A new mother’s review of her baby went viral. Here is the story behind her short but extraordinary message of gratitude.
Jessica Egan and her husband were thrilled when she was expecting. They had been trying to conceive for some time, even after a failed IVF. Jessica had joined an infertility support group and the couple refused to give up. After their second IVF, they finally became pregnant. However, after 11 weeks of blissful anticipation, they learned that their unborn daughter had 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,” said Jessica in an interview with Bored Panda. “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 special needs baby.” 
“We Were Lucky”
They became resolved to learn everything they can about this condition, so they contacted their local Down syndrome foundation. The more they learned, the more confident they became.
“Education was the biggest factor in changing our feelings about a child with Down syndrome,” Jessica said. “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 such special needs kids, and we made some great connections.
“We began to see that this indeed was nothing to be afraid of and that instead, we were lucky for being chosen to have such a special and unique daughter.”
A Mother Shares a Review of Her Baby
When her daughter, Gwendolyn, was two months old, Jessica wrote an honest ‘review’ of her baby on 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!
“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.” 
The new mom’s ability to humorously express her happiness for what many others would consider a hardship touched the hearts of many. Her ‘review of her baby’ garnered over 380,000 likes.
When I placed my order I said, “Regular amount of chromosomes, please!” That’s what everyone else got and what I wanted…Posted by Jessica Young Egan on Sunday, February 24, 2019
Becoming a Parent for a Child With Down Syndrome
“The feedback has been so full of positivity, love, and acceptance that it is overwhelming,” said Jessica about the comments on her baby’s review. “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.” 
Down syndrome occurs when a baby is born with an extra chromosome. This causes lifelong physical and mental developmental issues, such as congenital heart defects, dementia, poor eyesight, hearing loss, obesity, hypothyroidism, as well as proneness to infections. They may also suffer from developmental disabilities such as impulsivity, learning disabilities, etc. 
Despite this, many people with Down syndrome live fulfilling lives. There’s no cure for the syndrome; however, many programs exist to help educate and support people with Down’s and their families. People with this condition are living longer and happier lives now more than ever before. Although they face many challenges, they can overcome them. However, a network of supportive family members and friends is vital for their success.
“When you receive a diagnosis of Down syndrome it is scary simply because it is not what you expected,” concluded Jessica. “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!”
- “Mom Shares Honest ‘Review’ Of Her Baby With Down Syndrome, And 347K People Love It.” Bored Panda. Ilona Baliūnaitė.
- Jessica Young Egan. Facebook. February 24, 2019
- “Mum’s touching ‘review’ about her baby who has Down syndrome goes viral.” Yahoo Style. Marie Claire Dorking. March 11, 2019
- “Down Syndrome.” Healthline. Karen Gill, M.D. October 29, 2019