Re: Concerned about my newborn Granddaughter
The only definitive way to know is through a chromosomal karyotype test after birth. Usually the pediatrician that checks out the baby after birth at the hospital is the one to observe for any abnormalities. But if that didn't happen, the baby should have an appt already setup for a 1 week well child, which is the procedure for all newborns these days. Not to minimize your role as the grandmother, but the person who can be most supportive of your d. in law should go with her, such as her mother, because this will be a very bad time for her if anything is said about Down Syndrome. The pediatrician can order the test at this time. I wouldn't say anything until she has this visit, that way it can come from a professional. If the dr doesn't say anything, maybe you can quietly ask your son if the baby has been screened for all birth defects, and let him ask his wife without involving you. I don't know what kind of a relationship you have with your d. in law, but you should tread very carefully here. This is a very delicate subject, and you don't want to alienate her.
This all being said, the baby may not have Down Syndrome. Let's hope that she doesn't, just because it will be a rougher road for the child. But just take one thing at a time and don't assume anything. The most concerning thing at this point in time is, if it is Down Syndrome, that her heart and her organs are all checked to make sure they are structurally sound. If you notice any health concerns, those should be taken care of first.
I have a child with Down Syndrome who is now 3. When he was first born he was diagnosed with Down Syndrome, although they waited for the test to make it official. After he was diagnosed, we went to see a geneticist to have him explain to us what it was all about, and to help us to accept the diagnosis. Because it is hard to accept. It felt like a death in the family.
But, overall, while it is a hard road to go down, and a bitter pill to swallow, I have learned to think of it as a different path. Because my child has DS, that has not defined who he is as a person. He acts just like my side of the family. And while he has some features of Down Syndrome, he also looks just like my husband's side of the family. He does things just like my husband does, like he sleeps in the same position my husband sleeps. He makes cute num-num sounds when he eats just like my daughter did when she was his age. As far as mental capacity, it takes him a little longer to do stuff, but he usually does it in his own way and time. He already does some things that I've taught him, to help me around the house that most kids probably don't know how to do. He knows over 100 signs in sign language and has started to talk. At an early age he could tell me with signs what he wanted to eat, whereas other babies without DS couldn't do that.
So the Down Syndrome part itself isn't so bad, its some of the health concerns that may develop that are worrisome.
Take it one step at a time, and see what develops. I know you're worried, but in the meantime, try to enjoy your new baby granddaughter the best that you can, and give thanks if she is healthy, since there are many children that don't have DS that are not healthy.
Best wishes, K.
Last edited by kanded; 04-17-2013 at 08:33 PM.