Getting better with age, or aren't you?

The older the berry, sweeter the juice. No? Well, not always. But that depends on your definition of sweet, I guess.

Research shows that the older a woman gets, the higher her increased risk for having a child with Down syndrome becomes. However, most people don't know this but, 80% of births of a child with Ds are to women under 35. They say it's because there is  higher fertility rate among younger women.

I was 33 when I gave birth to LB and 32 when I became pregnant. If you paid any attention in biology... all the eggs a woman will have she is born with. Therefore, those eggs get older as she does and she loses them as she ages. So... she has fewer eggs and eggs that aren't really at their prime, the older she gets. Now, these are my words and probably not very scientific, but that's how I have come to understand it all. Because I certainly wasn't paying any attention to the harvesting of eggs and how many I had during 7th grade biology. I was really just trying not to giggle at the words penis and vagina.

A geneticist told us that in most cases, it's usually the woman that's the carrier, techincally when it all goes down. Who knows in our case because we don't need proof or a place to point a finger, therefore we didn't get further testing. Now, the older I get, the greater the risk of havinng another child with a chromosomal abnormality and also because we have one child with a chromosomal diagnosis, we are at higher risk because of that too. So basically, we have a double shot. 

Many people have no idea the reason or why the chromosome behavior happens. I have left it to a higher power to decide as I am not the maker (technically speaking), just the carrier of these little angels. I don't have much interest in learning the why of how it happened. I would prefer the research money be spent on limiting the issues my daughter could face in the future, like early Alzhemiers and cognition delays that could prevent independence. More on research next week...

In the's a little knowledge share...

There are 3 types of Down syndrome. Before you ask or in case you were wondering and don't know how to ask... there ARE NOT levels of cognition or a way to discipher how well someone will function. That's a myth.

The 3 types of Down syndrome are: trisomy 21 (nondisjunction), translocation and mosaicism.

TRISOMY 21 (NONDISJUNCTION) (this is what LB has)

Down syndrome is usually caused by an error in cell division called "nondisjunction."  Nondisjunction results in an embryo with three copies of chromosome 21 instead of the usual two.  Prior to or at conception, a pair of 21st chromosomes in either the sperm or the egg fails to separate.  As the embryo develops, the extra chromosome is replicated in every cell of the body.  This type of Down syndrome, which accounts for 95% of cases, is called trisomy 21.


Mosaicism occurs when nondisjunction of chromosome 21 takes place in one - but not all - of the initial cell divisions after fertilization.  When this occurs, there is a mixture of two types of cells, some containing the usual 46 chromosomes and others containing 47.  Those cells with 47 chromosomes contain an extra chromosome 21.

Mosaicism accounts for about 1% of all cases of Down syndrome.  Research has indicated that individuals with mosaic Down syndrome may have fewer characteristics of Down syndrome than those with other types of Down syndrome.  However, broad generalizations are not possible due to the wide range of abilities people with Down syndrome possess.


Translocation accounts for about 4% of all cases of Down syndrome.  In translocation, part of chromosome 21 breaks off during cell division and attaches to another chromosome, typically chromosome 14.  While the total number of chromosomes in the cells remain 46, the presence of an extra part of chromosome 21 causes the characteristics of Down syndrome.

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Until next time...


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