Leighton’s Story, by his dad, John
Our journey started with 4 miscarriages. Then we were finally blessed with the birth of our first child, Brayden. After a while, we decided it would be great if he had a younger brother or sister. Four months later, we found out we were pregnant again. When we went for our 20 week scan the Doctors said there were some concerning fluid measurements which could indicate Down Syndrome or a heart condition.
We were then sent for a scan in Leeds, to check our baby’s heart and all was normal. Down Syndrome was mentioned again. We had blood tests done and found we were a 1 in 5 chance of our baby having Down Syndrome. We were offered further testing and the chance to abort. We made the decision that no illness or disability would convince us to give up on our child, and went ahead as planned.
Denise had family friends that had Down Syndrome, so had an idea of what to expect. She knew that children with Down Syndrome can be very happy and loving, but had no knowledge of any medical conditions that could be involved. I had no idea what to expect and I was genuinely concerned about what other people, including family would think of us, having a ‘faulty’ child.
I was also concerned that I wouldn’t bond with Leighton or love him as much as a ‘normal’ child… I have felt guilty to this current day and probably will forever for doubting how I would feel about our son. Looking back at how I felt I would advise any parent that those thoughts are normal and there are others out there that feel the same as I did and they are not alone…
During the pregnancy, we had more hospital appointments than we did for Brayden, as Leighton was a very lazy baby and was not willing to cooperate with anybody! He gave us a few scares along the way! Eventually, after a long and tiring pregnancy Leighton was born on the 15th June 2019 – 2 weeks earlier than expected. When Leighton was born he was rushed to SCBU (Special Care Baby Unit ) as he was born with an Anal rectal Malfunction. Basically, he had no bum hole.
He was rushed into theatre at 36 hours old, on Father’s Day, in Leeds. He was operated on, and a stoma was created. Since Leighton was born, every day has been a joy, and filled with lots of love and hugs. Leighton is a very happy and mischievous little boy and has made our family complete. We wouldn’t change a single thing about Leighton, but we wish we could help to change and educate the world to what a life is like with a child with Down Syndrome.