There are a number of physical traits that are often found in people with Down Syndrome but these aren't always found in all of them. People with down syndrome look like their family members.
Children with Down Syndrome have a few physical characteristics that define their condition. My son, Noah, is one of them.
“From the moment I saw him, I knew that he had it. In that quick second, there was no need for doctors to confirm, I knew that my baby had down syndrome"
Days after receiving my Down Syndrome diagnosis, I began to wonder what my child would be like. Aside from the disabilities and medical challenges that my son might face, I also couldn't stop thinking about his appearance. Who will he look like? The thought of my child looking like millions of other people and not resembling me or his father was something that I wasn't ready for. Each day, I became more and more obsessed with the characteristics of people with down syndrome. At night, I would stay up late watching YouTube videos of children with down syndrome, trying to see what made them unique and different from the others. Knowing that my unborn child had down syndrome was one thing, now I just wanted to prepare myself for the moment that I first laid eyes on him and being OK if I am not able to find any resemblance of our family in him. Looking back now it seems crazy that I really thought that I was preparing myself for that moment by watching countless videos and images of different children with down syndrome. I wanted to know as much as I could at the time to prepare myself for that reveal, but honestly, none of those images could assure me of what my child was really going to look like. Day after day, I began noticing children and adults with down syndrome everywhere. I remember seeing someone with down syndrome outside my shop, another one at the grocery store, the mall, and also as I was leaving the hospital one day after one of my checkups. They all had this condition and for the first time ever, I noticed that there were people with down syndrome all around me.
My Down Syndrome World
There's a part of our brain called the Reticular Activating System (RAS), that part of our brain determines what we notice in the world. I guess at that time, I was thinking so much about it and became obsessed with down syndrome, that my brain began noticing anything or anyone associated with it. Even when I was having doubts about the pregnancy, God placed these beautiful angels all around me just to show me that everything would be fine.
On the day of Noah's arrival, I remember hearing his cry and feeling a sense of relief. Shortly after when they put him close for me to see him, I finally saw his sweet face for the very first time and I said to myself "he has it". In that quick second, I knew that he had down syndrome and I didn't care. All I saw was my beautiful angel and all I cared about was his well-being. He was my son and in small ways, he reminded me of each one of his brothers when they were born. He was definitely my child, and despite the facial indicators of down syndrome, I knew that he was a part of us.