who we are

Welcome, and thanks for checking out our blog!

I'm Melissa, blog author and mom.  Darren is my husband.  You won't find him writing on the blog, but may catch a glimpse of him in some photos.  Claire is our 2 year old.  She is the star of the blog, and I know she's reason you all check in here.  :)  We are expecting our newest arrival in March 2012.

Maybe you are IRL family and friends, and are here checking in for update, or maybe you found us by searching Down syndrome, or through the Down syndrome board on BabyCenter.

If you are new to Down syndrome an extra special welcome to you!  I know a journey with Down syndrome (probably) wasn't something you ever expected, and maybe you are still scared or angry.  Trust me when I say I've been there, and some days I'm still there.  But most days Down syndrome doesn't cross my mind.  We play hard, laugh and have busy, fun-filled days just like any other family. 

A little backstory:

When I was pregnant with Claire, I had the second trimester quad screen.  Darren and I debated whether to even have it done, but our dr really preferred since we live in a rural area, and it can give an early indication of many issues to keep an eye on.  My results came back with 1/80 odds, which was significantly increased over my odds based on my age (which was 31).

We had a level II ultrasound at 18 weeks.  The ultrasound showed that Claire's long bones in her arms and legs were a little shorter than they should be, but since that is a soft marker for Ds, we left feeling confident that our little one didn't have Down syndrome. 

At a later ultrasound the dr found Claire had some issues with the blood flow through the cord.  Because of this I had monthly growth scans.  At the 29 week scan the drs found Claire's heart defect.  Not only was there a hole in my baby's heart, but this defect was strongly associated with Down syndrome.  The odds our baby would have Down syndrome went from 1/80 to 1/2. 

We decided against the amnio, and just went forward with the assumption that our baby had Down syndrome.  We educated ourselves, family and friends.

ummm....that's obviously not the end of the story, but I'm out of time right now.  More to come!