This blog was inspired by 31 for 21 & is about my wonderful family.

"As a mother, my job is to take care of what is possible & trust God with the impossible." ~Ruth Bell Graham

"Never look down on someone, unless you're helping them up!"

Saturday, October 8, 2011

In honor of DS awareness month

A meeting was held quite far from Earth.
It's time again for another birth!
"This special child will need much love,"
Said the angels to the Lord above.
His progress may be very slow
and his tone may be low.
He'll require extra care
from those who will love him down there.
It may take him longer to talk, walk, or play,
and progress may seem far, far away.
But he'll love with his entire heart
and every day he'll do his part
to get where he needs to be.
Which show a lot of character, if you ask me!
So let's be careful where he's sent,
because we want his life to be content.
Please, Lord, find the perfect parents who
will do this special job for You.
They will not realize it right away,
the leading role they're asked to play.
But with this child sent from above,
comes stronger faith and richer love.
Soon they'll know the privilege given,
in caring for their gift from Heaven.
Their precious charge, so meek and mild,

Friday, October 7, 2011


The proper use of language for “Down syndrome”:
• Down vs. Down’s - In America, it's Down syndrome, rather than Down’s syndrome. While Down syndrome is listed in many dictionaries with both popular spellings (with or without an apostrophe s), the preferred usage is Down syndrome. This is because an “apostrophe s” connotes... ownership or possession. Down syndrome is named for the English physician John Langdon Down, who characterized the condition, but did not have it. The AP Stylebook recommends using “Down syndrome,” as well.
• People with Down syndrome should always be referred to as people first. Instead of “a Down syndrome child,” you should say “a child with Down syndrome.” Also avoid “Down’s child” and describing the condition as “Down’s,” as in, “He has Down’s.”
• Down syndrome is a genetic condition, not a disease.
• People “have” Down syndrome, they do not “suffer from” it and are not “afflicted by” it.
• While it is unfortunately clinically acceptable to say “mental retardation,” you should use the more socially acceptable “intellectual disability.” Society strongly condemns the use of the word "retarded" in any derogatory context. Using this word is hurtful and suggests that people with disabilities are ignorant or stupid, which they are NOT!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Down syndrome awareness month

     It just breaks my heart that Down syndrome awareness month is overshadowed by breast cancer awareness month.  In my opinion, Down syndrome awareness month should be in March.  Don't get me wrong, I am ALL for breast cancer awareness!  However, many people are aware of breast cancer, not many are aware of the FACTS about Down syndrome.  I know that breast cancer can be a deadly disease, it has hit my family, too.  But in reality, so is Down syndrome.  How, you may ask?  Well, just have a look at the statistics.  1 in approximately 700 children that are conceived have that something extra.  But if you look around, do you see 1 in 700 people LIVING with Down syndrome?  Nope!  That's because a whopping 90% of the parents who receive a prenatal diagnosis actually terminate the pregnancy.  Why?  In my opinion, it's because they are truly ignorant about the subject.  They may hear the grim & outdated statistics that their doctor gives them, or they may read outdated material on Down syndrome.  I must admit that I had a CVS test to determine if my child would be chromosomally enhanced, but I didn't do it to decide whether or not to terminate.  I just needed to be prepared & I'm glad I was.  However, nothing has prepared me for the pure love, joy, & happiness my son has brought to my life.  He has taught me so much already, & he's only 2 1/2!  The facts or myths won't prepare you for the positive things you will experience in raising this miracle from God.  Sure, my son was part of the 40% of people born with DS that have a CHD (congenital heart defect).  But that's just an obstacle in the road that one day we will overcome.  This journey has taught my family more than we could ever imagine & it has just begun.  Now, a few years ago you could've told me that I would have a child with special needs & my life couldn't possibly be happier for that & I would've thought you were insane.  Now I can't imagine my life without him.  As you know, I'm 11 weeks pregnant with my 3rd child.  On my very 1st OB appointment, I advised him that I didn't want any genetic testing.  He didn't question me, he said that it was totally up to me.  Why wouldn't I test?  Well, I see it this way.  God has trusted me, He has given me His favor, in blessing me with Troy.  So if He thinks that I deserve to be blessed double by having another child with DS, then so be it!  :)  
I really hope that I am able to reach just one soul in my quest this month.  I want to change the hearts, minds, & souls of those who are ignorant to the true facts on Down syndrome so that my Troy, & all of the people that I love that happen to have that something extra, will be respected.  They deserve that.  ♥

DS fact #5

There is wide variation in mental abilities, behavior and physical development in individuals with Down syndrome. Each individual has his/her own unique personality, capabilities and talents.

30% - 50% of the individuals with Down syndrome have heart defects and 8% - 12% have gastrointestinal tract abnormalities present at birth. Most of these defects are now correctable by surgery.

Individuals with Down syndrome benefit from loving homes, early intervention, inclusive education, appropriate medical care and positive public attitudes.

In adulthood, many persons with Down syndrome hold jobs, live independently and enjoy recreational opportunities in their communities.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Down syndrome awareness month fact #4

 • Down syndrome is the most commonly occurring chromosomal condition. One in every 691 babies is born with Down syndrome, however, 90% of parents who receive the prenatal diagnosis terminate the pregnancy!
• There are more than 400,000 people living with Down syndrome in the United States.
• Down syndrome occurs in people of all races and economic levels.
• The incidence of births of children with Down syndrome increases with the age of the mother. But due to higher fertility rates in younger women, 80% of children with Down syndrome are born to women under 35 years of age.
• People with Down syndrome have an increased risk for certain medical conditions such as congenital heart defects, respiratory and hearing problems, Alzheimer's disease, childhood leukemia, and thyroid conditions. Many of these conditions are now treatable, so most people with Down syndrome lead healthy lives.

Monday, October 3, 2011

DS Awarness month fact #3

   About 1 in 800 babies is born with Down syndrome. Though popular belief is that babies with it are born mostly to older mothers, in fact 80% of these babies are born to mothers under age 35.  Did you also know that 90% of parents who receive the prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome terminate the pregnancy?  That's why you rarely see people with Down syndrome.  :(  But in my opinion, people who are chosen by God to be their parents are blessed (yes, I said blessed) to be given these spectacular children.  Personally, my son has taught me more than I've taught him during these short 2 1/2 years.  During this month of awareness, please educate yourselves & your loved ones on the true facts about Down syndrome, not the myths or hear say.  If there's something you want to know or are unclear about, just ask me.  I'll be glad to answer any questions.  :)

Sunday, October 2, 2011

DS fact, Day 2

Down syndrome or trisomy 21, is a chromosomal condition caused by the presence of all or part of an extra 21st chromosome. It is named after John Langdon Down, the British physician who described the syndrome in 1866. The condition was clinically described earlier in the 19th century by Jean Etienne Dominique Esquirol in 1838 and Edouard Seguin in 1844.  Down syndrome was identified as a chromosome 21 trisomy by Dr. Jérôme Lejeune in 1959.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Down syndrome awareness

Today is the first day of Down syndrome awareness month!  Each day this month, I'm going to blog about Down syndrome.  :)
When someone has Down syndrome, it just means that they have an extra chromosome.  Contrary to what some people think, they aren't born missing anything...they just have something extra.  Down syndrome occurs when there's an extra copy of the 21st chromosome, that's why it's also called Trisomy 21.  The extra chromosome makes some things more challenging, but not impossible.  Just because it takes someone with Down syndrome a little longer to accomplish some things doesn't make them stupid or retarded.  In my opinion, it makes them exceptional.  Let's use my son as an example.  He had 3 heart surgeries by the time he was 2 years old & didn't walk unassisted until he was 26 months old.  Yes, typical babies walk before they're a year old.  However, he had a rough start to his life.  He was in CHF (congestive heart failure) at 2 weeks old.  He had his first OHS (open heart surgery) before he turned 5 months, then a second one at 7 months (which he wasn't expected to survive).  He also had a valvuloplasty of his tricuspid valve at 23 months.   So if you ask me, he's one determined little boy to have endured all of this & still work so hard to walk by himself.  He can do all of the things that people who aren't blessed with his something extra can do, he just has to work a little harder & longer to accomplish it.  That makes him & EVERYONE with Down syndrome amazing.  So next time you look down upon someone with Down syndrome, think of the obstacles they have had to overcome to get where they are.  Don't see their characteristics & judge them, remember how much they've endured & how hard they've worked & give them the respect they deserve.