Down Right Beautiful: Levi's Story
When you're expecting a child, you countdown the minutes to their arrival. You pack bags, prepare nurseries, gush over every ultrasound, and wish for nothing less than perfect health. Yet, what happens when your precious baby arrives with less than perfect health? What happens when all your hopes and dreams change with a single diagnosis?
Dani, mother of precious Levi, shares her honest thoughts and feelings on becoming a mom to an infant with Down Syndrome. After struggling with Levi's post-birth diagnosis, she urges every mom that is going through a diagnosis to know that it is okay to not be 'okay.' Know that you will adapt, you will become stronger, and you will be very, very happy.
Diagnosis : Trisomy 21 (Down Syndrome) My first thought after hearing my child’s diagnosis: "My first thought was guilt for my eldest child, Dexter. The whole reason I wanted two babies close together (17 months), was so that they could grow up close and always have each other. I felt that Dexter would no longer have that." If I could teach the world one thing about Down Syndrome, it would be: "It's so hard to pick one thing! I have been quite open in saying that if I had had a prenatal diagnosis, I would have chosen an abortion (whether or not I would have gone through with it, is another story). My decision to abort a baby with Down Syndrome would have been based purely on my ignorance. If I knew then, what I know now, I wouldn't have even had the screening! So, the one thing I would want the world to know is that a DS diagnosis is NOT the end of the world. There is nothing to be sorry about and it's definitely a life worth living!" One thing that has helped me process my emotions: "Mainly, my husband and family. They have been amazing. Levi's Instagram page has also helped me immensely. I have been able to open up and meet a lot of amazing people and advocates. I started the page, because I could only find people online discussing how wonderful DS is. Well, I wasn't there. I didn't feel that way. So, I shared my honest feelings. I wanted other moms in my position to know that it is okay not to be 'okay.' Now, I'm one of those annoying people that posts about how wonderful and gorgeous their baby is. You can see my progression from depression to happiness and I hope it will help people." One thing I have lost during this journey: "TIME! I spent so long worrying and distancing myself from Levi. I feel like I lost his entire newborn stage. Everything was a blur. I just wish I could go back and enjoy him! I say to people that message me worried about a diagnosis, to just enjoy every minute! You can't get back time and trust me, you will wonder why you ever worried!" One thing I have gained during this journey: "Levi! He is amazing, he has taught me more in 7 months than I could have ever believed. i wouldn't change him for the world!" My advice to other moms on this path: "Enjoy your journey, it may take a little while longer than your used to, but the scenic route is beautiful ❤" Our advocacy platform: www.instagram.com/downrightbeautiful_levi