My name is Leeonie and I’m Grace’s Mum.
So I’m going to tell you about my journey. I found out I was pregnant and was over the moon like every mum to be. I went along for my 12-week scan, and my life changed. When they scanned me they found out that Grace had fluid on the back of the neck; my husband and I felt so scared at what was happening, I broke down in tears We were referred to St Michael’s hospital in Bristol for more scans.
Every so many weeks I was going in scans to check baby growth and development. I was told that the baby could die when born or not even make the end of pregnancy. Again I felt so scared. We still didn’t know what was wrong if anything. At about 18 weeks I had a scan to check Grace’s heart, all was good. We went on every month going into Bristol for more scans, and at 30 weeks Bristol discharged me.
I was very scared as time was getting closer to having my baby. I always thought and blamed myself saying that I did something wrong.
At 38 weeks I went into hospital as baby wasn’t moving much, so they booked me for a scan the next day. When we went for the scan early the next day. little did I know that I would be having my baby that day. Labour went well, but I was forever worried about my baby, what she was going to look like and would she survive. At 10.58pm Grace was born; I was happy but scared.
While in hospital Grace had an echo done on her heart. All was good. When the bloods were done, we discovered she had Down Syndrome.
I went home a few days later with no information about groups or anything. I was scared. What do I say to people? What will they say? Then I thought, she is my special girl, and I don’t care what people say.
When the health visitors came to my house, they didn’t know much about Down syndrome but gave me a leaflet about Ups and Downs Southwest.
A few weeks later I saw on Facebook that Ups and Downs Southwest were having a group to come along and have a picture done for the new website. I was so excited about meeting some new people, and wow, everyone there was amazing and so friendly. I met some lovely mums that I am now friends with on Facebook and know that I can talk to.
Fast forward to now – Ups and Downs are helping me with different forms, and I know they are at the end of the phone if I need them. I’ve met some lovely people and their beautiful children, and they have helped me down this path.
Grace has been to the hospital and has three holes in her heart, but I’m not scared anymore as I know I have Ups and Downs and my friends and family to support me.