We have decided to name our little boy, Bennett. Bennett comes from the name Benedict (not particularly a fan of Benedict) but the name means blessed and when I saw that I just knew this had to be his name. Patrick is after Mike's middle name which he shares with his dad Mike Sr. Honestly, I don't think we can change the name because Ainsley already has it in her mind that "Baby Bennett" is in mommy's belly and she even says a prayer every night for "Baby Bennett"- it's so sweet. She says the same thing every night- "God, please don't let Baby Bennett be sick and let him have a good time in mommy's belly, Amen" She's going to be such a good helper!! When we ask Harper where baby Bennett is she pulls up my shirt and kisses my belly and blows on it like we do hers when we are tickling her. It's very cute!
So I thought I'd post a couple of basic facts about DS on here from a website called http://www.downsyn.com/index.php. I was totally unaware before all of this happened that 95% of the time DS is not inherited. I just thought when it happened the mom or the dad must have been carriers without knowing it- this is what I feared when we first found out- I was concerned that I could have possibly passed this on to Ainsley or Harper, something they would need to be worried about if they have children but I was wrong- thankfully. Bennett has Standard Trisomy 21 which is not inherited. Whew! So here is a little educational lesson if you're interested...
Are there different types of Down syndrome?There are three different types of Down syndrome: Standard Trisomy 21, Translocation, and Mosaicism.
Standard Trisomy 21 is when the extra chromosome 21 comes from either the egg or sperm cell. Between 90% and 95% of all Down syndrome is Standard Trisomy 21. (Bennett has Standard Trisomy 21).
Translocation is caused when a piece of chromosome 21 is located on another chromosome such as chromosome 14. The person with Translocation Trisomy 21 will have 46 chromosomes but will have the genetic material of 47 chromosomes. The person with Translocation Trisomy 21 will exhibit all the same characteristics of a person with Standard Trisomy 21 since they have three copies of chromosome 21. Translocation occurs between 3% and 5% of cases of Down syndrome. (Translocation can sometimes be inherited)
Mosaicism is when a person has a mix of cells, some containing 46 chromosomes and some containing 47 chromosomes. This occurs either because: a) The person received 46 chromosomes at fertilization but somewhere during early cell division the chromosome 21 cell pairs failed to split creating a cell with 47 chromosomes and a cell with 45 chromosomes. The cell with 45 chromosomes can not survive but the cell with 47 chromosomes will continue to divide. All cells that come from this cell will contain 47 chromosomes. b) The person received 47 chromosomes at fertilization but later during cell division the extra chromosome is lost. Mosaicism occurs in 2% to 5% of cases of Down syndrome. A person with Mosaic Down syndrome may exhibit all, some, or none of the characteristics of Down syndrome depending on the percent of cells carrying the extra chromosome and where these cells are located. (Mosaicism can sometimes be inherited)
Is Down syndrome inherited?
The vast majority of cases of Down syndrome are not inherited. Only in cases of Translocation Down syndrome and then in only 1 of 3 cases of this type of Down syndrome is the condition inherited. These inherited cases occur because one of the parents is a carrier. A carrier will have 45 chromosomes instead of 46 but they will have all the genetic material of a person with 46 chromosomes. Remember that in Translocation Down syndrome the extra chromosome 21 material is located on a different chromosome. A carrier will have the extra material but will have only one chromosome 21. The carrier will not exhibit any of the symptoms of Down syndrome because they have the correct amount of genetic material. A carrier will have an increased chance of having a child with Down syndrome. If the carrier is the mother, the chances are approximately one in five of having a child with Translocation Down syndrome. If the carrier is the father the odds are reduced to between one in twenty to fifty. In cases where the carrier has no unattached chromosome 21, all the carriers children will have Down syndrome. In all cases of Down syndrome but especially in cases of Translocation Down syndrome, it is important that the parents have genetic counseling to determine their risk.
Did I cause my child to have Down syndrome?
Simple answer: NO! There is nothing you can do to prevent Down syndrome and nothing you can do to change your odds of having a child with Down syndrome. Down syndrome occurs in all races, in all socio-economic conditions, and in all countries. No relationship between diet or illness and Down syndrome has ever been found. The only established relationship is with maternal age. A woman is more likely to have a child with Down syndrome as she grows older with a sharp rise in risk at 35-40 years of age. However, 80% of all children with Down syndrome are born to mothers under 35. -This was also surprising to me! It's simply because more women under 35 are having babies.