Soft Markers

So, you know when you are pregnant and you are about to have that 20 week ultrasound... yea, you know the one that tells you what you are having? Can't you just remember the excitement? Then you get there.. and IT. TAKES. FOREVER. What the heck are they doing???

Well... for us, we already knew we were having a girl. What we didn't know was her health. How were we looking in terms of markers and health conditions that were related to Down syndrome?? So while they weren't telling us the gender of our little angel, they were telling us some pretty important stuff. We were happy to wait.

It still took FOREVER! My hubs made many jokes about the 3D glasses and we had several nice conversations with the technician. Lucky for us, she was very open and vocal about what she was looking for, measuring, etc. We also got to have this ultrasound (and 10 thereafter) in 3D. I had no idea how precious that was until Ash came and we had NO 3D ultrasounds. I felt kinda robber a little.. but it made meeting Ash special in its own way.

So back to markers.. What are they looking for anyways?.. you might ask. Well, here are a few "soft markers" and what they found during Lb's ultrasoundS. Keep in mind, they are looking for anything that might look like it shouldn't.. anything that might draw attention.

Some of the things they look for in Ds - and frankly, the ones that worried me the most, are with the heart, bowel and brain. While Lb showed no signs of any of these markers during any of the ultrasounds, we later found out that there was a heart defect. So small it wouldn't have been visible during these scans anyway. Just goes to show ya, anything can happen.

They are looking for markers on the body like the small nose bridge. If you notice, Lb and many people with Ds have a flatter nose bridge. They also look at the length of the fingers and arms - Lb has smaller chubby little fingers that are the cutest things ever. Her arms are also a bit smaller and aren't really keeping up with the growth of her tummy. Making buying shirts a little interesting.

The thickness of the back of the neck. This was one of the first markers they saw on our first ultrasound - before we got the diagnosis and when we heard her heartbeat for the first time. This has gone away in our Lb and she has a neck like the rest of her family. Red. Lol, just kidding..not really; but she has grown out of that thickness that we once thought was very prominent.

Then there are markers that you can find on a person with Ds that you might not have noticed or couldn't find prenatal. Things that I think make those with designer genes extra special and unique. For example, Lb's ears are smaller and lower set on her head and also have a larger fold at the top of her ears. Its quite adorable. The smaller ears sometimes give people issues though as they have smaller ear canals and ear infections and hearing difficulties are common. We have been lucky so far with few ear infections and her hearing is great - when she WANTS it to be.

There is a single fold in the knee. I noticed this the first time when I met Patrick - Lb's future boyfriend, teehee. He had the cutest little bony knees and I kept thinking to myself that they were so adorable. Now my Lb has those same cute little bony knees with one single line across them.

On the hands there can be a single line that extends across the palm. Lb doesn't have this one. On the feet, the big toe and the second have a larger gap. It's quite adorable. Lb has this marker. There is a whole line of clothing, and stuff based on this characteristic. It's cute and we have a magnet on our truck.

She does have the extra fold of skin on her nose that covers her tear ducts. This skin has caused us some issues and she had to get tear duct tubes put in because they were blocked. We get the tubes out next month but her tears are still coming down the middle of her eye rather than the corners. It's not a big deal and in the grand scheme, who cars. She may when she gets OLDER and wears mascara but until then, I ain't worried about it.

Many people with Ds have a smaller stature and often could have trouble with their weight. We'll cross that bridge if it arises, but for now Lb is growing at the pace in height and weight  that keeps us and her Dr. happy.

Some may see just these things when they look at someone with Ds. I see my Lb. My beautiful girl with the perfect lips, the adorable cheeks, ginormous smile and the sweetest laugh. I love her for all the particles in her body and every chromosome she has. And then some!

Until next time..


  1. I went through a similar experience with our son. I know those markers they tell about my husband was looking at everyone for them. Lol, he said "I have those ears and fingers and looks at our daughter toes and see the big gap between the big toes. Maybe we all have a little DS in us. " So, im just happy we all have little pieces of each other. Made my day:)

  2. We did the same thing Jen! I was sure she had her Nani's nose. :)


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