Yo soy La Lay

adventures in family, faith, and Down syndrome

Lesson #14: (Not so) Defining Characteristics

on October 14, 2014

This is part of the 31 for 21 Blog Challenge!

It is incredibly difficult to take pictures of an infant who has recently discovered that she can pivot on her belly.  Especially when said infant is highly motivated by the pretty pink iPhone case.

I did my best.

When Tessa was born, both the NICU nurse practitioner (Amanda) and the geneticist that we eventually talked to were sure that Tessa had Down syndrome.  I was very angry with them for a little while… she looked typical to me and I didn’t appreciate their insistence that she had it without any proof.  I couldn’t see Down syndrome in Tessa.  They could.

I can see it now.

I should reiterate that I don’t see Down syndrome when I look at Tessa now.  75% of the time (that’s a total random guess), it’s nowhere in my brain.  But I get what Amanda was saying.  Typically, children with Down syndrome display some or all of the following characteristics:

Sandal toe, a guarantee that no nail polish from your second toe will smudge when it touches the big toe (Am I the only one who has that issue??)

photo 3 (3)

Straight palmar crease (This is a miracle shot.  Tessa’s OT would be proud that I could hold her hand open long enough to get this):

photo 2 (5)

Almond-shaped eyes (which crinkle so sweetly with every laugh and smile, and look almost cartoonish when she’s upset):

photo 1 (4)

Flat nasal bridge… an incredibly difficult picture to get when this little booger just wants to look right at me all the time.

photo 2 (4)

Brushfield spots… little white sparkles in the blue of her eyes.  These are one of my favorite characteristics (and one of the trickiest to see on camera because of her dark blue color)  🙂

photo 1 (5)

Ultra cuteness

photo 3 (2)

There are pros and cons to seeing it.  Pros and cons to people looking into her face and knowing.  That’s a different post for a different day.  This beautiful girl has Down syndrome.  Look and her and you will see it too.  What you do with that information, with the recognition of what makes her unique, is what makes the difference.

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One response to “Lesson #14: (Not so) Defining Characteristics

  1. She is just the cutest little kid. Diagnosis or not.

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