NY
This is my prayer for you, may you learn
to love the gifts tied to the 47th
chromosome.

Christie Taylor

								
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