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