Isaac

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Isaac was born in May 2013 and at a tiny 4lb 6 oz, he surprised us all and came into the world 5 weeks early. Because he was early, we had all of the paediatricians in with us which meant that we were told that he most likely had Down Syndrome almost immediately after birth. The next few days were a whirl wind, whilst we were trying to deal with excited family members coming to visit, trying to get our heads around what Down Syndrome was and what it meant for us, worrying about any further health issues that were being tested for in the early days, worrying about his weight gain and feeding issues alongside all the typical first time parents, first few days sleep deprived, rabbit in a head lights haze. One thing that helped us throughout was how absolutely infatuated we were with our absolutely perfect baby boy. 

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The first year went by as they do for many new parents, we had NCT play dates, we went to play groups and baby groups, we bought unnecessary toys that Isaac would never play with. Isaac was a very easy baby, he slept through very early on, rarely cried and was great with his food, often I felt pretty lucky compared to my friends who were sleep deprived and stressed. During Isaacs second year he had a few bouts of pneumonia and chest infections which meant we had quite a few hospitals stays. Luckily things seem to have gradually improved with his chest as he has got older. Of course, we still have more regular hospital visits that the average child, but I have always felt reassured by these extra checks and Isaac and I have always seen these trips as an adventure, like a free mini day out!

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I am quite a positive person and apart from the first initial few days and the occasional wobble, I am proud of Isaac having an extra chromosome- it makes him who he is, and we couldn’t be happier with that! Isaac is five now and the absolute best company in the world, he has a brilliant sense of humour, does not stop talking, is full of silliness and fun and is just absolutely loving his life. Isaac loves the seaside, animals, hide and seek, horse-riding, swimming, singing and dancing, bugs and dinosaurs and cuddles in bed. He is extremely active and can run, jump and hop and kick a football for hours, his energy knows no bounds! He constantly surprises us with his speech and his understanding of the world and he is becoming braver and more confident with new things.

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Having Isaac has changed our family for the better, we are all closer and have all learnt to appreciate the absolute joy in the small things. We have made new friends and have become fully involved in the fantastic down syndrome community which is full of like-minded people. The best advice I can give to new parents is that of Frank Stephens who advocates for people with Down Syndrome (and also happens to have an extra chromosome himself) ‘ I would tell them congratulations and to expect happiness and success and to learn to slow down and experience the joy’.

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