On world Down syndrome day I want to write 21 qualities about Ellie you may not know. Like all people, people with Down syndrome are all different, and because I care for all of Ellie’s chromosomes, not only the 21st, she has more qualities that make her just like me than do not.
1. Ellie is the bravest little girl
2. Ellie has a crease on her hand called a simian crease, or a palmar crease, it is one line across her hand, while people generally have three creases
3. Ellie loves to be cuddled
4. Ellie has a gap in between her big toe and her 2nd toe that is a common characteristic of an additional 21st chromosome
5. Ellie was born with a congenital heart defect that affects between 40-60% of all children with Down syndrome.
6. Ellie is very ticklish and has the sweetest yet quietest little laugh
7. Ellie has blue eyes just like me, and Travis, and Mya
8. Ellie may always be a little shorter than other people and her head may be a little smaller
9. Ellie loves to be rocked in her bouncy chair
10. Ellie has a very small nose which sometimes makes it hard for her to breath because it gets very stuffy
11. Ellie has tiny ear canals which make her more susceptible to ear infections and may make words sound different for her
12. Ellie will go to school just like her older sister and when she is older she will do whatever makes her happy
13. Ellie has 3 copies of her 21st chromosome so medically she is referred to as having trisomy 21 or t21.
14. Ellie rolled over at 4 months, just like her sister
15. Ellie has low muscle tone which can make things like drinking a bottle or working on head control harder
16. Ellie never complains
17. Ellie loves music and watching her older sister dance
18. Ellie has a greater risk of catching RSV which can seriously impact her health so she gets monthly antibiotics during cold and flu season.
19. Ellie may get her teeth later and in a different order than typical kids.
20. Ellie has sensitive skin like her mom with adorable rosy cheeks.
21. Ellie has taught me more about life and strength in these past 6 months than I would have ever learned on my own
Momentarily after her birth I was terrified for what her diagnosis meant for her and for our family. Now I know what it meant, that Travis and I are beyond proud of all of her amazing accomplishments and that Mya is lucky to have a sister who will always show her what it means to battle difficult circumstances with a smile. I could never have asked for a greater gift than a child with Down syndrome. A different path is only different.
Happy world Down syndrome day! Realizing the amazing potential of people with Down syndrome has changed the way I look at life.