Did you know that 80% of babies with Down syndrome are born to women UNDER the age of 35?
While it’s true that as a mom gets older, her risk for having a child with Ds increases, but because of the number of babies born to younger women, MOST moms are younger than 35. In fact, more babies with Ds are born to moms 26 years old than any other age (which was how old I was with Piper!)
There’s a lot of women out there who think that, since they’re NOT “of advanced maternal age,” they have NO risk for Down syndrome. My OB talked to us about Down syndrome, just like he does ALL of his patients, the first time we saw him at 8 weeks. We “knew” we had a risk. We didn’t, however, know that it was going to be our reality. That conversation will always be emblazoned in my memory because, I think, it was meant to gently start preparing us.
Unfortunately, even though we knew the statistics, we didn’t know any other young families. And it was horribly isolating. I felt like we were the only ones “like us”. And, to a large degree, we were. We were the first of our friends to have a child with a disability. And that is probably the single largest reason I got into blogging- to find other people like us!
One of the hardest assumptions to hear someone say is that, since we were young, it means there’s something “wrong” with us. Down syndrome is a random, naturally-caused (ie there’s nothing, like lack of vitamins, lifestyle, alcohol, drugs, etc) error that can occur in any pregnancy to any couple. And who’s to say that “error” is a bad thing???