Thanks to Lorna Morris for this week’s blog about her daughter Nyla.
Our pregnancy was greatly anticipated and we were overjoyed to hear we were expecting. Following our 12 week scan we got the gut wrenching phone call from a screening midwife saying our “risk” of one of 3 chromosome abnormalities (t13, t18 or t21) was high at 1 in 100 and offered us CVS to confirm.
Not wanting to put our baby at unnecessary risk we opted to pay privately for NIPT (non invasive prenatal testing) which also came back high “risk”.
Following a great deal of internal turmoil we finally decided it was best to have the CVS to find out what our baby was facing.
The news was delivered in a most callous and disgusting way – I told the midwife I was in the school playground and she said “oh well the test was positive can you give us a call back when you can.”
When we did call back we were told to look at 3 websites and let them know if we wanted to terminate, if they hadn’t heard from us in 3 days they would give us a call.
I felt like my heart had been ripped out – I knew very little about Down syndrome and everything I looked at was so negative. Above all I was petrified, looking at all the websites and their facts and figures was extremely daunting. I feared for what kind of life my baby would have and what impact this would all have on my 5 year old who was bursting with excitement to be a big sister. I worried if I would be able to bond with her, how my partner and I would cope – physically, mentally and financially. I worried how my daughter would feel with her baby sister getting more attention, what would happen to her once we were no longer around to take care of her? A million different things were spinning in my mind and I felt like it was swallowing me whole.
We muddled through the rest of the pregnancy praying that her heart would be ok, that she wouldn’t suffer the serious complications we had read about. Our family were very supportive but you could see the internal worries they also had for our baby.
The second I saw my girl I knew I loved her just the same as her sister. I was so proud of her I felt like I would burst, so many worries just melted away with that first hold of her. She amazed me more and more as they told me she was doing well, she didn’t need oxygen, her heart was brilliant, her kidney condition they had diagnosed before birth was actually improving now she had been born and she might not need her kidney removing as they had told us previously.
Nyla turned 2 in December. She has gone from strength to strength and amazes us every day. She is such a ray of sunshine and her big sister adores her almost as much as Nyla adores her! She can light up any room and always finds her own way of doing something. She loves “reading” books, family bike rides and her bear walk is without a doubt the most awesome thing I have ever seen.
Her determination is inspiring, her laugh is infectious and her cheeky character is shining through. I wish someone had been able to show us how our life would be instead of terrifying us with the negative possibilities. I have learnt so much and I feel she has made us better people. We cannot imagine our lives without Nyla she has made our family complete.