DEAR FUTURE MOM | March 21 - World Down Syndrome Day | #DearFutureMom

Today begins my week of celebration for all things Trisomy 21. This Friday is World Down Syndrome Day and I plan to celebrate, educate and commemorate the week with big smiles, and lots of knowledge. So, welcome my good pals!

You may or may not have seen the recent video flooding the internet. It was made by an ad agency in Italy for their client CoorDown, a DS group. The video will speak for itself and move you to tears. If not, you have no soul. OK, that was harsh... maybe you aren't a mom or a sap like me that cries during pampers commercials.

Nonetheless... take a gander. Then read the rest of my post. Please. & thank you. :)

After viewing this video and reading the post from my pal Brianne - over at Our Perfect Duo, I got to really thinking. Mostly, I think a lot this time of year about when we were engulfed in the DS world just 3 short years ago.  I think about that first call I made to our local DSA, the call I had with or doctor that delivered Leighton and the first time I met Patrick, Brianne's son. I think about the first time I spoke to Brianne and Cris from the DSA. I think about all of the blogs I read that I found so much comfort in. What was it that made me feel better? What was it that made me so sad? What would I say to a new mom? What did others say to me that I didn't like? What could I do differently?

So here is my chance...

Dear future Mom,

First and foremost, congratulations on your pregnancy. If you take nothing else from what anyone tells you right now or ever, love is all you need. Love is all your baby needs.

The best advice I received when I found out our little girl would have Down syndrome, was to love her like I would any baby because that's what she is, a baby. I had an overwhelming need for answers and sometimes there just aren't the ones you need. But the one answer I got that took a while to sink in, your baby will have a meaningful and productive life. If you just let her. 

I mourned. Friends thought I was harsh by saying that I mourned because our LB would have DS, but I wasn't mourning for her. I was mourning for the baby that I had in my mind. Now looking back on it, it all seems like I wasted those precious days of mourning because no parent has the child they imagine. Each child is uniquely their own. Every child has their own path none like the one we pave for them.

But I did, and if that's what you feel you need to do, IT'S OK! It's also OK to feel sad. Don't let anyone tell you not to or that you shouldn't. You are sad that your child will have challenges. I get it. I was too. But my sadness was replaced with something I never imagined. Celebration. I now have so much more to celebrate and I take the little things less for granted. Because the little things mean so much more.

You will hear a lot of what your child "may not or won't be able to do" and that's hogwash. Your child will do what they can and want to do. Just like every other child. There are no guarantees and tomorrow is not promised so keep that in mind as you wish your child was doing something or could do this or that.

Since we are on the topic of stats, here are a few that you might not receive from a Dr. that might brighten your day a bit... They did for me anyway.

(Below stats from the Boston Children's Hospital Research on Down Syndrome - Stat 1 - See more at:; Following stats - Children’s Hospital Boston, published a series of three studies in the American Journal of Medical Genetics in 2011 on the impact children with Down’s syndrome have on families)

  1. Research has shown that an extra copy of chromosome 21 could be the reason why people with Down syndrome have a lower rate of some forms of cancer than the general population.  Some scientists believe that people with Down syndrome may be getting an extra dose of one or more cancer-protective genes because they have an extra copy of chromosome 21
  2. People with DS have fewer cavities. - No scientific proof here, but this was a stat taken by my child's dentist and later discussed at a National convention. (not sure about you, but I like these kinds of stats better than the scary ones.)
  3. 96% of brothers/sisters who responded to the survey indicated that they had affection toward their sibling with DS; and 94% of older siblings expressed feelings of pride. 
  4. Of 284 people with Down syndrome (DS), ages 12 and older who were surveyed, nearly 99% indicated that they were happy with their lives, 97% liked who they were, and 96% liked how they looked.
  5. Nearly 99% people with DS expressed love for their families, and 97% liked their brothers and sisters. A small percentage expressed sadness about their life.
Those are some impressive stats, dear Mom-to-be. Now, there are going to be some scary things you read and learn, but take them with a grain of salt. If you researched all of the harmful and scary things ANY person or child could potentially  have or develop, you might go crazy with all of the What -If's!  

My best advice is to meet a child. You will see that there is far less to be scared of than what you see on the internet or hear from a Dr. You're having a baby and that's a blessing in itself. Just educate yourself and feel confident in making your own decisions.  You know your baby best and trust that gut instinct. 

If you would like to meet my gal... we are always up for new friends. We are a phone call or email away. 

For now, we share our joy in pictures... 

Sideways = super cute!

Until next time...


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