After difficulties conceiving and a failed round of IVF, Jessica Egan and her husband had been overjoyed when they learned they were pregnant. However, 11 weeks into their parenting journey, a blood test revealed that the little girl growing inside Jessica was positive for Trisomy 21. Down syndrome.

Image credits: Jessica Young Egan

Image credits: oursweetgwendolyn

“When we decided to have a baby, of course, we hoped that it would happen right away,” Jessica told Bored Panda. “When it didn’t, we found that it was easier to bear because there are so many resources available for people who are struggling to get pregnant. I joined a local infertility support group and made a lot of great friendships with other ladies going through the same thing. When our first round of IVF failed it was disappointing, but we decided not to get discouraged and to keep trying. It was from our second attempt at IVF that our daughter was born.”

Image credits: oursweetgwendolyn

Image credits: oursweetgwendolyn

“We found out when I was 11 weeks pregnant that our unborn baby had been diagnosed with Down syndrome. At first, we were devastated but it was because we didn’t have any experience with Down syndrome and it was something we were not expecting at all. We grieved very deeply for about three days and then my husband and I decided that we wanted to educate ourselves so that we could be happy and look forward to the birth of our baby.”

And that was when things began to change. Jessica and her husband contacted their local Down syndrome foundation and started educating themselves about the diagnosis that roughly 1 in every 700 babies are born with. The exact number varies depending on the region, though. For example, as Down Syndrome Australia notes, the number is closer to 1 in 1,100 babies in their area.

“Education was the biggest factor in changing our feelings about Down syndrome,” Jessica added. “We realized that we simply didn’t understand this diagnosis because we didn’t know anyone with Down syndrome. It is natural to fear things that we don’t know or understand, so we reached out to people in our community that had children with Down syndrome and we made some great connections. We began to see that this truly was nothing to be afraid of and that instead, we were lucky for being chosen to have such a special and unique daughter.

Image credits: Jessica Young Egan

After spending two months raising their precious little daughter, Jessica wrote an incredibly sincere ‘review’ of her and posted it to Facebook:

“When I placed my order I said, ‘Regular amount of chromosomes, please!’ That’s what everyone else got and what I wanted too. They called me shortly after my order was in production and said ‘Great news, we went ahead and upgraded you to extra chromosomes for free! You’ll receive the extra chromosomes with your completed order in 9 months.’ What?! I was mad!”

Image credits: oursweetgwendolyn

“All the other orders I had seen displayed via perfect Instagram posts did NOT have extra chromosomes. Well, I decided that receiving my order with extra chromosomes was better than not receiving an order at all, so I settled in to wait for this surprise upgrade to arrive. I have now had my order for two months and am writing this review to let others know the upgrade to extra chromosomes is amazing!! If offered, definitely take it! I posted some photos below of the finished product and you can see the extra chromosome is so worth it – it is extra cute, extra special, and extra-ordinary! So much extra joy. Would purchase again for sure.”

Image credits: oursweetgwendolyn

Image credits: Jessica Young Egan

Her post has already received over 347,000 likes. “The feedback has been so full of positivity, love, and acceptance that it is overwhelming. I have heard from multiple people who also recently have had a baby with Down Syndrome but are still coming to terms with it and have been in a very dark place. Hearing that my post touched them so completely and helped heal them is humbling, and truly something I will honor for the rest of my life.”

Image credits: oursweetgwendolyn

There are, however, a few things that Jessica and her husband still need to figure out. “One of the biggest challenges so far as a parent is not knowing what to expect as far as growth milestones,” she said. “This is our first child, so we don’t have anything to compare it to, but we always still wonder how she’s doing and how she will continue to develop. As of now, however, she is developing extremely well and is very accepted by everyone around her. We also have a big support group of other new parents who have babies with Down syndrome and so we feel very lucky and supported.”

Image credits: Jessica Young Egan

Image credits: oursweetgwendolyn

“When you receive a diagnosis of Down syndrome it is scary simply because it is not what you expected. It is important to let yourself grieve and then realize that this is not bad, it is just different. But all children are different, and there are no guarantees that any child you have won’t suffer from some sort of illness or differences. Children with Down syndrome are more like other children than they are different, and it is important not to spend too much time grieving because in the end, you will be so in love with your child!”

Image credits: oursweetgwendolyn

Image credits: oursweetgwendolyn

Image credits: oursweetgwendolyn

What is Down syndrome?

As both parents pass their genes on to their children, these genes are carried in chromosomes. When the sells of the baby are developing, each cell is supposed to receive 23 pairs of chromosomes, for 46 chromosomes total. Half from the mother, and half from the father.

In children with Down syndrome, however, one of the chromosomes doesn’t separate properly. The baby ends up with three copies, or an extra partial copy, of chromosome 21, instead of two. This extra chromosome is what leads to problems as the brain and physical features develop.

There are three types of Down syndrome. Trisomy 21 (there’s an extra copy of chromosome 21 in every cell. This is the most common form of Down syndrome), Mosaicism (which occurs when a child is born with an extra chromosome in some but not all of their cells. People who have mosaic Down syndrome have fewer symptoms than those with Trisomy 21), and Translocation (with this type of Down syndrome, children have only an extra part of chromosome 21).

Image credits: oursweetgwendolyn

Image credits: oursweetgwendolyn

Image credits: Jessica Young Egan

Image credits: Jessica Young Egan

Image credits: Jessica Young Egan

Image credits: Jessica Young Egan

Image credits: Jessica Young Egan

To follow how the family’s doing, check out their Facebook and Instagram pages!

Image credits: oursweetgwendolyn

People have been relating to Jessica’s words in the sweetest ways