I see your 46 chromosomes, and raise you one.

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New Bean, who dis?

October is Down Syndrome Awareness  Month. I’ve been reading many of the ‘Gram posts from DS mommies whose stories are almost identical to mine: errant/concerning pr-screens during pregnancy, amnios to confirm a DS diagnosis, a push to terminate the pregnancy.

Amniocentesis is worrisome because it comes with a risk of miscarriage, but now there is a far less invasive test to confirm Down Syndrome and other chromosomal abnormalities – a simple blood test that makes it easier to diagnose.

According to some stats, a positive pre-natal diagnosis results in termination something like 92 per cent of the time. Continue reading

she’s a ten.

happy girl copyShe’s my star.

My little-big bean turned ten months about a week before Christmas and for some reason it was very emotional for me.

She is becoming very active now, rolling and army-crawling about to get to where and what she wants. I always knew she’d grow to be a stubborn little thing, and damned if the child hasn’t proved me right thus far. But she is also extremely loving and charming, ever-ready with a smile (any opportunity to show off her new teeth), and she makes me laugh-out-loud guffaw at least a couple times a day.

Parents of children with Down Syndrome are all too familiar with The List Of Things Your Child Won’t Ever Do, and for the most part, I’ve managed to ignore the naysayers and let the girl develop as she may, with a little help from her DT Patti and OT Amanda. Continue reading

sunshine of my life.

apple of my eyeApple of my eye.

Peanut is now about 10, 10 and a half pounds, and isn’t quite as easy to cradle her in my arms as it once was. When she was a six- or seven-pounder, I would hold her close and wrap her tightly in this marled grey sweater that I wear around the house.

The other day I was trying to get her to sleep; she’s quite squirmy now and wriggles a lot before nodding off. Just as her eyelids began to droop, I pulled the sweater around her and started rocking her slowly. I thought I detected a small smile (becoming more frequent these days), and it gave me a chuckle. Continue reading

a day for down syndrome.

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A day for gettin’ Down…It’s a celebration, bishes!

Before having Aisha, I never had a cause.

Several friends and loved ones have been affected by, or lost their lives to various illnesses such as depression, cancer, heart disease, HIV/AIDS, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s. Others have children with autism, cleft palate, juvenile diabetes, ADHD, or seizure-related disorders.

I have sympathized and sent condolences, offered words of support (or in some cases, attended funerals) and on occasion written about the battles won and lost by the people I’ve known. Yet in doing so, I never felt “close” to the situation – even when it was one of my own fighting the good fight.

Aisha’s pre-natal diagnosis of Trisomy 21 changed all of that. Continue reading

then and now.

il_fullxfull.165641151I simply cannot believe she is two weeks old today.

So it’s been just over two weeks since I last wrote, and obviously, quite a bit has happened since then – namely, I had a baby! Me. I gave birth. To a person. It’s amazing how much life can change in the span of fourteen days.

First, I would like to thank everyone for the well-wishes, prayers, thoughts, emails and messages during this time. Even though I was off busy birthin’ a baby, I can’t tell you how much I missed blogging, and how touched I was by the outpouring of support. You all are swell. Seriously.

I admit that I am having some difficulty writing this post. I’m scrolling through my phone looking for pictures to supplement, and I’m overcome with emotion. Aisha’s delivery and birth were difficult – traumatic, even. We almost didn’t make it. And while we’ve both come out of the experience no worse for wear, the enormity of it seeps into my conscience every now and then, and it’s sobering. Sometimes I tear up. Sometimes I cry outright.  Continue reading

hearts and hugs day.

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Don’t tell the boy…

As grumpy as I am most of the time, I have to admit that I absolutely love Valentine’s Day. The boy is not a big spoiler/gift-giver, but this is one of the few days in the year where I know he’s going to get me something, and I get so excited in anticipation. He always does well in the presents department; I’m not easy to buy for, and while he agonizes quite a bit before making a decision and/or purchase, he nails it every time.

I spoil him quite a bit the rest of the year. Every month, on the 26th (to commemorate the date that we met), I give him a card to remind him how much I love him. Sometimes he gets a gift (usually clothes or cologne) or I treat him to dinner. Today, in spite of my size and weight, I slaved over a hot stove for literally hours, hoping to pull off a lovely gourmet-inspired meal that was kind of out of my culinary league.

One of the dishes I made was braised beef in a red wine reduction, which required a day of pre-marinating, and about three or four hours of cooking time. Just before the final hours of slow-roasting in the oven, I invited him to taste a little bite of the meat – for flavour, not texture, mind you. He tentatively took a bite, and then replied, “it’s chewy, babe. Can I offer a suggestion? Next time, boil the beef before you cook it…” Continue reading