The moment Amber Rojas welcomed her fifth child to the world – a little girl named Amadeus – she knew she was going to be special.
“As soon as I looked down, I saw it. I saw it in my baby’s face,” she told Health. “I thought to myself… my baby has Down syndrome.”
Amber recalled Ami felt “really limp” to hold, and had much smaller eyes than her siblings. She also had a low resting heart rate when she was born, a sign of a heart defect which is common among babies with the condition.
The family took the newborn to the hospital, where doctors confirmed their suspicions.
“We didn’t care that she had Down syndrome because we were all obsessed with her!” she said.
“I Immediately became a worker bee. I wanted to know everything they knew about babies with Down syndrome so I could best care for my daughter.”
Being 35-years-old, Amber knew she was at higher risk of having a baby with a disability. But there were “zero” signs throughout the pregnancy (even after a sonogram) that indicated this would be the case.
“Mum guilt is strong and real,” she admitted. “While I feel we all try to share and educate, some don’t accept it the way we do. Many have called my daughter sick, or have asked what’s wrong with her. I’ve come to the understanding that some just don’t and won’t receive her diagnosis the way we do.”
And while at first Amber's other children were worried that their baby sister would be made treated differently, Amber has worked hard to make this a “positive experience” for her family.
“Our family was going a million different ways, and Amadeus has brought us together,” she says. We are learning together about a whole community that we never knew anything about!"
"At the end of the day she is our baby and we are her family," she added. "To us she is perfect."