Why Receiving a Prenatal Down Syndrome Diagnosis Felt Like Skydiving


What if your child had a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome? Have you ever wondered what it feels like after getting the news? For me, it was like going skydiving.

The first time my husband and I went skydiving it was so breathtaking. Everything went smoothly from beginning to end. The temperature was perfect, the sky was clear and we landed safely on our feet. It was so incredible, and we kept saying we need to do it again when the time is right. After months of planning, I got to tell my husband, “We are going skydiving again!”

We couldn’t wait to tell everyone because for a little bit we weren’t too sure we would get to experience it again. So now we had a date in the books and were counting down the days until we would make the jump. That’s when things started to go awry. We got a call that the weather wasn’t looking in our favor and there may be some cloud cover, so we needed to decide if we should cancel or not.

My husband and I took a few days and did some research. Some sites on the internet made it seem very unpredictable. Others believed as long as you know ahead of time and take proper precaution, some extra clouds in the sky are no big deal. We shared our situation with friends and family and began to realize the decision was ours and only ours. It did not take long until we decided that were sticking to our original plans, but now we were prepared for whatever may come our way.

As time went on and our next big adventure was approaching, I couldn’t help but form a million questions in my head. Can I really do this? Things aren’t exactly the same as the last time, so can I manage it all? Am I really ready to take this jump into a sky that is unfamiliar and somewhat intimidating?

I love the thrill and adventure of doing things a little different, but do I really have the support of others if I need them? At times, it was hard to shut out the doubt, but at the end of the day, I chose to make this reservation and I was sticking with it.

Well, the big day arrived and we were going skydiving! We were suited up and paired with the best qualified instructors in all of the county. My stomach was in knots, but I kept a smile on my face and knew no matter what my husband and I were doing this together.

As the plane started to accelerate, I became overwhelmed with emotions. I was so excited, anxious, scared, grateful, but, most of all, ready. We walked to the door of the plane, got in position and jumped. It was unbelievable how at that moment all my fears disappeared. I was looking at the clouds under me, and although I wasn’t able to see the ground just yet, I knew everything was going to be OK.

The way down was a bit different than the last time. In order to land safely, we had to pull the shoot and soar a little. I was actually grateful for this because it allowed me to experience moments I missed or took for granted the first time. The best part was just like the last time — I landed safely on my feet with my husband smiling at me and feeling like we just created a moment so many will miss or have missed out
on.

In the end, the sun broke through the clouds and the shadows fell behind us. We realized every jump is different, every cloud in the sky is unique and each journey has value and purpose. Now I’m so happy to be a part of the Down syndrome community, and I’m happy to connect with others who know how it feels to take that jump.

I feel fortunate to be able to now share my stories and experiences with others. If it were up to me, I would tell everyone to experience skydiving on a cloudy day.

Follow this journey on Facebook at Peace, Love, Gianna.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

TOPICS
JOIN THE CONVERSATION

Related to Down Syndrome

young girl sitting in the corner of a green room

The One Thing I Want the World to Know About My Children With Down Syndrome

My son, August, and my daughter, Macyn, have Down syndrome. Over the years, as I’ve parented my children and stood up as their most passionate advocate, I too have learned so much about Down syndrome. I’ve thought about what it is I want the world to know about Down syndrome. This led me to think [...]
Brochton and his siblings.

The Moment I Explained My Son's Down Syndrome to His Siblings

As a mom of a son with Down syndrome, I’m often asked what I have told my other children about their brother. That question confuses me a bit. I mean, when my son Brochton was born his twin siblings were barely 2. In the two years since his birth what have they witnessed? A baby [...]
Dad and daughter

When I Held My Baby With Down Syndrome for the First Time

Early in 2012, my wife and I decided it was time to work on baby number two, and then we were pregnant (sorry I know some hate using the “we” term with pregnancy). At 20 weeks we had our standard ultrasound appointment. We found out we were having another girl, and I was overjoyed. As [...]
Savannah Lanier.

How the Stories of Other Parents Helped Me After My Daughter's Down Syndrome Diagnosis

As my two daughters and I walked happily to the ultrasound room, we did not have a clue how our lives were about to change forever. At the time, my biggest concern was that the technician would divulge the sex of our little one, as we wanted it to be a surprise at birth! The [...]