A Letter To One Who Has Just Recieved A Prenatal Diagnosis

Down Syndrome

Cindy White

I understand “what if scenarios” will haunt you! The unknowns can consume you. There was a period of time where I couldn’t even read anything about DS or look at photos of children with DS. Out of ignorance and a desperate heart, I prayed that God would “heal” Savannah.

Oh sweet friend, first off CONGRATULATIONS! Our beautiful Savannah Lanier is now 18 months old and she happens to have an extra chromosome! She was also born with Atrial Septal Defect (ASD), which is a “hole" in the wall that separates the top two chambers of the heart. This defect allows oxygen-rich blood to leak into the oxygen-poor blood chambers in the heart. ASD is a defect in the septum between the heart's two upper chambers (atria).

Savannah had open heart surgery just 3 months ago to repair this defect and she is thriving! I went public with my Instagram account shortly after our third daughter, Savannah, was born because I want to show “there is nothing down about it” and to shed light as our precious family walks this journey. I am still learning myself, and will continue to do so with each new chapter. The emotions you may be struggling with is NORMAL! You are human. You are being blessed with a direction meant for YOU!! GOD MAKES NO MISTAKES! Please remember that!

It was at my 20 week ultrasound that we first discovered a heart issue with Savannah. My biggest concern at the time was that they would accidentally tell me the sex, because we wanted it to be a surprise at birth! My 11 year old and 9 year old, at the time, were present during the ultrasound. The technician found an issue with Savannah’s heart and then said “the child may have DS.” She wasn’t a doctor, nor was there a doctor present. The way she said it was anything but professional. Then, I did have amnio to confirm. I understand “what if scenarios” will haunt you! The unknowns can consume you. There was a period of time where I couldn’t even read anything about DS or look at photos of children with DS. Out of ignorance and a desperate heart, I prayed that God would “heal” Savannah.

I believe the negative scenarios given by “medical professionals” , simply being ignorant (not stupid) about Down syndrome, and not having inclusion in many advertisements can subconsciously make one believe a DS diagnosis is like a death sentence. Rhetorically speaking, how wrong is that?! ​After several doctor appointments, I was convinced I was going to have quasi Moto from Hunchback of Notre Dame. Shame on the medical community for doing that to us and countless moms! ​ ​​Don’t feel guilty for any and every emotion you’re feeling! One day, I was so desperate to know what Savannah would look like, that I used this silly kids app “baby maker” where you put a picture of you and the Daddy to see what your app “baby” would look like. It was a low point to say the least. God has opened my eyes to a way of seeing and thinking that is more like Christ. Our children are perfectly imperfect, just as we ALL are! I prayed and wanted Savannah to be beautiful. (As conceded as that sounds!) I believe all moms have this fantasy of motherhood and others oohing and awwwwing over their newborn! That is normal, too! I didn’t know anything about DS or know anyone associated with DS. All I had was web MD and google. Don’t listen to statistics!!!!!! Your precious child is and will be ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING he/ she wants to be!! They will just achieve it in their timing, with your love and support! You will have concerns and worries... but, guess what? You will with any child! I’m a mom of three girls and I treat Savannah no differently than I have treated my older girls!! There will also be amazing physical therapists and others that help in accomplishing goals, if needed. God will put in your path the most amazing, loving people because of this precious child. You will look back on this blessing and wouldn’t want it any other way!!!!

Remember, God makes no mistakes!!! Every decision, every choice, every occurrence or situation is for a PURPOSE, guiding you and molding you into the amazing lady or gentleman you are, only getting wiser and stronger! My advise would be not to do amnio. If blood tests show a positive result, just enjoy your pregnancy! Please don’t think of this diagnosis with gloom! This beautiful child will smile and laugh. This beautiful child look at you and call you “Momma” or “Daddy”. This beautiful child will cry and be comforted in your arms. This beautiful child has a purpose! DS is what our babies have NOT WHO THEY ARE!!! There are Olympians and Emmy award winners that happen to have an extra chromosome. The sky is the limit on our children, sweet friend! Surround yourself with POSITIVE influences and stories of everyday, but amazing parents that are in this journey with you! ​Welcome to the “TEAM”! Let me know if you have any questions or just want to talk!! I’m here!!!

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