March 21, 2016 marked the 11th anniversary of World Down Syndrome Day!! Down syndrome is an extremely common genetic condition, which occurs in approximately 1 in 700 births. Down syndrome occurs when a baby inherits an extra copy of the 21st chromosome. To celebrate World Down Syndrome Day, Desert Perinatal Associates would like to take the opportunity to introduce you to one of our families who have a child with Down syndrome and let them share their story. We would like to give a HUGE Thank you to the amazing Housewright family for sharing your story!!
Evelyn Housewright tells us in her own words what World Down Syndrome Day means to her and her family!
“Six years ago, I was a patient of Dr. Bowman at Desert Perinatal Associates. I was pregnant with our little Lourdes and at 16 weeks, baby Lourdes was diagnosed with Trisomy 21. Lori Logan was my genetic counselor and we have kept in touch throughout the years.
When she asked me if I would be willing to share my story in honor of World Down Syndrome Day, I was honored and did not hesitate to do so. But then, I was suddenly overwhelmed with emotions and feelings I had not felt in awhile. I was to write a short paragraph of my story and I had to call Lori to clarify, did I hear you say, “short paragraph?” How could I possibly condense #LourdesWorld in a paragraph. She laughed and said, “Okay, an extended paragraph.”
Lourdes was born three weeks early on Dec 21, 2009. She was tiny, barely 19 inches and weighted 6 lbs 3 ounces. I had her via C-Section and I remember seeing her for the first time. A small face with almond eyes. I knew then she was going to be my world, our world, #LourdesWorld. Lourdes has three older sisters and three dogs. She is the heart of our family and the light of our lives. She is the most stubborn little person I know, but she gets away with everything because she is cute and funny. When we are out in public, we get occasional stares. Maybe it’s because she is loud or maybe it’s because she looks different, but what I want people to know is that she is more alike than different. When I was pregnant with her, I would go to bookstores and try to look for books on how to take care of a baby with down syndrome. There were no such books. I would then turn to google and I would end up disappointed because I couldn’t find any of the information I needed. If only I knew then what I know now, I would’ve been more relaxed and at ease.
People ask me all the time, “How do you guys do it, with everyone’s crazy schedule and having to take care of a special needs child?” My husband David and I both have demanding careers, but fortunately for me, I work for The Allegis Group at Aerotek, a company that allows me to have the balance and flexibility I need so I can be a great wife and mother and also a great businesswoman. From the beginning, there was no doubt in my mind that everything would be okay. I was determined to prove that you can have difficulties and challenges, but the rewards are much greater. I have always followed my faith and because of my experience, my faith in God has only grown bigger. The quote, “let your faith be bigger than your fears” has always resonated with me. It kept me strong at my darkest times. But the journey we have been on these past six years have been a wonderful experience. Having Lourdes in our lives is like having a life filter, things (and people) are transparent now. Our family has become stronger and friends fewer. Things that used to matter doesn’t matter anymore. We are much better people and the blessing she has brought us is tremendous. Having a child with down syndrome brings so much love and happiness. I wish I could explain in words the joy she brings me but it’s impossible to articulate in words so I try to capture them in the pictures I take. I’m not much of a writer (slowly practicing to be one and perhaps this is the beginning of something) I know one thing, there’s always something good coming and I hope my story encourages someone in some way.
Happy World Down Syndrome Day!
For more information on Lourdes’ story, my profile on facebook is public and I am also in Instagram under Lourdes_Mommy (#LourdesWorld)”