This was a post I wrote last year and some have read it before. But I thought I'd share it because I can tell you until I'm blue in the face that having a child with Down syndrome can be great but learning of that diagnosis is not great. It's scary and sad and somehow I knew, call it mother's intuition but I knew.
July 20th, 2009
As Bennett approaches 2 months and we've started the therapy, we've visited the cardiologist, I've spoken to the local Down syndrome center and we've let the diagnosis sink in now that he's actually here, I've been reflecting on the day my world was turned up side down, the day I knew my baby had Down syndrome. It wasn't the day I got the phone call from the genetic counselor about the amnio results. It was the very instant the doctor walked into the exam room just days before I got that call. The second I saw her face, I knew. I know I've written about it in my very first post but I've started to think about the people I talked to that day and all the hope they tried to offer me. And how everyone of them assured me that it was a false positive and that they had a friend that was in a similar situation and the baby turned out to be fine or there was a relative that had these results but their baby didn't have Down syndrome. I remember talking to my sister who said it was probably nothing and that the baby would be fine and to not get too upset since I didn't know for sure. But I did.
I remember getting the urgent call from the nurse telling me to come back and that they could get me in for an ultra sound because they didn't have a clear date as far as how many weeks I was and maybe I wasn't as far along as I thought(this can cause false positives) but I knew, I knew I was 17 weeks. I remember agreeing to all of these people saying, yes, you're probably right but all along I knew, I really knew I was the 1 out of the 1 in 10 chance that the doctor told me hours before. As the ultrasound tech looked at Bennett she measured things- everything so far was measuring at 17 weeks and my heart sank a little but then she said things like "oh, there's a nasal bone- that's good, heart looks good, from what I can see" and then she measured one of the femur bones and I saw 15 weeks pop up on the screen and my heart grew heavy because I knew this was a marker. Still she had hope in her voice "well, that can be a soft marker but it could be nothing". After all the hope everyone had given me that day and of course they meant well, I left knowing once again, that the baby inside me had Down syndrome.
As I drove home from the ultrasound I prayed and asked God to just give me peace. I had been crying for a good part of the day and my head hurt, my eyes were swollen and I just wanted peace no matter what the outcome would be in the next few days. And it was almost instantly that I felt this overwhelming peace. It's hard to explain. It was as if all the sadness and worry of that day left and all I felt was warmth and relief. Not that I didn't cry or feel pain in the days to come but for that time that I was alone in the car I knew that it was going to be okay whether the baby had Down syndrome or not. God knew that I was hurting and that I needed something right then and there that perhaps no human could offer.
Now when I look over the crib in our room and I watch Bennett as he sleeps, he is the most peaceful little baby. I get that same feeling of peace I felt in the car each and every time I look at him as if God is saying it's going to be okay.
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."-Jeremiah 29:11