Wednesday, October 12, 2011

{Guest Post} A Little Extra Love To Give!- October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month

Isn't Brooke a doll when she sleeps?

Or when she's awake?

When you look at Brooke is there anything that makes you shudder? Or think, oh no! Not me! I surely don't want that baby!

If you answered yes you're not alone. In fact, you are absolutely 100% in the majority.

Brooke has Down Syndrome, which we found out when I was 21 weeks pregnant with her.

And statistics show that 90% of women would have terminated the pregnancy with that information.

Yes, you read that right...90% of women who find out the child they're carrying has Down Syndrome end the pregnancy...

And I was almost one of those women...

Like most people, when my husband and I found out for certain that Brooke had DS we were devastated, and our devastation was magnified by the poor information we received from the Maternal Fetal Specialist. Never Never Never. That's all we were told. Our daughter would never go to regular school. Our daughter would never do ballet or play soccer with her peers. Our daughter would never be independent. Never Never Never.

With that information I said my good byes to Brooke while I was still carrying her inside of me. For a week my body shook with my hysterical sobs as I held my quivering belly begging my unborn daughter to understand. I pleaded with her to realize that I didn't want her to have a sub par life. I told her how much I loved her already and that I didn't want to terminate her life, but I was told it was the right thing to do...

And every day now I think of that time in my pregnancy. And every day I thank God for pushing my husband to research on his own during that week and showing us that our child could and would have a typical happy life.

So now we have Brooke in our family...child number four who is absolutely adored by her big brothers and sister.

Is raising Brooke different than raising my other children? Sure. I'm not going to lie...there are things that are very different. At the age of 20 months, Brooke is developmentally at about 12-15 months, and we do have therapists come a couple days a week to help her out. But you know what the beauty of the word delay is? It's not's just a delay. Brooke will do everything your child does, but maybe a few months later and perhaps with a bit of a boost. But isn't she worth it? I think so...

Why am I sharing this? Because October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month and it is so important that expecting mothers that receive this diagnosis understand what it really means to have a child with Down Syndrome...

Sure, it's extra therapy a couple times a week, and sometimes having people do a double take when they pass by. Down Syndrome may mean having a hypothyroid that requires medication or a vision problem that requires glasses. That extra chromosome may even come along with the baby needing open heart surgery to fix a one that Brooke was born with...

But that magic chromosome also means looking at beautiful almond shaped eyes everyday. Down Syndrome means celebrating every time a milestone is hit, no matter how minor. Down Syndrome is love and hugs and big sloppy kisses...

Down Syndrome is still a life worth living...

Don't you think so?

Thank you so much Holly from Holly's House-Not A Perfect Mom's Blog for sharing with us your sweet little Brooke! 


  1. Definitely a life worth living! Thank you for sharing!

  2. One of my best friends just gave birth to a sweet downs baby about 3 weeks ago! She was told by her doc that there was no way the baby would survive due to her heart defect so she was really pressured to abort. She refused but started planning for a funeral that would happen with the birth. Thanks to an ultrasound tech who said more than she should have, Lisa learned the name of the defect, did research, found another doc, and learned that her downs baby wouldn't need heart surgery until 2-8 months old! She went from planning a funeral to setting up a nursery!

  3. Holly,
    I loved this. :) I love the silly posts that make me laugh out loud on a regular basis, but this. You almost made me cry.

  4. God Bless you and your little one! Thanks for sharing your story. Hopefully other mom's to be will read that and realize that ALL babies bring their own special unique blessings into the lives of those who love them!

  5. I love you and I love this post. Because it is REAL. Not many people want to be REAL. But you not so perfect momma are REAL. And you are blessed and Brooke is blessed.

    You have a child with Down Syndrome, so what so do I and we are Lucky.

  6. Brooke is gorgeous! Thanks for sharing your initial reaction to the diagnosis. I think people need to know that it's ok to be scared. But speaking from experience, Down syndrome isn't really all that scary once you meet your child. And one of the things I love best about Ds...I get to celebrate every milestone that parents of typical kids just take for granted.

  7. My oldest has downs and he is 7 and loves and does pretty much everything any other 7 year old like. He plays video games and is in thee 2nd grade. He is on the level of a 5 year old in some area's and on the level of a 7 yo in others. He made brownies all by himself (with grandma watching) the other day. Brook will be amazing treat her like a 20 month old set high expectations for her and she will shine. I expect my son to act like a 7 yo. I would rather expect 7 yo behavior and get 6 yo than to expect 5 yo behavior and get 5 yo behavior.

  8. Yes, Brooke is absolutely adorable when she sleeps and when she is awake!

  9. Brook is beautiful! What a blessing from God she is! I was very touched by your honest story. I wish every pregnant mom who is carrying a down syndrome baby could read this. God bless you.


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