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Mom Finds Baby Has Down Syndrome During Home Birth

Redbook logo Redbook 06/03/2018 Jackie Frere

© Provided by Hearst Communications, Inc These photos will wreck you.

Amber Rojas knew something felt different about her fifth pregnancy. But she'd had great prenatal care, and since doctors saw nothing concerning on her sonograms, she decided to move forward with her plans to have a water birth at home.

It turns out her instincts were right. When the Texas mom welcomed a daughter, Amadeus Reign Rojas, five months ago, she realized Amadeus was different from her other kids. Labor, she says, was slow-going until all of a sudden, it wasn’t. "Next thing I know, my sweet baby is in my arms, and as soon as I looked down I saw it," she tells Redbook. "I saw it in my baby's face. I thought to myself: 'My baby has Down syndrome.'"

water birth down syndrome © Birth Unscripted water birth down syndrome Rojas and her husband, Fernando, took Amadeus, nicknamed Ami, to the hospital after her midwife confirmed Ami was showing signs of Down syndrome. There, Ami received a formal diagnosis - but doctors also discovered the little girl had a congenital heart defect.

a group of young men sitting next to a child: water birth down syndrome © Birth Unscripted water birth down syndrome Ami had heart surgery on Tuesday, and Rojas says she’s growing stronger by the day. The baby has been already extubated and has started eating slowly. But Ami’s older siblings - Xavier, 10, twins Kaydence and Zyden (8), and Ezra (23 months) - can't help but worry. Rojas says they don't like leaving her in the hospital, and are already thinking about what life will be like for her when she grows older, like all good, protective older siblings do. "They love her. They love sharing her story with their friends," she says. "And they are so excited to be a part of the Down syndrome community."

About half of children with Down syndrome are also born with heart defects. In an effort to bring awareness to congenital hearts disease like Ami's, the Rojas family designed T-shirts and sold them to friends and family. They've also been sharing updates using the hashtag #amitourage.

Headed to Church ⛪ HAPPY Sunday #amitourage

A post shared by Amadeus Reign (@justwhenyouthinkshesdown) on

a group of people posing for a photo: water birth down syndrome © Birth Unscripted water birth down syndrome "To me she’s just like all of us," Rojas says. "We are just doing our life the best we know how, and now are not only able to share our love for our kids, [but] to help bring awareness to families with children with Down syndrome, [and] help other families do the same."

a man and a woman sitting on a bed: water birth down syndrome © Birth Unscripted water birth down syndrome "At the end of the day she is our baby and we are her family. To us, she is perfect," Rojas shared. "We don’t see her diagnosis or her label - we see Amadeus Reign Rojas."

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