When Ella was born, we were told soon after her birth that she has Down’s Syndrome. Our world was knocked completely off kilter and we found ourselves grieving for the child we had imagined we would have, a child who didn’t actually exist but whom we had already fallen in love with and had dreams and aspirations for.
Very soon after having my first daughter I fell pregnant with a little boy and, again, we refused all screening but had all the routine growth scans which showed a ‘healthy’ baby.
At 35wks I felt a familiar ache and I tried to convince myself that contractions hadn’t started so early, but after a long night of slow pain I rang the hospital who, as it was quiet on the ward, told me to pop in and they’d take a quick look at me.
After a quick examination, it transpired that I was 8cm dilated and our son would be putting in an early appearance. Extra staff filled up the room to make the necessary arrangements for neonatal equipment and an epidural was arranged to slow labour down whilst the baby received antibiotics to prevent infection. Even though slightly tense, the atmosphere was fairly light and the radio was playing happily in the background. We were excited to meet our baby, a bit earlier than expected but we were optimistic that all would be well.
A few hours later and following a very quick delivery Ted was born; 35 weeks+2 days, 6lbs 10oz and absolutely perfect. He was put straight on my chest and I loved him with an instant rush of emotion but something about his appearance troubled me. We quickly realised that he was blue and floppy and quiet, so the nurses stepped in to help him and I couldn’t shake from my mind the thought that he looked ‘different’ to how I was expecting.
I’m Jade, Chloe’s mum. I was 19 when I found out I was pregnant, and I hadn’t given the possibility of Chloe having DS a 2nd thought. It wasn’t until a private 3D scan when I was 30 weeks pregnant had picked up on Chloe’s AVSD (a hole in her heart) that I was given a 50/50 chance of Chloe being born with DS. In that moment, I felt like my world was falling apart. The daughter I thought I was having had gone, and was replaced with a baby that I thought wouldn’t be able to learn, wouldn’t be accepted, wouldn’t be able to do any of the things parents want their children to be able to do.
Hiya, my name is Heidi and I am 22 and I live independently in a flat, I have been living there for a year now and I am loving it. I do my own cooking and cleaning with only a little bit of support and encouragement from my amazing future guides, I may have down’s syndrome but that has never stopped me from leading a fulfilled and crazy life.
In May 2015 my husband James, who was 32 and I who was 28, were absolutely over joyed to discover we had conceived on our honeymoon. At our 12 weeks scan we saw our beautiful baby for the first time and it was all I ever imagined it to be; until the sonographer ended the scan and informed us that due to my blood test results combined with the measurements of the babies neck we had a 1 in 99 “risk” of our baby having down syndrome. We were taken to a small room to talk with a midwife who told us about invasive tests offered by the NHS which would give us a more definite answer. She also informed us of a very quick and simple non invasive test called a Serenity Test, which involved another scan and blood sample. We weren’t too worried as we didn’t see 1 in 99 as bad odds but decided we wanted to know to take away the worry, and could also find out the sex of the baby, so arranged for the Serenity Test.
At the time I discovered my pregnancy, I had just turned 42 although I felt I was 25 still, I had a 13 year old daughter from a previous marriage, a good well paid job, I was fit, running 25 miles a week and training for the Cardiff half marathon. I was in a relatively new relationship which I had realised was not for me after a weekend away to Cornwall.
Aiden was born on the living room wooden floor in an unplanned home birth! Fortunately a fabulous home birth midwife arrived in time to deliver him and saved his life. The midwives resuscitated Aiden for 40 minutes before he finally took his first breath. I remember the midwife saying it looked like “he might have Down Syndrome”, and I remember looking at my little purple baby still on the floor and saying “yes he does look like he has Down Syndrome and I don’t care just make my baby breathe”.
The day our beautiful daughter Amelia was born, our lives changed forever. We had tried to conceive for years, and after our second IVF cycle we welcomed our precious miracle into the world. She was loved unconditionally before she was born.
It took us almost one week to name our second daughter. We wanted to show the world that she is someone strong and beautiful; as much as her older sister was. And so, we named our little beauty, “Chiara.” Pronounced Kee-ah-ra, it means “light, clear.”
My husband Chris and I had been married for a couple of years and felt we were ready to start a family. It took a little time to fall pregnant but when we did it was like we were walking on air. We were finally going to be parents and my mind started racing thinking about what our future child would look like etc. We had always decided we wouldn’t find out the sex, we felt there weren’t many amazing surprises left anymore so this was definitely going to be our biggest yet.