Thursday, January 13, 2011

23 + 23 = 47??

No, its not New Math.

The first gift I ever gave my son was an extra chromosome. Kai has 3 copies of the 21st chromosome, and it is known as Trisomy 21, or more commonly, Down syndrome. Now I am not saying that I caused my son to have Down syndrome. Nobody really knows what causes it, they just know that it happens during cell division in the very very early stages of pregnancy when rapid cell division occurs. My husband and I argue over who is responsible for giving Kai his extra chromsome. We both try to take credit for it, but it will never be proven. Unless you are a parent of a child with Down syndrome you probably wont understand that last statement.

This is what Trisomy 21 looks like:




This is the only time that people with Down syndrome are the same or look alike. They each have 47 chromosomes. A 'typical' person(someone not so special, like me or my husband)only has 46 chromosomes, 23 from mom and 23 from dad. But a person with Down syndrome has 47 chromosomes, and each one of them is an individual with strengths and weaknesses and feelings, just like you and I. This extra chromosome does not cause all of them to look the same. They do share some similar features, but often look more like their mother, father or other siblings than they do each other. The one thing I have noticed to be the same about children with Down syndrome is their ability to bring together a family or even a circle of friends and teach people about acceptance.

Kai is our first born child and he happens to have Down syndrome. When we first found out it turned our world upside down. After a period of time we were able to get our bearings and right our world. It was then that we were able to see the Upside of Down's (syndrome).

So this is where our story started, somewhere in 2008...and today we are a happy family of four. We were so happy and in love with our son that we decided to have a 2nd child right away. Her name is Lilah and she has 46 chromosomes and she looks just like her brother. We have learned to appreciate the extraordinary with the ordinary and that is what makes our family work.



That Is All.

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