Fall 2012

Fall 2012
[learning to live a perfectly imperfect life]

Life with An Extra Chromosome (Characteristics of Cuteness Part 1)

When you anticipate the arrival of your baby, one of the (many) things you think about is what your baby will look like. Will she have brown eyes like her daddy? Lots of hair like her sister? There's no denying the fact that physical characteristics are definitely passed along... remember this photo?

June 2009 - 2 years 2 months (Carter... not Jeremy)

Carter definitely will not be mistaken for someone else's son.

Babies born with Down syndrome are not any different. Some of Rylee's baby pictures show resemblance to Jeremy and me as babies! Even now I sometimes have people say that certain features of Rylee look like Jeremy or me.

So, kids look like their parents. Kids with Down syndrome are no different.

However, there are certain characteristics that kids with Down syndrome tend to share. I wanted to share some of them here, because I think it's interesting.... not because I think that physical features are really all that important.

I cannot stress enough, though, that all individuals with Down syndrome are unique and may possess these characteristics to some degree or not at all.

1. Almond-shaped eyes/upward slant to the eyes

Rylee's eyes have always been amazing. Big, blue, and beautiful, with personality all their own. I don't often see the "almond-shaped/upward slant" of her eyes when they are open wide.

March 2005 - 1 year 4 months

But when she laughs, her cheeks gently nudge her eyes, almost closing them, I can see this adorable characteristic.

March 2005 - 1 year 4 months
Peeking over the airplane seat on our family vacation to Texas

2. Flat or slightly depressed nasal bridge

Not much more I can say about that. Here is Rylee's beautiful face (at an angle that shows her nasal bridge well.)

August 2004 - 9 months

This characteristic can create challenges if kids need to wear glasses -- it's difficult to keep the glasses up on their faces. (Fortunately, there is actually a company that has designed glasses specifically for kids with flatter nasal bridges! Cool, huh?!) So far, Rylee's vision screenings have been good, so we'll cross that bridge (no pun intended) if we need to.

However, Rylee does like to wear sunglasses.

Sometimes they stay up...

August 2006 - 2 years 9 months

and sometimes they don't.

June 2006 - 2 years 7 months

But, then again, it might be more of a "kid issue" than a "depressed nasal bridge" issue because Carter, who does not have a "depressed nasal bridge" has issues with sunglasses, too!

August 2008 - 1 year 5 months

3. Single Transverse Palmar Crease (or Simian Crease)

Look at your palm. Most of you will notice that you have 2 creases going across your palm... one comes in from the left, and one comes in from the right.

On the other hand, some of you might have a Single Transverse Palmar Crease (or Simian Crease.) This is a single crease that extends across the palm of the hand (formed by the fusion of the two palmar creases that people typically have.)

Simian creases appear in approximately 1 out of 30 people (with males being twice as likely as females to have this.) It is a physical characteristic often associated with Down syndrome.

However, I do know of kids with Down syndrome that do not have a Simian Crease, and I do know of people without Down syndrome that do have a Simian Crease.
So, even though it isn't exclusive to individuals with Down syndrome, I wanted to share. Because I think it's interesting. And, because Rylee does have a Simian Crease on both of her hands. And, because I think her hands are especially adorable. See?

September 2004 - 11 months old

4. A Little More Room Between the Piggies

Rylee has a little gap between her first and second toes. I have no idea if/how this has any effect on her... except that it gives her feet a little more character. I, personally, wish my toes were this darn cute.

September 2009 - 5 years 10 months
This photo is actually courtesy of Rylee... she loves taking pictures with my small camera,
and the last batch of photos I downloaded had this adorable picture of her foot that she took.
Apparently she thinks her feet are adorable as well.

And speaking of feet... here was the result of Rylee's first toenail-painting experience. If you didn't already know, there is a direct correlation between the number of toenails painted and the length of time in which a 3-year-old can sit still.

November 2006 - 3 years old

Please remember that all individuals with Down syndrome are unique and may possess these characteristics to some degree or not at all.

These are some of Rylee's characteristics...

July 2004 - 8 months old

and we love every single one of them!


Anonymous said...

Awesome, as usual! I've always said Rylee expresses herself with her eyes more than any other way. I've never ever considered her eyes as anything other than happy when she's happy, excited when she's excited, and upset when she's upset. I love them!! They tell a story all their own!
Grandma Mary

Shari said...

one phrase: she's beautiful! :)

Lisa said...

This is just the cutest thing! Love all the pieces and parts of Rylee. The photo of the toes (with one side painted) is adorable. You are brave to go with red :). Would you mind if I link here in a post on Bridget's Light?

Anonymous said...

Rylee's toenails are absolutely exquisite!! They"re like smiles from her heart!! I bet she's very proud of those seashells- let them grow and smile!!!