Down Syndrome Awareness: Aaron
Join us in October for Down Syndrome Awareness Month as families from our DSDN Birth support group share,
what they wish others knew about their child with Down syndrome.
I was 28 and I had just found out I was pregnant with my 4th child. It was not a planned pregnancy and I would be lying if I said I wasn’t freaking out. I remember going in at 13 weeks and doing my normal testing for Down syndrome. I had done it with all my other pregnancies and this time would be no different.
I came back in a few weeks for the results. I’ll never forget my doctor, who had delivered all of my other kids, stare at me and say that my results showed positive for Ds. My heart stopped and somehow my mind was going a thousand miles an hour. She comforted me and said it would all be ok. I called my husband and we both cried. Only because we knew that we had no knowledge of what this diagnosis meant and what our babies life would look like.
As we met with the high risk doctor we were given so many resources to start educating ourselves on Down syndrome and I am so grateful for that. Fast forward, to me being 35 weeks pregnant. My body went into labor and before I knew it, my son was born. He went straight into the NICU because he wasn’t able to breathe on his own or hold his own body temperature. So there we were, for 30 days.
Little did I know, the struggles he was having were normal struggles babies with Down syndrome are born with. It was then that my world was opened to the real life of a baby with Down syndrome. I saw my son be strong and accomplish all the goals his doctors were asking of him. He was so little yet so determined. He was my little fighter. And I was so proud.
In the past 16 months, my son has gone through an incredible journey. We’ve had ups, and we’ve had downs. But the one thing we have always consistently had is pure joy from him. No one warned me about how much happiness they radiate with just one smile.
Aaron has had to work harder than my other kids but he humbles our family by showing us that life is not about where you’re going but how you get there. We have been introduced to a community with families who have supported us through some tough days and also some forever memories. They don’t know us personally and yet they have been there for us from the moment we joined.
If there is one thing I could tell any soon to be parent of a child with Down syndrome, it would be this: Allow your heart to be introduced to everything Down syndrome has to offer. Sometimes that image of childhood won’t be how you pictured it but I promise you, the journey will still be memorable. Because through challenges comes strength and through strength comes resilience. And even when you feel like you have nothing else to give. You’re sweet baby will look you in the eyes and remind you why you were given this path.