21 Stories for WDSD- Familiarity with Down syndrome
My name is Courtney, and Matt and myself have two wonderful boys, Dylan and Lucas. Dylan is almost 7 years old, and Lucas is almost 3 months old. Lucas was diagnosed with Down syndrome when I was 13 weeks pregnant.
Our family is more alike than different. We consist of two loving parents, two loving boys a dog and a snake(boy family!). We go to parks, play outside, read bedtime stories and have milestones we set and reach. Both of our boys cry, laugh, and snuggle. The point is, we are more alike than different.
When we were at a routine prenatal check up, we were informed that our now 3 month old baby had a risk of having Down syndrome. Our entire family was shocked, Matt’s older brother has Down syndrome, and it isn’t connected to us genetically. We went ahead and got further testing done to be prepared. Sure enough, our baby boy was officially diagnosed. What did that mean to us? It meant that our rollercoaster of emotions were at an all time high. We were filled with fear of the unknown health risks, the unknown behaviors, the unknown path our baby will have to travel, but we still were filled with love, encouragement, and happiness, too. This was the beginning. Down syndrome is just a label it is not who our son, Lucas, is at all. It is just as his blue eyes don’t define him, neither does this diagnosis.
Matt grew up with his brother and he said that having a brother with Down syndrome wasn’t any different than having any of his other siblings. They played, they argued and most of all, they loved one another.
As a family we have already learned to ask questions, reach out and accept that this journey is one which we have a lot of unknowns, but isn’t that true of any family with any child? Every child is different and has different needs. Diagnosis or not, we are more alike than different.
About the Author: Courtney is the mother of Dylan and Lucas. She and her husband, Matt, live in Selbyville, DE. They relocated from Baltimore in June.