A mum whose daughter was diagnosed with Down’s syndrome two years ago has penned an encouraging Facebook post to help parents who may be going through the same experience.
Cristy Proctor, from Illinois, USA, created a Facebook page to share details of her family’s journey, called Isabella ‘Amazing’ Grace – My Down syndrome journey’, and one of her recent posts is aimed at parents who may have received the same diagnosis she did two years ago, at 22 weeks pregnant.
‘Two years ago today, I found out my baby would be born a girl. The news was quickly followed with the diagnosis of Down syndrome. I spent much of my remaining pregnancy in worry, fear of the unknown and probably every of emotion you can think of. It was a very sad time for me’, Cristy wrote in her post.
After the honest account on how she first handled her baby’s diagnosis, Cristy gave very important advice to other parents who may be going through the same.
‘I tell you this as an encouragement to those that may have just received the same news. As hard as it may be to do, focus on your exciting news of simply having a baby! What a joyful celebration.
‘It is a time for you to fall in love with a child you’ve not even met yet. It’s a time to prepare a nursery and pick out names. It’s a time to be cherished with your family. Everything else will come in time. Enjoy your pregnancy and welcome to the family! You are now one of #theluckyfew’, Isabella’s mum shared on her social media page.
Speaking to ABC News, Cristy said that she hoped her post would help families ‘not having to feel that gloom and just enjoy their baby’.
Cristy also explained in more detail how she received the diagnosis: ‘They got me in to see the high risk pregnancy doctor right away, in case I wanted to terminate my baby. It was just really shocking because I didn’t realize that happened in our world today.
‘You get this great news that you’re having a little girl and then almost a cloud of doom because I didn’t know the first thing about Down syndrome.’
Hoping to raise awareness about the condition with her Facebook page, Cristy wants to let people know that having Down’s syndrome doesn’t stop a person to have a normal life.
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‘[People with Down syndrome] do live normal lives, just like anybody else. Do we have struggles? Absolutely. But, every family does. They are just a different set of struggles.’
The proud mother also described Isabella as being ‘very determined’. ‘That’s my number one characteristic I love to tell people about her. She’s very funny. She looks at you and says, ‘Ha Ha.’ She wants to make you laugh. She lights up a room.’