By Cassie Brown
When we received Myah's prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome, I remember thinking that life was over. I was in literal shambles on the bathroom floor. I was questioning why life would do this to us. I grew up with a broken family, and my biggest dream was to grow up and have the "picture perfect family" because "I deserved it." So, what did I do to deserve having a baby with a disability?
After reaching out to a few moms, joining the DSDN pregnancy group, and following multiple instagram accounts, I was quickly made aware of how seemingly "normal" the lives of these families were - how happy the siblings were, how they all still went on vacation, how they celebrated holidays and birthdays as usual, etc. Yes, there were the few children with Down syndrome who had extensive medical needs, but many more who lived very typical lives. I wish that I hadn't been so scared when we received Myah's diagnosis. I wish it was more widely known that Down syndrome is not "life ending" or "devastating" or "unbearable". Our life has been greatly enriched since Myah entered our world. She has shown us love, compassion, strength, and resilience in ways and magnitudes that we never knew existed. Yes, we have more appointments and obligations now. Yes, we sometimes take extra precautions with all the unknowns going on in the world right now that we probably would not even think twice about if Myah did not have this diagnosis. However, we do not feel restricted or held back because of her having Down syndrome. Because of Myah, I have made some of the best friendships with moms I would have never connected with had she not been born with an extra chromosome. I wish I had known before her diagnosis that there would be an amazing community waiting to welcome me with open arms and warm hearts. There are so many organizations and resources for support out there, and I think it's a little sad that they are not widely known outside of the Down syndrome community. In short, I fully believe that this is the "picture perfect family" that I always wanted. Myah is almost 18 months old and has been the perfect piece to our puzzle that we never knew we needed. We truly could not imagine life without our EXTRA sassy, EXTRA stubborn, EXTRA adorable, EXTRAordinary girl! We are EXTRA blessed! Follow me on Instagram at @down.with.the.browns!