Down Syndrome Awareness: Emberley (part 2)
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.
A few weeks later I was at a new friend’s house, when I got a call from my doctor’s office. It was the nurse and she asked me, “is it a good time to talk and go over the results?” I didn’t even think it could be anything other than “your results are fine, have a nice day!”
But instead, she started throwing numbers and statistics at me and I heard her say Down syndrome. It was like on Charlie Brown when all the adults just make the “Wah, Wah, Wah” noise. All I heard was “Wah, Wah, Wah, Down syndrome. Wah, Wah, Wah, genetic counselor, Wah, Wah, Wah, high risk.” I felt like someone ripped the carpet out from under me.
I excused myself and drove home on auto pilot, not even remembering how I got there. As soon as I walked through the door my husband new there was something wrong. I couldn’t even get the words out before collapsing into his arms and sobbing. I ugly cried. I sputtered and spat to try and get the words out. I felt like I was being punished. Life was already so hard and now this? What did I do wrong? Why was this all happening to us?
The next few weeks were a blur. We saw a genetic counselor and had an amniocentesis. It was discovered that our baby had a congenital heart defect that would require open heart surgery. That was the most terrifying of all. I seriously think I cried for 3 weeks straight. Once all my tears had been cried and I had no more left, we got the call that confirmed it. Our baby definitely had Down syndrome, Trisomy 21 in all of her cells. Her! It was a girl! We were having a baby girl! For some reason the diagnosis of Down syndrome and heart defect turned me completely around. I did a 180. I no longer laid around depressed and hopeless. I was on a mission.
My only objective was to get this baby here and in our arms safely. To change our situation and get it together, so we could give her a good life. A friend found a woman that wanted to pay it forward and give a Ford Explorer to a family in need and that was the first step up we had. With a reliable vehicle we were able to improve our situation just a bit.
Read the rest of Emberley’s story tomorrow!