Florence’s Story, by her mum Sarah
Florence is our rainbow baby, born after an ectopic pregnancy, in the first lockdown. We had a 1 in 5 result at screening for DS, but I just thought it was high because of my age – 43. I decided to go for NIPT blood test, as it’s non invasive and expected it would come back low chance.
But 10 days later, the screening lady rang and asked me if I was sitting down. She said, “There is ‘evidence of Downs’.” I asked about the gender of my baby and she said, “Are you sure you want to know?” I said, “Yes, of course!” And she told me the baby was a girl. Of my four children, she was my only girl. I was shocked, and my husband was concerned what the future would bring.
I grieved the ‘normal’ child I had been expecting, and I worried if I would be up to the job. We were told she had club feet, and I worried more about that than the DS due to the treatment needed! But, by the time she was born I wasn’t crying! I was excited, and my hubby was very committed to our daughter too. When she popped out. I said, “Yes, she definitely has DS!” It was obvious and I wanted to save the midwives any awkwardness. I had researched false positive NIPT results and they are possible, but not usually with older mothers. She was beautiful.
She struggled, after initially latching on and needed oxygen but I was prepared for this. Eventually she could come home without the feeding tube and I’ve expressed for her ever since (she’s 4 months old). We are so lucky. She has no major health concerns and no club feet! I don’t get sad about the DS at all now. She makes us all laugh. She is so strong and funny.