Today you received news that literally dropped you to your knees. You were at work when you received a phone call from your doctor. You will never forget his words. Your Prenatal screen was positive for Trisomy 21, otherwise known as Down Syndrome.
You called your husband crying and barely remember the drive home. After having two early miscarriages in the year prior, you were excited about this pregnancy and are now overwhelmed with fear.
In the coming days you will question everything. Why did this happen to you, your family, your unborn child? How will this affect the future of your family and your 4 year old daughter?
You will be presented with unthinkable options. You will make the right choices for you and your family. Your marriage will be tested, but you will get through this together. The fear of the unknown will weigh heavily on you for weeks as you try to get through each day, not knowing what the future holds.
You will wish you never had the test, but you will look back and be so glad you did. It will allow you and your husband time to grieve, to learn, to prepare. You will spend the next several months researching and learning everything you can about Down Syndrome.
When she arrives, you will be as ready as you can be. On the day she is born, you won't have to deal with the shock and grief that this diagnosis can bring. You've already been there. What you do have to deal with is the fear of the unknown for the remainder of your pregnancy, and that is a heavy burden to bear. I can tell you that on the other side of this you will find so much love.
You will love her fiercely. There will be worry, but you will get through it. You are stronger than you think. You can handle this. Your beautiful baby girl will teach you more about yourself than you can imagine. She is smart and strong. She is sassy and sweet. Her soft, smooshy little body will melt into yours when you hold her. She will look into your soul with the most beautiful almond shaped, blue eyes. Her smile will light up the room and every one in it. You will celebrate the small things, and they will be big. Your family will cheer her on as she reaches each milestone in her own time.
Most importantly, she will bring you joy. Joy that you never would've imagined on this day that you are receiving this news. Joy every single day.
You will meet some truly amazing people. Parents in the Down Syndrome community just get it. You will meet many moms that will help you navigate this journey. You are not alone. You never will be. You will gain a new appreciation for life that you wouldn't have otherwise known. All the worry is SO worth it, I promise.
This little girl will awaken something inside you that moves you to be a voice for her. You will do whatever it takes to help her be the best she can be. She will change you for the better. You will rock this, just as she rocks her extra chromosome.
Bio: Heather Gregg is a Mama to two beautiful blue-eyed blondies, one who rocks an extra chromosome. She considers herself to be one of the lucky few.
This letter is part of DSDN's October Down Syndrome Awareness Month campaign. We asked our members to write a letter to themselves during the time they received the diagnosis. Do you know a parent with a child under the age of 4 who needs connections and support? Let DSDN help and get started here.