Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Shhh...Don't Tell!

Let me tell you about Down syndrome.  It comes with a laundry list of medical complications.  A baby can have any number of these issues and often will have multiple issues.

  • hearing loss - up to 80%
  • vision impairment - 50%
  • low muscle tone - 80%
  • heart defects - 65%
  • umbilical hernia - 50%
  • issues with digestion - 50%
  • trouble breastfeeding - 85%
  • trouble eating solid foods - a lot
 As a parent with Down syndrome, you'll likely hear the worst case scenarios...

He probably won't breastfeed.

He might need hearing aids. 
                     Most likely he'll wear glasses.

Learning to roll or sit up is difficult because of low muscle tone.

He'll be constipated.  

He'll have heart defects and need to go to the NICU after birth.  


Now let me tell you about Cade.

He doesn't have any of that. 

He never got the memo.  He breastfeeds, he eats solid foods, he rolls, he's learning to sit.  His muscle tone is almost as good as our other kids'.  He did have minor heart defects at birth, but miraculously they've all resolved.  He poops--usually.  His hearing and vision are great. 

Please don't tell him that he has Down syndrome!*

The slogan for this year's Buddy Walk (a national walk that raises money for Down syndrome research) is "Expect me to succeed.  I will."  We expect nothing less of our other children and we expect the same for Cade.  

He can.  
               He will.  
                            He is.


Not a fan of strawberries.

*For those who would take this literally, of course we would never keep this a secret.  Down syndrome is, and will always be, part of who he is.