A Letter To My Pregnant Self: Receiving A Prenatal Down Syndrome Diagnosis

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Down syndromeDear (soon-to-be) Mama,

Whew. Take a breath. You just received a life-changing phone call, a call that quite literally felt like a needle popping your innocent pregnancy balloon. This phone call never even crossed your mind when you decided to do the early blood work. Naively, you wanted that early blood work done to find out the gender as soon as you could. On the contrary, discovering the likelihood of your baby having Down syndrome felt overrun by the joyous news that you were having a boy.

You’re feeling dizzy and confused and somewhat out of your own body. That pit in your stomach might not go away for weeks. Your family doesn’t quite know what to say yet to provide comfort. They are processing, just as you are. 

Mama, take another breath. You will find other families from across the country who have been in your shoes. Those people you reached out to on social media, the other moms who also have young children with Down syndrome, this community will become your lifeline. Talk to them, ask them questions, and let yourself be 100% honest with these other mothers. They know these feelings and will consistently remind you: you are not alone and everything will be okay. 

Right now, you are feeling heartbroken, then guilty for feeling heartbroken. In the next moment, you feel worried about an uncertain future and the unknown of what lies ahead. It’s okay. You are allowed to feel scared. You are allowed even to be sad. Let those feelings in. Please don’t be ashamed of them. You don’t know this now, but they won’t last for too long. You will connect with other families around you who have walked this path, and they will help you work through your emotions. You will be brought back to life with a new perspective and knowledge of this incredible community. Soon, you will recognize this beautiful gift that has been given to you, and you will feel whole again in a brand new way. 

Take a breath. You are doing great.

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