Wondering what we could have done differently at different points in our lives is a tale as old as time. My husband and I found out our son has Down Syndrome when I was 13 weeks pregnant. I can’t tell you the number of reasons I had for my son’s extra chromosome. Most were things I had done, and I played the “What If” game a lot. Now, the only regret I have is that I did not enjoy the pregnancy as much as I would have liked to. I’m certain that almost all the sonogram appointments we had during the first and second trimester after the diagnosis were greeted by the word “Unfortunately” at some point.
I was in love with my boy before even meeting him. I am certain that when I would watch him suck his thumb, wiggle his foot, or get hiccups while the technician prodded my belly, I was falling more in love with him and would push all the other information away to have that moment with my son. I would try to take in as much of him as I could from that tiny screen.
My grandmother always says that women nowadays don’t enjoy pregnancies as much as they used to. I think my grandmother has a point. When we focus so much on all the numbers and “what ifs”, we can get distracted from enjoying the miracle that is growing inside of us. The advice I would give to other mothers who are going through this prenatal diagnosis journey is this: Whenever you see your baby on the ultrasound screen use all your energy to focus on that image.
I love now when I hear a story of a diagnosis where the doctor has such a positive outlook on the baby’s future. My hope is that by sharing our kids who are so full of potential, we can begin to hear more and more of these positive diagnosis stories.