Once I Saw Past the Diagnosis, I Realized We Hit the Jackpot


10355634_780443955325010_3100651861614908886_o Two years ago, we went in for our gender reveal ultra sound to hear we’d be having another girl. Instead, we left that appointment shaken. Our OB gently told us that they found small calcium deposits on Kennedy’s heart. They said we shouldn’t be alarmed, but an appointment had already been arranged for us at a nearby high-risk obstetrics office to complete a better scan.

We rushed over to Baptist Hospital to see this new OB as quickly as we could, Googling the whole way over an endless list of the problems these deposits could indicate. “Down syndrome” was the reoccurring term, and to us, that was terrifying.

Our daughter’s abnormal heart should have been more than enough for us to have to digest, but adding a genetic diagnosis on top was just too hard to swallow. The scan was completed just hours later, and we found ourselves sitting down with a whole new doctor for the news. He told us he felt he had enough evidence to convince him our girl, KC, has Trisomy 21. Down syndrome. I’ll be honest; in that moment, my heart ached. Our daughter was not who I thought she was; she was someone else entirely. I was totally consumed with fears of the unknown. I spent days replaying the doctors words in my head. I wanted so desperately to make sense of something I couldn’t understand.

“She may have a serious heart defect.”

“She probably has Down syndrome.”

“We will set you guys up with a genetic counselor who will go over what else you may expect in children with Down syndrome.”

These were sentences from the doctor’s mouth that couldn’t wrap around my head. It took about two more weeks for me to move beyond those words. When I finally made the choice to think past her diagnosis and focus on the daughter/sister/baby we once celebrated, I was finally able to conquer my fears. Looking back now, I would do anything to change my feelings on that day. I would erase every trace of the wasted heartache I felt. I wish so badly I could tell two-years-ago me on that very day, not to fear or worry about that diagnosis.

Because when I look at her sweet smile, it will be impossible to think anything other than, “Man, we hit the jackpot (again)!”

Follow this journey on Team KC.

For all of January, The Mighty is asking its readers this question: If you could go back to the day you (or a loved one) got a diagnosis, what would you tell yourself? If you’d like to participate, please send a blog post to [email protected] Please  include a photo for the piece, a photo of yourself and 1-2 sentence bio.

TOPICS
JOIN THE CONVERSATION

Related to Down Syndrome

Dear Dad Facing Your Daughter’s Down Syndrome Diagnosis, You’re So Screwed…

Dear Esteban, Dude, relax. Take a deep breath. It’s OK to feel scared. Do you want to punch that wall again? Go ahead. Did it help? Now you’re still scared and your hand hurts. I know you feel like you have to get it out of your system, and that’s OK. Go. Lock yourself in [...]

These Are All the Things I Worried About When My Daughter Was Diagnosed With Down Syndrome

Looking back on our diagnosis day is quite surreal at this point. The feeling of having my perfect world shattered is hard to describe and painful to remember.   I was scared. Could we handle raising a child with special needs? If I could write a letter to my past self, I’d say this: Not only will [...]

When I First Knew My Daughter Had Down Syndrome

I think about the day Ava was born a lot. I think about having contractions all night but still going to work in the morning. I work at a hospital, so I figured I’d be in right place. I think about calling my husband at work, telling him our baby girl was coming. He got [...]

This Big Sister Just Made the Sweetest Video Tribute to Her Sibling With Special Needs

Morgan Emmons, from Oxnard, California, has a little sister with Down syndrome. Recently, she made a video to show the world what it’s been like for her to have a sibling with special needs. The sweet video, posted on her Facebook page last Sunday, has nearly 2,000 views and has been shared more than a hundred [...]