Saturday, January 1, 2011

Expecting/ New Parents

Welcome to our DSFred Support Group! My name is Sarah Blunkosky and I am the Family Liaison for our Welcoming Committee.  If you are reading this, you are likely the parent, relative, and/or a friend of an individual with Down syndrome, or a self-advocate.  We welcome you and your family to our tight-knit community of supporters of individuals and self advocates with Down syndrome in the Fredericksburg/greater Rappahannock region.  Here you will find people to exchange information, resources, and friendship with!  Welcome!  Please contact me so we can get you acquainted with our group right away, ASAP!

  If you’re curious how I got involved with our group, let me share a little bit of my story.  At the age of twenty-five and in graduate school, I became pregnant with my first child-my husband Bob and I were both excited and nervous.  After an easy pregnancy and smooth, natural labor, our daughter Josie arrived in spring of 2006.  Two days later to our great surprise, two doctors told us in the hospital that Josie most likely had Trisomy 21 (confirmed by F.I.S.H. test a week later), commonly referred to as Down syndrome.  It was not quite the journey we were expecting but one that we have since embraced and cherished since then.  Josie is one of the great joys of our lives-along with her little sister Zivia (typically developing), born in spring of 2010.  When we received the diagnosis in the hospital, we were quite stunned and also a little lost.  So much to process, so much to learn, so much to feel-all while learning how to take care of this new and precious little newborn!  When we were ready (it took me a few months to prepare to do research), we contacted a support group for information and also spoke with a parent of a child with Down syndrome who helped answer many questions we had and also helped guide us toward more resources.  That’s what I do now for our group.  I also spend my days trying to keep up with them, home school, serve as a La Leche League leader for Stafford/Quantico, Virginia (offering free mother-to-mother breastfeeding support); and also do independent historic research (I also hold a B.A. in History and an M.A. in History)-but not all at once!

Please contact me anytime-we welcome new members to our group and also serve our community by sharing up to date research and resources with parents, relatives, friends, self advocates, and medical personnel in the greater Fredericksburg/ Rappahannock area.  You are never alone here.

All the best!

Sarah Blunkosky
(540) 361-4749