Jessie & Erik

Jessie & Erik

Jessie’s Story

Hi I’m Jessie, mum of a wonderful boy called Erik. He is just a few months away from 2 years old now and has changed our family’s life in so many ways, it’s hard to remember life before he was born. My pregnancy was surprisingly straightforward, hardly any morning sickness, cool, calm, and collected. It was after Erik was born that our world changed forever.

3 weeks before Erik was due, we were on our way to the hospital! After a quick examination, the doctor informed us Erik was on his way, and he was breech. The best way I can describe the whole experience is ‘rushed’ to say the least! What started as an ordinary Sunday turned into prep, labour, and a brand new son born at 1.21am. 3 weeks early, happy and healthy.

The day after Erik was born we were told that Erik might have Down syndrome, but they would have to do further tests to be sure. To me, he just looked like the perfect baby I had always hoped for! About two tough weeks later the results from the blood tests came back confirming the diagnosis.

Telling friends and family about the diagnosis was a mixed bag. A few couldn’t believe that Erik had Down syndrome, some expressed fear for our future, while others offered overwhelming support. We found most of the time though, people followed our lead. When we expressed our happiness about our newborn, friends and family followed.

Honestly speaking though, the first few months were tough, and involved a LOT of emotions. We thought a lot about Erik’s future, the extra care and support he’d need, and we were worried. I felt almost like I had done something wrong, and I didn’t know how to move forward. As with every big life transition though, we need time to reflect, to move through emotions, and to grow into our next steps.

Erik has brought so much joy to our life since he came into the world. Our days are filled with laughter, and lots of surprises. Erik has taught us so much, it’s hard to put into words. One of the biggest life lessons he’s taught our family though, is to take nothing for granted, and the importance of gratitude.

The Down Syndrome Centre has been a place of community and friendship for Erik and I since he came into our lives. He has made so many friends in the centre, and from day one, we’ve both felt supported and cared for. Being able to share our experience with other parents has been such a gift, we need that community to keep going, and growing. From Baby Massage to Triona’s Tots, Erik has benefitted from the services here at our centre in more than just a practical sense. He’s made friends, and as a mom, I am so proud of all he has achieved from our first day here.

While the future is hard to think about, as Erik is so young, my wish for him is happiness and health. I have no doubt that with the support of the centre, and the friends we have made here, that Erik can achieve anything he puts his mind to. He is the friendliest child I know, and then some! That’s why this year, I am walking the VHI Women’s Mini Marathon in support of The Down Syndrome Centre. Join me in supporting a place that has become a home for Erik and our family, and take a walk on a wild side with our team!

To learn more, or to register, please visit our website www.downsyndromecentre.ie or contact Madeline Regan at madeline@downsyndromecentre.ie . Your support and participation help keep our centre open to continue to service children like Erik and their families.

If you would like to support Jessie please click here

Listen to Jessie’s interview on Spirit FM here

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