For far too long, people with Down syndrome were looked down upon, doubted, and, in worse cases, bullied for being different.
Of course, the world is ever changing, and these days people born with Down syndrome have a much easier task of settling in with society.
Even so, it can be a daunting thing to be told your child has Down syndrome. The condition doescome with certain complications that impact the way a parent might raise their child, and for many the task is one they don’t deem themselves necessarily ready for.
When Jessica Egan became pregnant, her and her husband were overjoyed. They were given a lot to consider, however, when at 11 weeks Jessica was told that the little girl growing inside of her had Down syndrome.
“When we decided to have a baby, of course, we hoped that it would happen right away,” Jessica told Bored Panda.
“When it didn’t, we found that it was easier to bear because there are so many resources available for people who are struggling to get pregnant. I joined a local infertility support group and made a lot of great friendships with other ladies going through the same thing. When our first round of IVF failed it was disappointing, but we decided not to get discouraged and to keep trying. It was from our second attempt at IVF that our daughter was born.
“We found out when I was 11 weeks pregnant that our unborn baby had been diagnosed with Down syndrome. At first, we were devastated but it was because we didn’t have any experience with Down syndrome and it was something we were not expecting at all. We grieved very deeply for about three days and then my husband and I decided that we wanted to educate ourselves so that we could be happy and look forward to the birth of our baby.”
It was then that Jessica and her husband embarked on a mission to educate themselves to the fullest extent. They contacted their local Down syndrome and started a journey in the pursuit of knowledge.
Jessica explained: “Education was the biggest factor in changing our feelings about Down syndrome. We realized that we simply didn’t understand this diagnosis because we didn’t know anyone with Down syndrome. It is natural to fear things that we don’t know or understand, so we reached out to people in our community that had children with Down syndrome and we made some great connections.
“We began to see that this truly was nothing to be afraid of and that instead, we were lucky for being chosen to have such a special and unique daughter.”
It was two months after their daughter’s birth, however, that Jessica penned the emotional ‘review’ that took Facebook by storm.
“When I placed my order I said, ‘Regular amount of chromosomes, please!’ 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 9 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.”
Jaunty cap on, and ready to head to her heart appointment! #sweetgwendolyn #upgradedto47
Low and behold, her post spread like wildfire on Facebook. 347,000 people liked it, with many commenting on what a beautiful sentiment it is.
“The feedback has been so full of positivity, love, and acceptance that it is overwhelming. I have heard from multiple people who also recently have had a baby with Down Syndrome but are still coming to terms with it and have been in a very dark place. Hearing that my post touched them so completely and helped heal them is humbling, and truly something I will honor for the rest of my life.”
She continued: “When you receive a diagnosis of Down syndrome it is scary simply because it is not what you expected. It is important to let yourself grieve and then realize that this is not bad, it is just different. But all children are different, and there are no guarantees that any child you have won’t suffer from some sort of illness or differences.
“Children with Down syndrome are more like other children than they are different, and it is important not to spend too much time grieving because in the end, you will be so in love with your child!”
When I placed my order I said, “Regular amount of chromosomes, please!” That’s what everyone else got and what I wanted…
Every child has the right to be born and raised with all the love and attention a parent can muster. Kids born with Down syndrome are no different, and Jessica’s comments and ‘review’ perfectly reflect the reality. We just wish everyone else shared her and her husband’s view!
If you thought Jessica’s post was perfect, share this article on Facebook so we can help spread this important message further.