Down Syndrome folks have a number of characteristics. Many people obviously associate the physical attributes with Downs because they are easy to see. Some of the others are less noticeable to the eye.

One of the common characteristics that is more hidden is issues related to the heart. In many cases, during gestation, baby’s heart grows slightly irregularly and has holes between the chambers that causes clean blood and contaminated blood to mix. This can be dangerous for obvious reasons. Something like 60% of kids born with DS undergo heart surgery. It’s something we are certainly preparing for.

During our Level II US, they saw some abnormalities in the sizes of the chambers, though didn’t see the cross-contaminated blood, but it was enough of a concern to schedule us with a cardiologist for a echocardiogram. That’s coming up on Monday.

Fingers crossed that everything will be fine. The fact that it’s so common does mean the surgeries and procedures are pretty standard and success rates are extremely high, so there isn’t a lot to be scared of, but it still scary when newborns have any procedures, especially open heart surgery!

There’s certainly a chance that there are no issues and we are in the clear, but since we’ve received unexpected news a few times now, we aren’t baking on anything :-)

In other news, Chelle and Liddy are headed to Minneapolis today with cousins, Grandma and Aunties to go to the Holiday display at Macy’s. Should be fun!

I, on this day, am celebrating the 4 year anniversary of giving up alcohol. In 2009 I made a commitment to health and cut out anything that I didn’t need, sugar and alcohol most notably. Alcohol has never really been something I struggled with, but I have “the gene” and it has played a very negative role in both of our lives, so that was an easy one for me to give up. That health kick, by the way, resulted in a 60 pound weight loss and a lot of good habits solidified. Proudest of all, though, was nixing booze all these years and still being the life of the party. I think a lot of people would be surprised how much fun you can have and how much fun you can be as a teetotaler.

Cheers on this Friday!

-CH

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