What is Down Syndrome?

Whether you are receiving your diagnosis pre or post-birth, your instinct is going to be to hop on Google and type in that exact sentence.

This can lead to a spiraling of emotions adding to the grieving you may be feeling already.  There is so much misinformation out there!

Many people think that it is called Down Syndrome because there is something bad about it.  We can relate the word “down” with bad in a lot of other instances, right?  Not in this case.

Down Syndrome is named after John Langdon Down, the doctor who discovered Down Syndrome.

More on that here: Some guy’s name – One reason for the Down syndrome misconception.

Why does my child have Down Syndrome?

You are just one of the lucky few!  That’s why!  It’s like asking “why did I just win the lottery?”

Down Syndrome occurs when there is a triplication of the 21st chromosome.  As far as we know, it happens completely randomly!

No, you did nothing wrong. 

This didn’t happen from that one time you accidentally ate cold cuts while you were in your early stage of pregnancy.  Nothing you did during pregnancy caused Down Syndrome.  It is just something that occurs, like brown hair or blue eyes!

According to the CDC, only 1 in 700 babies are born with Down Syndrome!

Well, what do I do now?

The Embarrassing Google Search

Yes, I asked google what to do after my son was born.  I was desperate and had no one to turn to who really understood what I was going through.

So, I laid out some tips in the above post to help you get on your feet after the initial shock.  But, here is a shorter list:

  • Research local special needs parent support programs.  Your town has one I bet.  Mine helped me so much.
  • Get to know your baby as they are, not as what you think they will be.
  • Find some online support!
    • You have already found this blog, which is a good sign!  There are also a couple of amazing Facebook groups to look for as well!
  • Search some Instagram hashtags and get a look at a day in the life of some families in your shoes.
    • #downsyndrome
    • #t21
    • #theluckyfew
    • #nothingdownaboutit

I will do a post on another day including my favorite blogs to follow, but I find it best to get advice from other moms, instead of doctors.  You will find out the reason for that on your own.

You have been given such a gift, and I hope this helps you find that out!

Congratulations on your new blessing!