Naya’s Story, by her mum Hayley
Hi my name is Hayley and I’m 39 years old. I have two amazing daughters. My eldest is 18, and her name is Mia. My youngest is Naya, who is 6 months old and has Trisomy 21 (Down syndrome). Finding out you’re pregnant is supposed to be a happy occasion, but for me it felt like the end of the world. I’d already lost two babies before. My son Kai died at 18 weeks and my daughter Faith, at 28 weeks. She was just 7 hours old.
I suffer with oligohydramnios – a lack of fluid during pregnancy – so when I found out I was expecting, I was so worried and scared. After lots of talking, I decided to give the pregnancy a chance, as it would be my last. I was given a consultant, who had me in for regular check ups. I had a stitch put in my cervix at 15 weeks to help maintain my fluid, but at 17 weeks, again, my fluid had reduced dramatically.
I was offered a termination at 21 weeks, because of growth restriction, underdeveloped lungs, etc but I declined, just as I had done with my previous two. I was going to get my baby here! So when Naya arrived at 30 weeks, weighing 2lb 6oz, she showed me straight away that she was a little fighter! They mentioned genetic testing, due to some markers they had seen – almond shape eyes, sandal toe gap and a Palmer crease on both her hands. Plus the fact that 3 of my pregnancies had resulted in oligohydramnios, I agreed to the testing on the day she was born.
The day after, I remember the two doctors coming to speak to me. I was told that her testing had came back and confirmed she had Trisomy 21. I’ll be honest, I cried a lot. I couldn’t go and see my daughter. I felt sad and angry. Why me?!! Why did I get the baby with T21, after everything I’d been through? I was worried what people would say or how they would treat my daughter. I worried about everything that first day… But the day after, I woke up differently. I realised that no matter what, I love her! She was my daughter and I was proud!
She was fighting to get herself well enough to come home. Every day she amazed us, and she still does. I had a great support system in family and friends, and by talking to them I learnt that my fears was more about other people’s perceptions. With their help, I learnt not to worry about what other people thought! If they were not willing to learn, then they weren’t worth my time! In the 6 months she’s been here, she has taught us strength and resilience, to love unconditionally and to be more understanding and patient.
We have found a whole new family, in the DS community, because of my little one! And what a fab group of people they are! And their kids are down right perfect! I’m glad I had a birth diagnosis. And I honestly wouldn’t change a thing! I am one of the lucky few and it’s been the best 6 months of my life so far