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Abigail is delightful. You can see her beautiful personality in her eyes. She loves being held and carried about by her nine siblings, and she has begun to smile in the cutest way.
When Abigail was two days old, the Lactation Consultant and midwife both broke the news to parents, Mark and Claudia, that they suspected Abigail might have Trisomy 21 (Down syndrome). This was confirmed when they were given the results of Abigail's karyotype test on January 16th, when she was ten days old. By the time Mark and Claudia received the "official" diagnosis, they were prepared for it. Abigail ended up being very ill and was admitted to BC Children's Hospital. Abigail survived her difficult first week, and tests for heart defects, GI defects, and septic infections, among others, all came back negative.
Prior to learning of Abigail's diagnosis, her parents had little knowledge of Down syndrome, and what the complications were. They knew that cognitive function is usually delayed, but found out a host of additional problems that can arise (immediately, or as the child grows). Mark and Claudia have been blessed to be put in contact with some positive people who have "tons" of experience with Down syndrome; other parents of children with DS, a naturopathic doctor and a neuro-developmental specialist. Talking to people who have experience is very reassuring and removes some of the fear of the unknown. They've met people who have inspired them, people whose paths may never have crossed if they hadn’t been blessed with this challenge.
Abigail surprised the family by rolling over from her tummy to her back before she turned one month old. She has repeated the feat many times since. A child who has DS is not "the product of an accident" which happened at conception. Her parents believe it is his/her design and destiny that was planned by an all-wise Creator long before he/she was conceived, and He makes no mistakes. They feel privileged to be chosen to be her parents.
"Most of our hopes and dreams for Abigail are the same as those we have for all our children. It may take her longer to reach the same milestones, and we may all have to invest more time and effort in helping her achieve those goals. We look forward to seeing her start to crawl, walk, ride a bike, communicate, laugh & learn, read a book, sing. We want to see Abigail grow up to be a capable and contributing adult in our family, church, and society."