The Mighty Logo

Mom Writes 'Review' of Her Baby Born With Down Syndrome

The most helpful emails in health
Browse our free newsletters

On Sunday, Jessica Egan shared a product like “review” on Facebook of her daughter, Gwendolyn, who is 2 months old and has Down syndrome. Though a “review” may seem like a strange way of highlighting how positive a Down syndrome diagnosis can be, Egan seamlessly explained to her followers how Gwendolyn’s diagnosis is a chromosome “upgrade,” and nothing to be sad about.

“When I placed my order I said, ‘Regular amount of chromosomes, please,’” Egan wrote, adding:

That’s what everyone else got and what I wanted, too. They called me shortly after my order was in production and said, “Great news, we went ahead and upgraded you to extra chromosomes for free! You’ll receive the extra chromosomes with your completed order in nine months.” What?! I was mad! All the other orders I had seen displayed via perfect Instagram posts did not have extra chromosomes. Well I decided that receiving my order with extra chromosomes was better than not receiving an order at all, so I settled in to wait for this surprise upgrade to arrive. I have now had my order for two months and am writing this review to let others know the upgrade to extra chromosomes is amazing!! If offered, definitely take it! I posted some photos below of the finished product and you can see the extra chromosome is so worth it — it is extra cute, extra special, and extra-ordinary! So much extra joy. Would purchase again for sure.

Egan told The Mighty that posts from parents who have children with Down syndrome provided her great support when she was expecting, prompting her to do the same for others. “That is the reason I wanted to share my experience,” she said, “and doing it as a product review struck me as a lighthearted and accessible way to do so.”

Her post quickly went viral, getting over 30,000 shares and thousands of comments from other parents whose kids have Down syndrome.

Egan was 11 weeks pregnant when she received a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome. At the time of the diagnosis, several of her coworkers had “textbook perfect” pregnancies and she was the last person to get pregnant. “All I could think when I received the diagnosis was that my baby wouldn’t be as accepted and celebrated as everyone else’s had been.”

Egan’s doctor called her at work to inform her of the results of her prenatal testing. “She was as shocked as I was,” Egan said. “But she was honestly wonderful in her delivery and her support.”

Egan said she was originally devastated about the diagnosis and took three days at home to process the news. Both, her and her husband grieved the diagnosis but decided to connect with their local Down Syndrome Association and met with other families like theirs.

“We felt hopeful again and we were excited to meet our little girl,” Egan said of meeting the other families.

When Egan and her husband shared the diagnosis, most people were accepting and supportive, adding “there was an unspoken sadness, and we could tell some of our family and friends felt sorry for us.” However, she said it felt as if almost everyone they talked to had some connection to the Down syndrome community.

Egan’s post reflects on how, even today, many people may see a Down syndrome diagnosis as something negative. She challenges that idea, echoing what many parents of children and adults with Down syndrome have been saying for years: Life with a child with Down syndrome is beautiful, and they wouldn’t have it any other way.

Originally published: February 27, 2019
Want more of The Mighty?
You can find even more stories on our Home page. There, you’ll also find thoughts and questions by our community.
Take Me Home