I wouldn’t change Abbie for the world…

Abbie amazes me in one way or another every day, whether it be something she say’s or something she does. She inspires me to make the most out of life and to live it with passion.

I was 29 when I fell pregnant with Abbie and as a second child coming after a problem free first birth my midwife explained about the new test to give a percentage chance of my child being born with Down’s Syndrome and said I was at low risk so I decided not to have the blood test and I never thought about it again. Abbie was born at 36 weeks, 4 weeks premature after an emergency caesarean as she was a footling breach. She was perfect, just very small. For 3 days after Abbies birth a variety of Dr’s came to see her making comments like “Doesn’t she have big eyes?” “Her tongue sticks out a lot” and “Look at the gap she has between her toes” all things that just didn’t mean anything to me. It wasn’t till a Dr came into the room on the forth day and said “Yes, I agree with the others your daughter is showing signs of being born with Down’s Syndrome” then my world crashed, I couldn’t breathe or think straight.

I made the mistake on being discharged from hospital of going to a bookshop and grabbing the first book on Down’s syndrome as I knew nothing and I just kept thinking it was the end of the world. The book was a very outdated one that said they all got Alzheimer’s in their twenties. It took me four months to approach the Swindon Down’s Syndrome Group and it changed everything for us, it gave us a support group that helped us understand so much more about what we were going through and what was coming up next in Abbie’s journey. So she may take longer to do somethings, it’s just the scenic route we take to get where we’re heading.

Abbie was in a mainstream school till Year 3, she had made amazing friends in Pre-School that went into Infants and then Juniors with her but it was obvious to us that the gap was widening so much between Abbie and her peers that she needed more. We were lucky enough to get her into Brimble Hill School for the start of Year 4 and the difference that the school made to Abbie and our lives was amazing and for that I’m grateful, Abbie thrived, her speech came on in leaps and bounds she started to do things for herself.

Abbie is now 13 and at Uplands school, I see a future for her, an independent life, she is learning skills that will see her through to adulthood.