• Jaclyn Walker

Down Syndrome Awareness, our first year

This week last year we announced our pregnancy of our third baby. Obviously we’re a little lady heavy in this house and for certain Caleb was plotting to even the team with a mini-man. We were excited for sure.

What we didn’t share at the time was this was three years to the month that we had been hoping and trying to get pregnant without success.

We got pregnant with both Grace and Ava practically on demand. No worries no issues. With this third one we were at a loss.

I didn’t, maybe I should say couldn’t, engage this dynamic directly. There was a deep dull experience of failure and loss for me and for a long time.

I had literally given up, gifted all my baby gear and downsized our car to fit the four of us when low and behold - pregnant.

I suppose that’s how it goes?

Being fourty-two, they started saying ‘advanced maternal age’ I was offered genetic testing and was told of the increased risks.

— Here’s where I introduce you to this personal dynamic of mine. Some may call this ignorance, others disassociation. I have this sort of mental helmet ⛑ that aids me I decision making.

In this case, if I take genetic testing and find an abnormality, I personally know I won’t make a different decision whether to carry this baby or terminate the pregnancy. My gut sense under the helmet 😂 is no need for the test.

So, answer “No thanks.”

One of the common questions about having a baby with Down Syndrome is “can‘t they test for that?” Yes, they can.

And what would you do with that information?

My experience of fear throughout my pregnancy surely follows as I’ll share what came up along the way to detect her “abnormalities.”

What I’ll share here is at this point in my Down Syndrome journey, it wasn’t one. It was the answer to the prayer I’d begged God for for three years. Grieved the loss over month after month waiting.

This was the baby, we were honestly hoping was the boy we didn’t have to complete our family, but we’re hoping which ever it was a healthy little someone we were wanting more than anything.

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