The chances of it happening are one in a million, and for this reason the mother considered this a miracle and not a tragedy.
The odds of having identical twins with Dᴏᴡɴ sʏɴᴅʀᴏᴍᴇ are one in a million, and this mom was one of those rare cases. During her pregnancy, doctors recommended six times that she terminate the pregnancy, and people who found out about her situation bombarded her with all kinds of condolences before her daughters were born. However, she saw everything as a miracle and wanted to have her daughters, who are now 2 years old.
Rachael Prescott, 39, is from Oregon, in the United States. Since she found out that she was pregnant with identical twins, Charlotte and Annete, doctors strongly recommended that she and her partner Cody, 32, ᴀʙᴏʀᴛ them due to the health problems that the little ones could suffer due to their genetic condition.
According to specialists, the twins would likely require open-heart surgery immediately after birth due to ᴄᴏɴɢᴇɴɪᴛᴀʟ ʜᴇᴀʀᴛ ᴅɪsᴇᴀsᴇ that they suspected would develop. But Rachel had doubts about this diagnosis, as the doctors seemed more concerned that the twins had Dᴏᴡɴ sʏɴᴅʀᴏᴍᴇ and not a heart condition.
Despite this, Rachael continued with the pregnancy and spoke of her daughters as if they were miracles, given the odds of having identical twins with Dᴏᴡɴ sʏɴᴅʀᴏᴍᴇ.
“At my first prenatal appointment, which was around eight weeks, six specialists reviewed the studies and all came to the same diagnosis. We sat and listened to each other’s arguments, puzzled and concerned by the high chances that our girls had Dᴏᴡɴ sʏɴᴅʀᴏᴍᴇ and that they could also have serious heart defects.”
After the possible diagnosis, all the specialists recommended the ᴛᴇʀᴍɪɴᴀᴛɪᴏɴ of the pregnancy, something that Rachael had not even thought of.
“I wanted to explain to them how far I was from wanting to ᴛᴇʀᴍɪɴᴀᴛᴇ the pregnancy, but at that point I could only sit in silence.”
And it was not until the birth of her daughters, even after she made it clear to them that she wanted them and that she was very happy to add two members to the family, that doctors continued to express concerns about Dᴏᴡɴ sʏɴᴅʀᴏᴍᴇ.
The couple continued to be recommended for additional studies, but they refused. Both Rachael and Cody didn’t care about the results; they wanted to be parents despite six different doctors’ suggestions that they abort.
Charlotte and Annette’s Dᴏᴡɴ sʏɴᴅʀᴏᴍᴇ was confirmed postpartum, and there are probabilities of medical ᴄᴏᴍᴘʟɪᴄᴀᴛɪᴏɴs throughout their lives.
Little Charlotte underwent successful ᴏᴘᴇɴ-ʜᴇᴀʀᴛ sᴜʀɢᴇʀʏ at six months of age, and fortunately, Annette was born without any heart defects.
“Everyone thought we were grieving, but we quickly assured them that we don’t feel any kind of sadness or sorrow in our hearts. After the girls were born, we enthusiastically educated ourselves about all things Dᴏᴡɴ sʏɴᴅʀᴏᴍᴇ.”
“I realized that even in our rapidly progressing society, the human rights of people with Dᴏᴡɴ sʏɴᴅʀᴏᴍᴇ are basic at best, and medical professionals connect social prejudices with Dᴏᴡɴ sʏɴᴅʀᴏᴍᴇ, which is portrayed as a negative event for parents,” Rachael said.
Rachael maintains that although her daughters develop more slowly than other babies, they are no different from any other child.
“Our girls wobble, take their own steps, laugh, and explore every inch of our living room. They love to play with their older brothers and adore their dog, Max. The typical fights between sisters over toys have already started, but they snuggle together in the crib that they share every night with total love.
“Witnessing this bond among all my children as they learn and grow is the best part of being their mother, but in these first two years, we have realized the negative stigma attached to Dᴏᴡɴ sʏɴᴅʀᴏᴍᴇ.”
“All children are prone to disease and injury, not just those with Dᴏᴡɴ sʏɴᴅʀᴏᴍᴇ.”
“The crazy love we have for our girls outweighs any emotional strain resulting from their medical needs.”
“I, without a doubt, would continue to choose my daughters as they are,” the mother concluded proudly.