It’s hard to believe that 4 years ago I knew pretty much nothing about Down Syndrome and the thought of having a child with Down Syndrome never even crossed my mind. That is until our 12 week sonogram with our 4th child. At this appointment it was determined that we had a 1 in 10 chance of our little girl having Down Syndrome (DS).
Saying I was scared is a complete understatement! I cried, I bawled… I felt like I couldn’t breathe! WHY Lord… Why my baby, how could this be?
They wanted us to do advanced testing, but we declined and decided we would find out for sure when she was born. Deep down inside I knew she would have it though and throughout my pregnancy, I truly feel God presented different signs for us to know. For example… at every sonogram Katelyn would stick out her tongue. Sounds silly but a lot of babies with DS do this. Another thing that still brings tears to my eyes was the time Matt and I were walking through a homeschooling conference, I was about 20 weeks pregnant and a little girl with Down Syndrome, who was about 2 years old, grabbed the bag Matt was holding. She smiled, what I like to call a million dollar smile, and at that moment Matt and I both looked at each other and at the SAME time said… “That would be completely OK!” I prayed for our little girl during the rest of my pregnancy and asked for a peace that could only come from the Lord. My prayers weren’t, “Please don’t let my baby have DS”, but rather… “Please keep her healthy, continue to have her develop the way you want her to be and let her be able to breastfeed.”
At 37 weeks along we welcomed our baby girl into the world. Katelyn came out sucking her thumb, determined to amaze the world, and had a purpose for being here.
After having Katelyn I remember people asking us, “So how much Down Syndrome does she have or how bad is it?” There is so much misconception and misunderstanding about DS. Honestly most of the information you will find about it just explains some of the health problems and struggles that can be related to DS. Few articles actually share the benefits and blessing of being a parent of a child with Downs. That is one reason why over 90% of these babies are aborted each year. This breaks my heart because I know first hand what it’s like to have a child with DS and I am here to tell you the positive aspects of it.
First of all… Katelyn is JUST like any other child. She is stubborn, loves to push her mama’s buttons and thinks things always have to go her way. She also enjoys learning, dancing, singing, playing and as I’m typing this she is sitting on my lap giving me kisses and trying to take over the computer. LOL
There is never a dull moment with Katelyn. Sometimes it takes her a little longer to master a new skill and other times she catches on before her peers. So, to put it simple having a child with Down Syndrome is the same as having a so called “normal” child. No matter what, each child will learn things at a different rate and pace weather they have DS or not.
The only difference I have noticed raising Katelyn, compared to her brothers, is that she does have more doctor appointments. This is because of the statistics with different conditions that can go along with DS so we do monitor her more closely. Thankfully though Katelyn is overall very healthy. She was born with 2 small holes in her heart, which I am happy to say one of which has already closed on it’s own and most likely the second one will do the same over time.
Before finding out we were expecting Katelyn, Matt and I prayed that God would bless us with another child if it was His will. We didn’t ask for a “perfect child” or a blond hair/blue eyed girl or boy, we simply just asked for a child. The perfect child for us and that is what He gave us in Katelyn.
So if you asked me what I think of having a child with Down Syndrome, to put it plainly… I wouldn’t trade it for anything. She is my “Pure Joy” and my sweet little sunshine.Add to favorites