'I Felt Extreme Devastation': Mother Writes About What Life Is Like With Her Down Syndrome Baby

'I Felt Extreme Devastation': Mother Writes About What Life Is Like With Her Down Syndrome Baby

She found out her daughter would be born with Down syndrome, and she was devastated at the moment, but now there's nothing about Gwendolyn she doesn't love!

Salt Lake City residents Jessica Egan and her husband struggled to conceive for years. They went through a round of IVF, which failed. So, it comes as no surprise that the couple was over the moon when they found out the 31-year-old woman was pregnant with their first child, reports Daily Mail. Eleven weeks into the pregnancy, she got a blood test done that revealed their daughter tested positive for trisomy 21, which is also known as Down syndrome. "In that moment I felt extreme devastation," Jessica told Mamamia. She then said six of her colleagues announced their pregnancies happily, one right after the other, and out of the six, three of them revealed they were having twins. 


Jessica was worried she wouldn't get the same joyous reaction as the others did when it came to her sharing the news. "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. From three sets of twins to Down's syndrome?" she explained.  She then revealed she spent the next three days at home crying, afraid to tell anyone the news. 


Soon after the diagnosis, Jessica and her husband approached the local Down syndrome foundation so they could educate themselves about their daughter's condition.  Down syndrome is a disorder that causes intellectual and developmental delays in the child, as abnormal cell divisions create an extra full or partial copy of chromosome 21. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Down syndrome occurs in about 1 in 800 newborns, and nearly 5,300 babies with Down syndrome are born in the United States each year.


"We began to realize that Down's syndrome was nothing to fear, and when our baby [Gwendolyn] was born we were overwhelmed with love for her," said Jessica. Gwendolyn turned two months recently, and Jessica wrote a very honest review of what it meant to live with a baby with Down syndrome. When I placed my order I said, “Regular amount of chromosomes, please!” That’s what everyone else got and what I wanted too, she wrote.


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, she continued. 


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, she concluded, adding the hashtags #sweetgwendolyn #t21 #theluckyfew #upsyndrome #extrachromosome  #nothingdownaboutit.


Jessica said the post was shared more than 75,000 times with over 29,000 people commenting on it since it was initially posted on February 24. Many users praised Jessica. A user named Johanne wrote: The upgrade is PERFECT, while Louisa wrote, She is simply divine! And how lucky she is to be blessed with a loving family. Everyone was impressed by Jessica's creativity and they all gushed about how cute Gwendolyn looked. 


"The feedback has been so full of positivity, love, and acceptance that it is overwhelming," said Jessica while adding how she's heard from several people about how they struggle to come to terms with the diagnosis. "I hope people find comfort from my post, but I also hope that people who have no experience with Down's syndrome or other chromosomal abnormalities will have their minds and hearts opened," she added. She also hopes there's nothing Gwendolyn can't achieve if she really wants to. "I had a dream when I was pregnant that our little girl was grown up and she was working in a trendy decor store and was also a talented chef. My hope is that there will be no limit to what she can become," she concluded. 


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