Written by: Sarah Abdolrazek
“This baby is a different kind of miracle.” That’s what my husband said the day we received the call from our fertility doctor, letting us know the pregnancy test came back positive. After 4 failed IVF cycles, Adam was the only embryo that made it to a day 5 embryo transfer.
This baby was so loved and so wanted!
At 11 weeks pregnant April 25th, 2022 I received the call from my OBGYN’s office letting me know that the doctor wanted to see me ASAP. I walked over to my husband and said something is “wrong” with the baby, I think it’s Down Syndrome.
I had been so excited for that call with the NIPT results so that we can have a gender reveal with our families. That was after all the only reason I opted for the test anyway. We did not have a gender reveal with my first-born daughter Sophia. I had lost my brother a few weeks prior to her IVF embryo transfer. She was born 9 months to the day after I tragically lost my brother in a car accident. I was not a stranger to God’s timing and miracles.
We picked up our daughter from school and rushed to the doctor’s office. It was the LONGEST 13 minutes of my life. Luckily, our daughter fell asleep and my husband carried her into the doctor’s office. I was so grateful she didn’t hear the conversation or see the pain in our eyes during those moments.
When we walked into the office the staff was looking at us like we were aliens. It was one of the most uncomfortable experiences of our lives. The doctor went on to tell us the baby had a 99% chance of being born with Down Syndrome, Trisomy 21 (NIPT results were actually 87%). He paused for a second and began to ask, if we will be terminating. My husband and I looked at each other and shook our heads no.
I remember feeling absolutely broken, yet remained calm. My husband asked if we could find out the gender. Male, said the doctor. That is when my husband cried and said, “that’s supposed to be my sports boy.” That’s the moment my heart broke even more.
This all happened during the holy month of Ramadan. The holiest month in the Islamic calendar. We decided to give all our worries to God and attend prayer at the mosque that night.
When we walked out of the mosque that night, I remember telling my husband I can’t believe how much lighter my heart feels. Once we got in the car my husband Omar said to me, “Sarah, we are not meant to do any further testing. This baby is a miracle from God and that’s all that matters.” Omar started to tell me that as people started leaving the mosque, he continued to move up in the prayer line until he ended up behind a man wearing his baseball cap backwards which read,
M I R A C L E
He proceeded to show me the picture he took of that man. We cried and trusted that God was with us and near.
The rest of my pregnancy was filled with tears after every doctor appointment. Even after learning about Adam's AVSD at 28 weeks pregnant, I still convinced myself that he didn’t have Down Syndrome.
Adam was born via C- section on November 4, 2022. He was immediately taken to the NICU for tests. After my husband came back from checking on Adam he said, “Sarah I am 99% sure he has Down Syndrome, he just doesn’t look like Sophia did as a baby.” I told him it’s ok and proceeded to give thanks to God.
We didn’t need anyone to confirm, we already KNEW.
Adam spent 6 weeks in the NICU prior to being transferred to The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia for his open-heart surgery.
It was during his hospital stay that I healed. I spent hours holding him, staring at him, talking to him and crying. I have felt broken many times in my life, this was another kind of broken.
One morning as I got ready to head over to see him in the NICU, I told my husband that I am not sad about Ahmed diagnosis. The tears and sadness are only me grieving the life I thought I was meant to have. I mourned the baby I thought I was having. I mourned the death of the old Sarah, so the new Sarah can rise. And indeed, she did RISE!
I gave myself permission to feel, think and heal. I observed my thoughts closely during my grieving. When a thought came up that was not aligned with my core values, I would say, “no Sarah. Let it go.”
Once Adam finally came home at 8 weeks old, I had a dream. That was when I knew, I wholeheartedly healed. I share the dream on my Podcast Rise with Grace & Gratitude Episode 9, available on Spotify and Apple Podcasts. “Finding Symbolism in Our Dreams”
Adam genetic variation was created and intended by God to show us his greatness and signs. That extra chromosome is the LIGHT our lives needed. I asked God to heal Adam during my pregnancy, it was actually us that needed to heal.
Love & Light
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