Update on Alea
Life as we know it, is starting to take form. We are adjusting to having a cute little baby at home. This last week, we had an appointment with a geneticist. As with previous experiences at Primary Childeren's Hospital, we were very impressed. Dr. John C Carey took all the time we wanted. I think he spent an hour and fifteen minutes with us answering all of our questions. He really helped us understand more about Down syndrome.
Major concerns with children who have Down syndrome are heart, thyroid, digestive issues. Alea is only presenting a problem with her heart, but it is structurally healthy, and it is just the Pulmonary Hypertension that we need to heal. It is getting better as she grows stronger each day. We meet with the cardiologist this week to see if she can get rid of her oxygen.
He told us that if we decide to have more kids, the chance of having another baby with Down syndrome is the same as any other woman at the same age. I think at our age there is a 1 in 400 chance. The possibility increases with age. He did say that if someone has a baby with Down syndrome in their 20s, there chances of a second baby with the 3 chromosomes become higher than normal.
Did you know that your kid has a 1 in 5 chance of being obese? Did you know 1 to 2 children develop cancer each year for every 10,000 children in the United States? Did you know that out of 1000 births, nine babies will have some form of congenital heart disorder? Did you know cancer has become the leading cause of death due to disease among children? Did you know that your child has a 5% chance of being ADHD? Did you know that as many as 1 in 110 kids have autism? OK, ENOUGH WITH THE SCARY STATISTICS. Think how you would feel if you were called into the Dr.'s office and given these statistics before you took your baby home. Scary!
He made the point that the difference between when we took Karina and Elise home and when we took Alea home was the perceived necessity by the medical world to tell us all of the statistical possibilities Alea has of getting health issues more common with children who have Down syndrome. He said for example the chance of Alea getting luekemia is greater for her than it is for our other two girls, but the possibility is still rare, less than 1%. Does this make sense? I guess what he wanted us to know is that all kids have health concerns, we were just being told most of them at once with Alea, which I must admit, was a little overwhelming. I thought it was an interesting perspective.