Today is national Trisomy 18 awareness day. Although, for anyone who knows about it from experience, every day is Trisomy 18 awareness day. I'll never forget the day I learned about it.
Shauna, my best friend, had recently moved to Texas, but miles don't really matter to friends like us. We knew Shauna's doctor was concerned about something when they ordered more tests after a routine ultrasound. We even talked about the fact that if anyone could handle a baby with special needs - like Down syndrome - it would be her. After all, she took in a paraplegic kitten who wasn't expected to live a year (and is now 13). But then she got the results. It was so much worse. No amount of love and care would protect this baby. The statistics are depressing. There were so many if's. If he made it to term. If he made it through delivery. If he survived a few hours, or a few days.
And there was only one when. When our hearts would break completely. All we could do was hope it was all a mistake, pray for a miracle, and offer Shauna our support from afar. And when Jackson was stillborn on November 12, 2003, we all grieved. And we still remember.
My heart reaches out to all those who have been touched by T18 in their lives.