Learning the facts of life – Part 1

“And suddenly you’re finding out the facts of life are all about you”
– Facts Of Life theme song

These are some facts of Brighton’s life. I’ll be posting a series of 4 blogs about this throughout October because…


We spent most of our time and energy during Brighton’s first 12-14 months just trying to 1) get him home from the NICU and 2) keep him home and healthy. We didn’t do much research or dive too deep into what Down syndrome is. Honestly, as I was compiling these facts I learned even more that I didn’t know. It will always be a learning process. I hope some of these facts are interesting to you or open the door to further discussion. I’m always open to some conversation so ask away! Welcome to Down syndrome awareness month!


From the NDSS website: “In every cell in the human body there is a nucleus, where genetic material is stored in genes. Genes carry the codes responsible for all of our inherited traits and are grouped along rod-like structures called chromosomes. Typically, the nucleus of each cell contains 23 pairs of chromosomes, half of which are inherited from each parent. Down syndrome occurs when an individual has a full or partial extra copy of chromosome 21. This additional genetic material alters the course of development and causes the characteristics associated with Down syndrome.”


The cause of Down syndrome is still unknown. There is no way to know ahead of your pregnancy that your child will have it and there is no way to prevent it. The extra chromosome can originate from either the mother or the father.

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I’m including some tidbits about Brighton as well along the way. (Many of these will turn into bigger blogs in the future!) These are pictures of Brighton and Marigold three days after they were born. It was the first time I was able to hold them. Brighton is in the yellow hat.




There are a total of about 4 million babies born in the US each year, and there are approximately 400,000 people living in the US today with Down syndrome. The total US population is about 325.7 million (as of this post). That makes it about 1/8th of 1% of people in the US have Down syndrome. We are one of the lucky families who really won the lottery to have such an amazing kiddo in our lives!

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Brighton recently turned 2, and while Goldie has about 10-12 teeth, Brighton has 0! We think teeth are finally on their way. Brighton doesn’t eat by mouth nor does he chew on toys and teethers, so we’re thinking the lack of input and pressure on his gums might be why his teeth are taking their time!


Brighton has Trisomy 21.

With Trisomy 21, all cells have a third 21st chromosome. With Mosaicism, some cells have the third 21st chromosome and some don’t. With Translocation, the additional 21st chromosome attaches itself to another chromosome, usually chromosome 14.

Come back next week for more!

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