We first found out that there were complications with our pregnancy during our 20 week scan, when it was believed that our baby had an abnormal shaped cerebellum. That day there were no specialists to discuss this with us so we were briefly told what this may mean for us and that we would be referred to a specialist hospital. The hospital found that our baby didn't have an abnormal cerebellum but that she had mild ventricular megaly and that the corpus callusum was missing, we were told that this may result in our baby having sever seizures. Over many other scans they also measured that her legs were growing at an abnormal rate and that she had mild microganathia. We had blood tests but refused the amniocentesis as the results wouldn't affect our decision and we didn't want to risk our babies life no matter how small the chances were. We were made aware of our options including tests and terminations, we made it clear that the only way we would consider a termination was if our daughter was at risk of organ failure and would suffer from birth.
The Day Cora Arrived
Despite making our feelings clear we were constantly asked if we had considered this. They were also able to tell us we were having a little girl! We accepted a fetal MRI, and we attended hospital a couple of days before the MRI when a student doing our scan discovered the missing corpus callusum. The MRI came back clear and we were referred back to our local Hospital. Our baby - at this point was already named Cora. At 39 weeks, Cora decided she was ready to join us and arrived by emergency C-Section. I will always remember my midwife that night, she was kind and understanding, we asked her if she would warn us if Cora had any facial disfigurements such as microganathia before she handed Cora to us.
The Diagnosis of Down Syndrome was a relief
At 2:34am on 13th April Cora was born and we were told that we had a beautiful baby girl. She never really cried and needed no extra medical help. Daniel was the first to hold her and his face said it all, he was smiling but he looked concerned, I knew something was wrong. As soon as I saw her little face I knew that Cora had Down Syndrome. I felt a pang of pain and then a huge sense of relief that all the things we'd have been expecting were wrong. She is beautiful and perfect. Test results confirmed that she has an extra chromosome 21. Cora is by far the best thing that could have happened to us. Luckily for us we already knew plenty of positive stories of disabilities before I was pregnant so we knew it wasn't all bad. I think it's important that families get all the information, I feel like people focus too much on the negative and not the possibility of the happy life we now have. Cora does still have other mild health and development conditions, but we're not going to let this stop her from reaching her potential, what ever that might be. Cora is now 7 and enjoys going to mainstream school. She has a wonderful group of friends and is very popular. Cora has been very lucky to model for some large brands recently, we are so proud of her achievements and she is adamant that she will continue with her career and become a professional model.