A few new parents who were delighted to discover that they would have twin girls – at the forefront of their Down syndrome diagnosis – are now spreading their acceptance message to other parents.
Stay-at-home mother Rachael Prescott, 29, and her husband Cody Prescott, 32, have four beautiful children in Salem, Oregon – including twin girls who both have Down syndrome.
Although the condition certainly presents challenges, the Prescotts say it is a blessing, not a defect, and they are spreading awareness about raising children with Down syndrome.
Family: Rachael Prescott, 29, and her husband, Cody Prescott, 32, welcomed twin daughters who both had Down syndrome. Depicted is the entire family, including the two sons of the couple
Adorable: the twins were called Annette, who is called Nettie (right), and Charlotte, who is called Lottie (left)
The couple has two sons, five-year-old Easton and three-year-old Hudson. They also have 15-month-old twins – Annette, who they call Nettie, and Charlotte, who they call Lottie.
At 15 weeks after Rachael's pregnancy, when the couple first discovered they had twins, Cody was delighted. But Rachael felt unprepared because she knew that there would be more supervision and risks involved.
They were told by ultrasounds that Lottie had a heart defect known as atrioventricular septal defect (AVSD), which affects blood flow from the chambers.
Although they were aware of a possible link between AVSD and Down syndrome, they decided to refuse further testing because it would make no difference to the love they would have for their twins.
The twins were born on February 1, 2018 and were diagnosed with Trisomy 21 – the most common type of Down syndrome.
Difficult: both twins were born with heart defects and Down syndrome. But Lottie had to have open heart surgery (pictured before and after) for her lack
Don't give up: the parents from Salem, Oregon, decided early on that they wouldn't end the pregnancy, regardless of the defects that had formed
Nettie had an atrial septal defect (ASD), a small hole in the wall between the two upper chambers of the heart that naturally healed after birth.
However, Lottie had AVSD and had to undergo open heart surgery. The requirement for heart surgery was that it weighs 12 lbs or is six months old. Because of her heart condition, she couldn't get any heavier, so she had surgery in four months to bring her PDA closer – a permanent gap between the two main blood vessels that came from the heart.
After the two of them had undergone heart surgery with their son Hudson, the parents were nervous to repeat the experience again.
& # 39; Our first son Easton has no heart defects, but Hudson has a valve defect, an ASD and a VSD, & # 39; said Rachael. & # 39; Our experience with him was stressful, but it turned out to be very useful as it somewhat prepared us for Lottie's operation, which was a completely different monster. & # 39;
She continued: & # 39; When we found out we had twins, Cody felt lifted. However, I knew that another child meant a more controlled pregnancy and risky work, and so I felt less in control and very unprepared.
& # 39; Even after doctors discovered our girls, they each had a heart defect in the womb, we refused to test … We weren't bothered by the possibility of Down syndrome, because we knew we'd tell our girls how would love too.
Staying positive: it was a difficult road for Lottie after she was born. Her sister, Nettie, grew out of her heart defect after birth
In fact: the twins are both recovered and at home with their families
& # 39; However, we have discovered their gender. We were just too excited to find out. & # 39;
The birth was more difficult for Rachael with twins coming.
& # 39; Unlike (with) our first two children, I had to be induced and connected to a monitor that did not allow us to leave the bed & # 39 ;, she explained. & # 39; The girls were born in the operating room, and I felt blessed because there were no complications at birth and I could live it naturally. And they only separated for two minutes.
& # 39; The girls were soon diagnosed with DS, and they were greeted with a party. & # 39;
Both twins had trisomy 21. But the biggest problem was the heart of Lottie, which required open heart surgery.
& # 39; When Lottie finally had surgery, she encountered many problems including disease, both bacterial and viral, multiple damaged organs, collapsed lung, chylothorax, pulmonary hypertension, and a malfunctioning ET tube, & # 39; said Rachael. & # 39; This has removed the typical road to recovery for us.
Priorities: Rachael uses her platform online to stimulate acceptance with other parents if they also have children with Down syndrome
& # 39; We stretched out to pray and the world responded; friends, family, acquaintances and complete strangers who cover our little girl with petitions to restore health.
& # 39; Mountains were moved, her lungs were blown up, medicines were taken, and after 35 days we were delighted to take our baby home. & # 39;
Now the girls are home, just like all other babies, crawling around, messing around and playing with their brothers and dog, Max. Nettie doesn't need any medication at all and Lottie only needs to take Synthroid for hypothyroid.
& # 39; They are two resilient, fun, beautiful, crawling babies, who like to play with their older brothers and fluffy dog Max, & # 39; said Rachael.
L Lottie is perceptive, quickly picking up on sign language and communication, while Nettie leads in physical development, now cruising around our living room, and detached.
& # 39; They are both spectacularly capable of stealing our hearts and those of the world. & # 39;
Besties: & # 39; We enjoyed our daughters every moment, and they are the lights in our lives, & # 39; Rachael said about her children
Positive thinking: Rachael encouraged other parents to overcome medical obstacles during pregnancy. She said that that power led her to have her two daughters
Rachael shares her family's story to 61,000 followers on Instagram @doublingdownmom to raise awareness of raising children with Down's syndrome.
She stressed that Down syndrome should be celebrated and that most of the problems are in public perception.
& # 39; We have enjoyed our daughters every moment and they are the lights in our lives, & # 39; she said. & # 39; DS is nothing to be afraid of, and everything to celebrate. The only difficult part of raising children with DS is that the rest of the world still needs to understand the beauty and joy that they radiate.
& # 39; There are negative stigmas that have led those who are not exposed to this group of people to incorrect assumptions and impose restrictions on these individuals. And this is why we share our story.
& # 39; Society must turn away from eradicating people with DS. We must make a step towards teaching children with Down's syndrome that they can have the same love and desire to live fully as everyone else.
& # 39; My advice to other prospective parents: always keep hoping for medical thresholds and for joy. Celebrate your children. Never hesitate to proclaim their value and show the rest of the world that DS is not a defect – it is a blessing. & # 39;
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