It was 11:45am on Monday July 18, 2022 when my doctor called with the results from my NIPT bloodwork. My former OB had just stopped delivering so I had to switch doctors and I met this lady like once, so she didn’t know me very well at all. Anywho, she called and was sounded super nervous and said “your blood results came back at 0% for T18 and T13 but came back at an 83% chance for T21 or Down syndrome.” To which I responded “okay cool, but is it a boy or a girl?” I literally said that… I literally had absolutely no initial reaction to my baby having Down syndrome IT DID NOT PHASE ME! (That should have been my sign right there that I was made to be this kids mommy) But then, you see the doctor responded with a more chipper tone (knowing I wasn’t going to melt down over the genetic results) “Oh, well it’s a little girl!” Now here, you see, is where I was upset. I wanted a boy SO BAD! I wanted a basketball playing, mountain climbing, race car driving boy. I said thank you and we hung up. Then I cried for all of 30 seconds and thought to myself “bruuuuuh, girls can do all those things too” and then started reaching out and researching T21. I didn’t even tell Joe yet, within 20 minutes I had read two articles on how to tell your partner and reached out to a friend who has a son with T21 for resources. Then 22 minutes later I called Joe and told him the news. I can’t speak on his feelings or reactions to the news but no one expects their baby to have Down syndrome or that it will happen to them. We did opt to get an amnio for a 100% confirmation and to start getting the best resources and care possible before she got here. I think Joe and I make the best team, so we did just that… we processed our emotions, we did our research, we told our families.
Telling Ginni was the best idea we had, because guess what, IT DID NOT PHASE HER AS A PROBLEM! She was excited to be a big sister and she immediately took the advocate route. She presented to her class about Down syndrome for October and asked her librarian to get more resources on the topic. In fact, Ginni feels special that she gets to be the sister of someone with T21 (that doesn’t mean she doesn’t still get jealous of no longer being an only child ). Ginni gets so excited to celebrate her sister! Just yesterday I was doing dishes and Joe came inside from work and said “you’re going to want to go outside and see what Ginni is drawing in the driveway” I initially thought it was going to be something the HOA was going to send us an email about. NOPE! She had out all of the yellow and blue chalk and was decorating the sidewalk and the driveway for World Down Syndrome Day! She picked out her outfit and planned a special dinner to celebrate today! She chose hotdogs, rice a roni, mashed potatoes because it needed to be mismatched and unique. Just like Marjorie!
So here we are, 3 months after her arrival and we don’t even notice the Down syndrome (I mean chromosomes are pretty tiny and all). She came out full of energetic feist and her middle finger raised high to the doubters.
What we do notice is a baby we love so much and a new community that we are lucky enough to be a part of!
I love all the online communities and resources, but what makes me feel most supported is in person groups. GiGi’s Playhouse Deerfield has been an absolute godsend to us. As my one day MIL says “man, if you need a pick me up go spend a day at GiGi’s.” If you want to do something special for Marjorie, consider donating to GiGi’s Deerfield to help them continue to give free programming to Marjorie to help her learn and grow! ~Mandi, Marjorie and Ginni’s Mom