A mom’s honest “review” of her baby, who has Down syndrome, went viral, with nearly 400,000 people responding positively to it.
Jessica Egan joked that when she placed her “order” for a baby, she said, “Regular amount of chromosomes, please!”
“That’s what everyone else got and what I wanted too. They called me shortly after my order was in production and said, ‘Great news, we went ahead and upgraded you to extra chromosomes for free! You’ll receive the extra chromosomes with your completed order in 9 months,’” she recalled in her Facebook post with her child.
Her daughter, Gwendolyn, was later diagnosed with Down syndrome, according to The Mighty.
“What?! I was mad! All the other orders I had seen displayed via perfect Instagram posts did NOT have extra chromosomes. Well I decided that receiving my order with extra chromosomes was better than not receiving an order at all, so I settled in to wait for this surprise upgrade to arrive,” she also joked.
Her viral post has drawn a significant amount of support from other parents who have children with Down syndrome, she told The Mighty. “That is the reason I wanted to share my experience,” Egan told the outlet, “and doing it as a product review struck me as a lighthearted and accessible way to do so.”
“I have now had my order for two months and am writing this review to let others know the upgrade to extra chromosomes is amazing!! If offered, definitely take it! I posted some photos below of the finished product and you can see the extra chromosome is so worth it – it is extra cute, extra special, and extra-ordinary! So much extra joy. Would purchase again for sure,” she also wrote in the post.
According to the report, she was 11 weeks pregnant when she got a diagnosis. Egan said her co-workers had healthy pregnancies, and she was the last one to get pregnant.
Egan and her husband told others about the diagnosis, and most people were supportive.
However, she noted that “there was an unspoken sadness, and we could tell some of our family and friends felt sorry for us,” the Mighty reported.
And after the diagnosis, “All I could think when I received the diagnosis was that my baby wouldn’t be as accepted and celebrated as everyone else’s had been,” Egan stated.
In an interview with Bored Panda, she said that being educated is key in having children with Down syndrome.
“Education was the biggest factor in changing our feelings about Down syndrome,” Egan said. “We realized that we simply didn’t understand this diagnosis because we didn’t know anyone with Down syndrome. It is natural to fear things that we don’t know or understand, so we reached out to people in our community that had children with Down syndrome and we made some great connections. We began to see that this truly was nothing to be afraid of and that instead, we were lucky for being chosen to have such a special and unique daughter.
According to the National Down Syndrome Society, approximately one in every 700 babies in the United States are born with Down syndrome. It means that about 6,000 babies are born in the U.S. each year with Down syndrome.
“For centuries, people with Down syndrome have been alluded to in art, literature and science. It wasn’t until the late nineteenth century, however, that John Langdon Down, an English physician, published an accurate description of a person with Down syndrome. It was this scholarly work, published in 1866, that earned Down the recognition as the “father” of the syndrome. Although other people had previously recognized the characteristics of the syndrome, it was Down who described the condition as a distinct and separate entity,” the organization also noted.
The Mayo Clinic says that the syndrome results in an extra full or partial copy of chromosome 21, varying in severity among affected individuals. People who have it have distinct facial features.