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Posted Oct 18 2011 12:00am

Pregnant women who are 35 and over often have anxiety over whether their unborn babies will be born with any developmental problems.
I had this anxiety when I was pregnant with our son at age 37 and as my current pregnancy is nearing its end, I find myself having this anxiety even more.
For this post, I want to focus on the developmental problem, Down Syndrome, as somehow, this is the one that I am having more anxiety with. Babies born with this condition are often conceived by older parents and are said to have an extra chromosome. See more on how this condition happens, below, and check the following link for more in this regard. From the site
“The human body consists of tiny cells. In every cell, there is the genetic material that all human beings inherit from their parents. Every one of these cells has a nucleus consisting of about 100,000 genes. Every single gene is responsible for the synthesis of a certain protein, and this way it determines one characteristic of the body. In an adult, only ten per cent of these genes are working at any particular time. But while the fetus (the unborn child) is developing in the uterus, almost half of the genes in all nuclei are active at the same time in order to control the cell functions during this important period of development. That’s why changes in the genetic material often result in the unborn child’s abnormal development.
The genes aren’t lying around individually in the nucleus; but are lined up (like beads on a necklace) on strings called chromosomes. Each human cell has 46 chromosomes, which make up 23 pairs of chromosomes. One chromosome of any given pair comes from the mother the second from the father. Every time a body cell divides, the newly produced cells receive the complete set of 46 chromosomes.
The only human cells that differ from this model are sex cells (egg and sperm): They include only 23 chromosomes, which means only half as many as body cells. During insemination an egg and a sperm cell unite to one single cell. This newly produced cell (the zygote) again has 46 chromosomes (23+23 = 46).”
I know deep down, how ever my child comes to me, I will love her just as I would any other child born to me, because of course, “first it is a child and having a developmental problem comes second.”

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