5 Reasons I Smile

The ultimate goal of this blog is to spread awareness and show how beautiful life can be. We have four amazing daughters. Our youngest was born with Down syndrome. If just one person stops here and leaves with a different, better perspective about Down syndrome, then it is worth it. Regardless, I have 5 Reasons to Smile!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Down syndrome Awareness Month--- 31 for 21, I thought you had to be over 40!

Four pregnancies and not one Doctor ever mentioned the words Down syndrome to me. Ever. I can remember when I was about 17 weeks pregnant with Jaden and the Doctor quickly discussed the AFP testing. I didn't know much about the test, other than it often gave false positives. I was 26, healthy, never thought twice about it when I declined. He did not push it and that was that. He delivered both Jaden and Naomi. I thought he was an amazing Doctor.

He retired and I had a different OB for Brynn. I did not love him, so when I got pregnant with Kamryn I went to someone else. Three Doctors, four pregnancies and none of them blinked when I declined the tests.

Looking back I find it strange that not one Doctor encouraged me to do the AFP. I realize the test often gives false positives, but it can also give you some very important information about your pregnancy. If you receive positive results you can have further testing to determine if the results are accurate or not. I wonder if my doctors were not that concerned because of my age? My health? I know I am not the only one who has (had) this misconception about being 40. When people discover Kamryn has Down syndrome they are often surprised. They ask my age (not in an intrusive way, but because they are genuinely surprised).

I was surprised, shocked and in disbelief when I heard, "your baby has some characteristics associated with Down syndrome." I realize how naive and crazy this sounds now, but I had no idea that at 33 years old - I could have a baby with Down syndrome.

Fact: 80% of babies with Down syndrome are born to women under 35.

Fact: For a time, after Kamryn was born, I wished I had done the testing.

Fact: I'm so glad I didn't.

I'll write more about those last facts later...............

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