It’s been some time since I’ve elaborated on the emotional/mental journey of this pregnancy since one of our twins was given a confirmed prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome. I’ve had the occasional day where my emotional train took a dip into the valley, but I put this down to pregnancy hormones more so than the diagnosis. Despite the obvious discomforts of twins in the third trimester, I’ve found myself in a surprising state of peace and excitement, I’m looking forward now to meeting these two babies and my concerns for our unknown future have shrunk in size next to our hope for the new adventures in store.
One significant source of comfort has been my involvement in a facebook group for mothers with a prenatal diagnosis of T21. Within this group are administrators across Australia who are all on the other side of birth and carry a wealth of wisdom to share and lives that are normal and regular, nothing mirroring the fears that overwhelmed us after diagnosis day.
Below I’ve compiled a list of things to consider as we approach their birth day
- He has been passing milestones in utero like a champ, beating his sister in weight and pumping a healthy heart. Continue praying for his health, as we will.
- He will have three loving siblings to support and champion him…I keep remembering we have another GIRL coming also. He is blessed.
- We are at peace about his diagnosis and pray for him everyday. We walk the strange balance and mystery of knowing God is the God of the impossible and the good. And even when we pray for that extra chromosome to miraculously disappear we will not be disappointed if that is not to be our sons story, he is loved, accepted and has purpose and God is good.
- Remember that he is our baby first, who happens to have an extra chromosome, this will not define him, it will not define our expectations for his future either, and it will not alter what we expect of him as a member of our family.
- Remember that he is an individual with a unique personality and purpose, carrying our DNA, not some member of a minority race. Please avoid stereotyping what he might be like with phrases like “they’re such happy people”. Yes, he will be happy and loving, but he will also experience the range of emotions like the rest of us.
- We are not “special parents”. We are normal like you, with strengths and weaknesses trying to do our best with the circumstances we find ourselves in.
- Don’t be sorry or sad for us. I’ve valued the compassion people have shown for the process we’ve been through, and we’re so grateful for the love and support surrounding us. We’ve had so many people speak into this pregnancy with excitement and anticipation and that’s helped us reach the point now where it’s time to anticipate the birth and celebrate.
I highly recommend the following if you are on a similar journey or involved in the medical field or disability services:
My recorded journey so far through this pregnancy.
Part 1 – He’s in the waiting: Seeking God through prenatal testing
Part 2 – In quiet trust: Learning the results of our amniocentesis
Part 3 – Vulnerability when comforting others
Part 4 – Finding Courage amongst tears of grief
Part 5 – 23 Weeks in