Alexia with parents

Alexa’s Story

Our story started back during pregnancy. We got a prenatal diagnosis and didn’t know what our world was going to look like. We did all the testing as we found out late that we were pregnant. Because we found out late we needed to decide if we wanted prenatal screening done that day for sake of time. We didn’t choose to get the testing done because we planned to terminate our pregnancy, rather at that time it wasn’t something we knew about or familiar with, and the NP asked us so we said yes. We got that testing and after our screening came back positive we went ahead with the other two tests available all the way up to the amniocentesis. We struggled with the idea of the amniocentesis because of the chance we could lose our baby but the rate of that happening was extremely low, so we did it. We didn’t get the amniocentesis because we were going to terminate our pregnancy, rather confirm the diagnosis and learn about what life May be like for us because neither of us were overly familiar with Down syndrome. We knew some cute kids that were blessed with it but didn’t really know how it would change our lives. We made the decision to find out the gender at this time, originally we hadn’t. But because we were having a difficult time, with the news and all the appointments, we wanted to find out. We wanted to make it special so in Kingston after our echocardiogram we went to the water and opened up the envelope we had been driving around with for a week.

It’s a Girl! The paper read.

And oh boy, we are so glad that we said yes to that testing!! During our pregnancy we had a lot of emotions, just like any other pregnancy but it was just not knowing if our child would have heart issues or health concerns which can be common in children with Down syndrome and at times we thought of all the things she wouldn’t or couldn’t do. Well boy were we wrong! Our little girl can do everything and she is a bundle of joy with a huge personality and a side of sass (not sure where she gets that from) but for us now it’s so easy to say how blessed we are and how lucky we were to be chosen. This is our norm and we couldn’t be happier! Once we received our prenatal diagnosis we wanted to learn and share with our friends and family so that when she was born it wasn’t something that we had to worry about telling people then, or people wondering if we were aware she looked different etc. She was ours and because we took the time to learn and educate others we could enjoy the moment she arrived and never look back, she was ours and she has Down syndrome!

During the pregnancy we read the poem, Welcome to Holland by Emily Perl Kingsley and it was so helpful to have us focus on the positives. We received a lot of positive support from friends, family, coworkers and strangers who we can now call friends who we were fortunate enough to be connected with through the Down syndrome association of Peterborough. We set up an appointment while I was pregnant and met with the executive director and asked questions and got to know her and find out what supports were offered for when our daughter was born. This was a community we were going to be a part of for life. We’re in it for the long haul and wanted to make connections with those experiencing the same thing. Families reached out (with our permission) and offered support, and even to have us over for dinner. We are very fortunate to have an agency that is specific to children with Down syndrome where Alexa has always been accepted and with like minds. We have taken part in; wee ups and downs group, fine motor skills group, music group, arts and crafts/fine motor group, the bowl a thons, the Down syndrome awareness fun walk, the golf tournaments, bingo nights, nights at the Pete’s game for awareness, picnics and so much more. We are so happy to have met so many wonderful people through our journey! No regrets but when we look back if we could change one thing it would be the amount of tears we shed during that time. We just didn’t know at the time how lucky we were and that life is wonderful! She is our world and means the world to so many people.

Her being born into our family has made such an impact and we couldn’t be happier. We are blessed!