Wednesday, October 24, 2012

21 Things About Abby (Part 1)

As I mentioned at the beginning of the month, October is "Down Syndrome Awareness Month". I haven't mentioned it much throughout the month, but I saw a great post today over at a favorite blog of mine, and decided to totally steal the idea - I'm going to share 21 things about Abby with you.

Before I begin my list of 21 things about Abby, I wanted to make sure that you understood the significance of the number 21. See, the typical person has 46 chromosomes in each cell of their bodies. They are arranged in pairs, one from the father and one from the mother, leaving 23 sets of data that make you - you. A person with Down syndrome (the most common kind of Ds - and yes, there are several different kinds) has one extra little chromosome. The extra chromosome shows up on the twenty-first chromosome, and therefore the "scientific" name for Down syndrome is actually Trisomy 21 - "tri" for the 3 chromosomes on the 21st pair. So, in celebration of Abby's unique 21st pair, I'm going to give you 21 things, over the next three days, about Abby. If you've been following the blog you may already know some of these things, but I will try my hardest to find things I haven't yet talked about. Enjoy!


1. Abby was only hours old when she had her first helicopter ride - Abby's birth was a bit of a surprise to us all. She came rather early, and because of that she had some problems breathing. She needed more specialized medical care, so the Survival Flight team from our closest university hospital flew in and came to her rescue - in a snowstorm no less. She was packed up and flown 50 miles away within hours of being born.

2. Before Abby walked on her own she was chosen to be a part of a treadmill study. We had to hold her on a small treadmill and encourage her to move her feet. She hated it and cried the whole time we were supposed to do it.

Abby and Nana at the grand opening of the hospital. We
are all so proud of her!
3. Abby is famous (sort of) - Hearing Abby's story, some of the personnel from the U of M hospital wanted to share it, so they wrote up a wonderful article and came to the house to take some pictures of our little darling. The article was in an insert in the Detroit Free Press and went out to an estimated 400,000 people, as well as to donors and the like. Later, we saw some of the pictures they took in a brochure of theirs as well. As if that weren't special enough, last year Abby was chosen to have her picture taken and put up in a display called "The Walls of Hope" in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit of the new children's hospital that was built at U of M. Every time we go there, someone will ask us if Abby is the girl in the picture, it's usually followed by, "That one is my favorite!" It's worth the few minutes it takes to watch the slide show that I've linked above, Abby's pictures are around minute 2.

4. Abby got her first pair of glasses when she was just over a year old. She eventually got used to them, but there was a time when the last thing she wanted on her face were those glasses. There was even a day at child care when we found them in the trash can - the stinker threw them out!
First day in glasses - not so thrilled.

She eventually got used to them.

5. Abby loves to "set her piggies free" - She has gotten better about taking her shoes and socks off in the car, but there was a time when I would have to go out once a week and "mine" for socks in my car. She would throw them in the back, or stuff them in-between the seats because she didn't want to wear them. Her first bus driver had to re-sock and re-shoe her each time she dropped her off. I think she eventually got to the point where she would take them off when Abby got on the bus - it saved time looking for them.
"Socks? Um....nope haven't seen them."

6. Abby is the most active kid I know - There is no "give-me-a-minute-while-I-wake-up" grogginess with this miss - no, she pops up wide awake and usually with a request on her lips. From the minute she is up, she's going, and doesn't stop until it is bedtime. Luckily, all of her activity does catch up with her at an early hour - anything past 8 p.m. is late for her.

7. Abby's all time favorite toy ever is her mirror. Years ago Nana and Papa got her a vinyl and foam tent thing-y for her to play under. On the side of it was a flexible mirror. When she outgrew the tent, we placed a piece of velcro on the TV cabinet so she could still use it - it is still there and used often. The challenge lately has become how to move the mirror up - since she's grown too tall to see her face in it any more.
Primping - it was love at first sight.
I hope you enjoyed the first seven, tomorrow I promise numbers 8 through 14.

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