A few things to know about T21. Also known as Down syndrome.

T21 is also known as Trisomy 21.
Trisomy = A condition in which an extra copy of a chromosome is present in the cell nuclei, causing developmental abnormalities. In this case, 21 being the 21st chromosome that is copied. 

Down syndrome. Not Down(s). Down. No s. It was named after a the doctor John Langdon Down, who first saw the patterns of a select group of children's features and called it out. His last name was Down. Not Downs. Still not sure why this bothers me so. 

Mental "Retardation" is no longer acceptable in medical or other uses. It's derogatory and hurtful. Please use something else.

No parent of a child with Ds likes to hear how happy "they are" because "they" as people with Ds are labeled, have bad days too. And MUCH more potential than your label of happy is giving them.

If you're a new mom/dad with a new diagnosis or the potential for one.. I would love to hear from you if you need to talk to someone. I have been there. I found a lot of support from the blog community. I am happy to pay it forward. If you want to read a few things about our story, please feel free to do so. Below are a few parting thoughts.

Life isn't harder because she has Ds. It's harder because she's my first baby and I am a new mom. Plain and simple.

We found out she had Ds ironically on National Down Syndrome Day... when I was 14 weeks pregnant. Yes, we were upset, and scared. But that passed. What we were scared of was the unknown. The unknown that we didn't know existed when we found out. The unknown of what the doctors tell you COULD happen. Upset because our child could be different and face all these scary challenges. But the unknown of what they don't tell you...is what makes it all worth it.

A few things I wish I knew then that I know now... Don't trust every word your doctor says. They are people too, therefore make mistakes. They also have to cover their own tails so they will give you the worst case scenario most of the time... Stand up for your rights and stand up for your baby's too.  You don't have to use them. It's a service industry and you are paying them. Get to know your pediatrician BEFORE you deliver. It's ok to cry. For any reason.

I found comfort in meeting babies with Ds and it changed my perception. I am happy to show of my lil gal anytime, just give me a call. I also found comfort in knowing how much she would be alike more than different.

There is a study by Boston Children's Hospital that had some findings that rang oh-so sweet for me. Check it out in it's entireity if you get the chance. (Here are some of my faves)
-99% of people (with Ds) revealed they are happy with their lives
-97% of people (with Ds) liked who they were
-96% of people (with Ds) liked how they looked
-94% of siblings of a person with Ds felt a sense of pride for their sibling
-79% of parents felt their outlook on life was more positive because of their child with Ds
-97% of people (with Ds) liked their brothers and sisters

Did you know that people with Down syndrome are virtually cancer free outside of Leukemia?
Did you know that people with Down syndrome have fewer cavities?
Did you know that people with Down syndrome have a life expectancy of 50+ now.. up from 20 in the 80's?!

Just remember, you are having a baby. That's all that matters.


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