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Embracing Life's Unexpected Twists

Hey there, Mama! Tanya Valentine here, and I'm thrilled you've dropped by for another Mom-entum Podcast episode. Today, I've got a chat with my amazing friend, Christina Cano. We go way back – like, 24 years back!

 

This one's for all you strong mamas out there who've faced infertility or received unexpected news during pregnancy. Let's be real, life throws curveballs, and it isn't always easy. Remember our talk in Episode 17 about how our responses shape our destiny? Well, here's a real-life story that nails it.

 

Christina's wearing multiple hats – mom, advocate, entrepreneur, you name it. But today, she's taking us through her journey of infertility and a prenatal diagnosis of trisomy 21. It's a rollercoaster, but she's sharing the strategies that got her through: therapy, prayers, connecting with fellow parents, and being a fierce advocate.

 

Key takeaway? When life gets messy, let go a bit, have faith, and trust there's a bigger plan. Listen to your gut, be persistent, and be careful whose advice you take. Imagine if Christina had listened to that one doctor! (Have a listen to the episode to find out what I'm talking about).

 

As we wrap up, big thanks to Christina for sharing her wisdom. Take a moment to connect with her – (refer to the resources section below) she's got some businesses going on. And guess what? This is just part one. Stay tuned for more of Christina's gems in upcoming episodes.

 

So, mama, stay connected, take care, and if this episode resonates, help a friend out by sharing it. Your support means the world. Until next time!

Resources Mentioned In The Show
  • Christina's instagram @downforitallwithayla.

  • Listen to The Lucky Few Podcast, a great resource for families who have children with Down Syndrome, as recommended by Christina, by clicking here.

  • Another great podcast for any parents of a child with Down Syndrome: Down Syndrome Center Podcast.

  • If you live in the San Diego area and own a horse, have you ever considered equine massage?  Christina is the proud founder of North County Equine Massage.  Christina travels to her clients, and in her practice she treats areas of tension to ease pain, support healing, and provide relaxation for horses of all sizes, breeds, and disciplines. If you're interested in learning more you can visit her website here: www.northcountyequinemassage.com.

  • Do you live in the San Diego area?  Do you own a pet and just hate making the trek to the vet office or groomer?  Christina's got you covered with her sister company North County Animal Wellness.  They provide Vet Tech home care which is a category between basic pet sitting services and full Veterinary care.  In home services are performed by Licensed Veterinary Technicians and Certified Veterinary Assistants with years of hands on experience in the field of Veterinary Medicine.  To learn more you can visit her website by clicking here

  • If you would like to connect with Christina directly her email address is northcountyaw@gmail.com.

  • If you would like help discussing disabilities with your child, Christina recommended this children's book called You Are Enough by Margaret O'Hair.  Check it out on Amazon by clicking here.

  • Another great book that will help explain disabilities to your children, including how to think about and behave around others who are different from them: When Charley Met Emma by Amy Webb.

  • Need help organizing your time?  A great way to start is by doing a time audit.  Don't know where to start?  I've got you covered! For access to my FREE TIME AUDIT TOOL click here.

  • Click here for your FREE DECLUTTERING CHECKLIST.

  • Click here to join The Mom-entum Podcast Private Facebook Community

  • Please subscribe, rate and review the show to help me reach and support more amazing moms just like you! Click here to learn how.

TRANSCRIPT

Hello, and welcome to another episode of the momentum podcast the show dedicated to inspiring, uplifting, and empowering women on their journey through motherhood.

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Tanya: My name is Tanya Valentine. And I'm so excited and grateful that you decided to join us today. If any of you listening has ever experienced or is currently battling infertility.

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Tanya: or if you have recently received a prenial diagnosis that you've been concerned about, then this episode is especially for you.

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Tanya: But also I honestly think that anyone will find value in this episode, because the theme is

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Tanya: how to cope when life throws you a curveball.

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Tanya: We all face hard times in this journey of life, and as we learned in Episode Number 17, our destiny is determined by how, how we respond

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Tanya: and let's face it. Life is hard.

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Tanya: Many of us have this idea in our head about what our life is supposed to look like.

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Tanya: We make all these plans right. And then what happens?

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Tanya: Life life happens?

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Tanya: Most people do not like when the unexpected happens, and I'm one of them. It creates this feeling of uncertainty. and it can be so discouraging and disappointing and even scary when the unexpected happens.

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Tanya: But how do we want to think. feel, and behave

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Tanya: when the unexpected happens in a way that would make going through tough times a little easier and create better outcomes.

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Tanya: And that's exactly what my guest is here to talk about today.

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Tanya: I'm so excited to introduce you all to this very special guest of mine, Christina Kano. her and I go way back to the ninth grade. That means we have been friends for 24 years. Crazy

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Tanya: Christina is a devoted mother of 2 girls, Ayla and Ainslie. She is an advocate in the down syndrome community, a homemaker, entrepreneur, with 2 thriving startup companies, pet sitting and equine sports massage.

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Tanya: She has 16 years experience in the veterinary field. She also works as a registered veterinary technician and practice manager at a family-owned companion. Animal practice.

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Tanya: She wears lots of hats, but she says her greatest joy in accomplishment is raising her children

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Tanya: today. Christina takes the mic to unravel her journey of navigating infertility and the prenatal diagnosis she received that completely swept the rug from under her feet.

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Tanya: Welcome to the show, Christina. Thank you so much for being here.

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Christina Cano: Thanks for having me. I'm excited to chat with you.

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Tanya: I'm so excited to talk to you and for everybody to hear your story, so

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Tanya: let's dive in. Tell us all about your journey and how everything started.

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Christina Cano: Yeah, so I have a 10 year old daughter, from a previous marriage and I've always wanted to be a mom, I can honestly say, since I was young I've babysat. As soon as I could get my little Babysitter certificate. I think I was like 12, and then I went on to become Cpr. Certified. Took babysitting courses, babysat neighborhood for neighborhood families.

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and just loved kids. And then I went on to become a preschool teacher for a few years before I entered the veterinary field.

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Christina Cano: And I worked with infants and toddlers for a couple of years, and I loved it. I love kids, and I knew I always wanted to be a mom. So fast forward I had in sleep back in 2,013, and that was an amazing experience. Obviously, there's challenges with having a baby and you know, sleepless nights and trying to figure out breastfeeding and all of those little hurdles
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Christina Cano: fast forward to. Now. my next partner, Isaac who is also my fiance. We've been together for going on 7 years now and a few years to the relationship. We

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Christina Cano: decided we wanted to have a child together. And So we

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Christina Cano: started trying. And we weren't getting pregnant naturally, and started questioning kind of what was going on and decided to dive into why? Started asking the question, why. But so we started seeking help of fertility specialists.

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Christina Cano: I discovered that I had a large

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Christina Cano: fibroid outside my uterus and ended up going into. This is during Covid going. Ended up going into major surgery to have that fibroid removed.

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Christina Cano: And that was, we were assuming. That was one of the main causes for our fertility struggle.

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Christina Cano: and assume that after having that surgery, we would become pregnant. We were told that we had the green light to start trying again 3 months after surgery, and that our fertility should increase exponentially. And then we still didn't get pregnant, and it had been like a year

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of trying on and off. So we sought more help and discovered we had other fertility issues. Some male factor fertility. And we went to one of the top specialists in San Diego, and he told us that we had a 1% chance of conceiving naturally

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Christina Cano:  and that our best option would be to do Ivf which we weren't opposed to. At the time we closing on our home. We had built a home together, and

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Christina Cano: it wasn't the best time to take on that financial burden. Ivf is really expensive, and

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Christina Cano: and couldn't justify that cost.

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Christina Cano: and our health insurance didn't cover any Ivf treatment. So we kind of pushed pause. Periodically, we would kind of track my cycle and try and

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Christina Cano: remain hopeful.

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It was hard, I mean, we cried. Together we pray together, and

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Christina Cano: I ended up developing a lot of animosity internally towards pregnant women. I was happy for them, but I would see pregnant women at the gym or shopping, or at the grocery store, and I was really envious.

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Christina Cano: That. Why can I be pregnant? Why, why can't that be me? And I really had to change my mindset? I saw help from a therapist who ended up seeing me and Isaac separately, but also together, which is really unique.

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Christina Cano: I don't think that works for every situation, but for us it's been amazing.

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Christina Cano: She remains really neutral, and she knows both kind of sides of the story, and we come together. So once a month we each meet with her, and then we meet together.

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Christina Cano: For a session. And it's been game changing for our relationship. Finding someone that you connect with. I went through about 3 therapists who were okay before I found my current therapist, our current therapist. And I mean, I just yeah.

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Christina Cano: highly highly recommend. Don't give. Don't give up. Some people will try therapy, and they don't connect with the therapists. They're like, this isn't for me. Yup, I can relate with that.

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Christina Cano: Yeah, if I to find one that you click with, and that's supportive of your goals and in your corner. But we'll also check you. My therapist is really good. She knows me very well. I've had her for years, and she checks me when she feels like it'd be doing things differently. That would be more beneficial to me.

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Christina Cano: So

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Christina Cano: we ended up so she helped me with mindfulness and

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Christina Cano: changing my thought process, stopping myself, recognizing when I was going through down the rabbit hole, negative thinking. and

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Christina Cano: encouraged me to be more

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Christina Cano: positive

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Christina Cano: about pregnancy in general, and really

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Christina Cano: finding a way to be genuinely happy for those that were pregnant.

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Tanya: It can be hard, though. I mean, I think a lot of women are gonna relate to this. But as can I, because

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Tanya: I can remember when I had my 2 miscarriages feeling that exact

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Tanya: same way, like I couldn't be around pregnant women.

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Christina Cano: It right it was. And you yeah, you're

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Christina Cano: you know, you're like.

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Tanya: it's not against that. No, not at all. No, it's something it feels so innate. Like.

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Christina Cano: yeah, I

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Christina Cano: I ended up. It was kind of crazy. We had this

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Christina Cano: joke going through the Vet hospital that I work at that like don't drink the water because we just have

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Christina Cano: pregnancy after pregnancy, which was amazing.

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Christina Cano:  I think we had 6 women that were pregnant within a year and a half.

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Christina Cano: and at the the last pregnancy

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Christina Cano: change my whole

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Christina Cano: thought process. Yeah. So Isaac and I had gone away on like a Spa that we typically go to the Spa once a year for my birthday. And he treated me to a a Spa day and

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Christina Cano: I was due for my period, and I was like, Oh, rats like I'm gonna get my period during our Spa day like what a pain! And it didn't come. And I have a completely regular cycle.

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Christina Cano: And was a really just relaxing day, and

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Christina Cano: we ended up getting engaged. He surprised me, and we ended up getting engaged that day at the Spa, and

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Christina Cano: then, days later, I went into work, and one of my coworkers, pulled me into the office and said, I need to talk to me and tell you something, and nobody else knows. And it was like, okay, of course you can tell me. And she shared with me that she was pregnant.

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Christina Cano: and she had experience with miscarriage prior to this pregnancy, and she had shared that with me. and I was genuinely for the first time in a long time. so happy for her.

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Christina Cano: We cried. Together we embraced, and I didn't think about myself in that moment at all.

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Christina Cano: I just felt really supportive of her, and so thrilled that she was getting to have this this experience. And then, 2 days later, I woke up to get ready for work, and I realized my period still hadn't come to him like, I need to take a test like it's going to be negative. Like all the other tests that taken, I'm just gonna take one. Just because

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Christina Cano: Isaac was home. He was getting ready for work as well, and I took. I took a cheap test because I didn't want to spend them. I didn't want to waste expensive tests. I was gets negative. So I'm just gonna take one of those like cheap, you know, strip tests

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Christina Cano: and

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Christina Cano: within like a minute. It had a thing positive. And I was like, what? So then I

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Christina Cano: buy more tests.

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Christina Cano: They're all positive. And Isaac and I just started crying, and I was thinking, God! I got down on my knees, and we just couldn't believe it. We were so happy.

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Christina Cano: And those first couple of weeks of that

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Christina Cano: pregnancy were some of the best weeks of my life I was. We were just over the moon. We were so happy that we were given this opportunity. We were the one, and we were able to conceive. Naturally.

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Christina Cano: yeah, you guys didn't even follow through with the Ivs. No, Isaac did a bunch of research. He's very into nutritional things. He did a ton of supplements and kind of

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Christina Cano: some alternative thing like alternative therapies, supplementation wise, so that probably helps, too, but still don't know really

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Christina Cano: personally. But

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Christina Cano: so

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Christina Cano: when you are, I think, for most pregnancies. Now, I didn't have any genetic testing with inslee like that was 10 years ago, so it wasn't really.

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Christina Cano: It wasn't pushed on me at that time. I think it was offered, but I don't remember it being really like they didn't push it When you were young I was young. I was 20

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Christina Cano: I was 37 when I for this this time around, so they didn't really give me the option. They basically said, like, you need to do the genetic testing, it's just

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Christina Cano: high risk. So I did the testing. And I remember asking the the nurse cause they do like a little bit of counseling with the test, and just explain. I met with a nurse practitioner, and she just explained what the tests would be for, and

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Christina Cano: I asked, so if anything comes back abnormal, what's the next step? And she said that my doctor would be calling me, and we would discuss a plan, so that made me feel good because I trusted my doctor. He was the doctor that had performed my surgery, and I knew that we could talk through it and figure out what to do if something came back abnormal.

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Christina Cano: So Isaac and I went away on a trip. We went to Zion National Park. It was on our bucket list. We like to hike, and we knew that with having a baby it would probably be a little while before we'd have another adventure like that. So we took a trip.

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Christina Cano: Well,

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Christina Cano: And we were told that by that Monday, if we didn't hear anything from the office. No news.

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Christina Cano: no news was good news. and to a just carry on with the pregnancy.

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Christina Cano: And so we didn't hear anything. Monday, and I remember distinctly at 5 Pm. On Monday, like trying to Isaac and being like they didn't call us.

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Christina Cano: That's great. That means our test was negative. We fist pumped in the car like

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Christina Cano: we were really excited, and I wake up the next day. It was a Tuesday. and we go into the office to work and I my phone starts ringing. It was early. It was like 9 in the morning.

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Christina Cano: My phone starts ringing and I realize that it's my obedient. and my heart dropped. I knew that something was wrong.

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Christina Cano: and I answered the call. I sat. I sat down at my desk. I answered the call, and it was a medical assistance that I had never interacted with.

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Christina Cano: And she said your test

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Christina Cano: results were positive or Trisomy 21. And the way that she told me was so abrupt

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Christina Cano: and so harsh.

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Christina Cano: and I didn't even know what price on the 21 was. I blacked out. It was like the floor dropped from underneath me, felt like I was drowning, and I started writing down. Try something 21? I asked her. You know. Can I talk to my doctor. I was told I couldn't. He wasn't in the office, and I asked her what the percentage was that it was

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Christina Cano: through that it was through. Try so many 21. And she said, It's a 9 99 chance. And I said, How do you know that? And she said, I looked on the back of the pamphlet

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Christina Cano: and said, Well, what's my next? What do I do now? Instead, we need to go to genetic counseling. Here's the phone number.

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Tanya: And I was like, okay.

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Christina Cano: So

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Christina Cano: I went into the doctor I work with. I'm really close with. I went into her office. I must have looked like I had seen a ghost, I mean I was. I'm sure all the blood had drained out of my face, and she knew she's like what is wrong. So we sat together and we started.

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Christina Cano: Dr. Google, she wasn't sure was, and we were looking up. You know the statistics of how accurate the test is, and it's it's not always the most accurate and the high accuracy rate, but there are false positives.

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Christina Cano: So then I really had to pick myself up and start advocating for myself, and I called in a counseling. They weren't going to get me in for a week. and I felt like that was unacceptable, so I demanded to be seen sooner

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Christina Cano: they were able to get me in actually, the next day, and I

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Christina Cano: I know I happened to be home that day. They did a meeting over Zoom. which was fine. Isaac was able to come home from work and use his lunch break to meet with their genetic counselor, and I mean. I had just been crying for like 24 h straight.

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Christina Cano:  and I sat. We sat together and talked with her, and

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Christina Cano: she was the first person that actually helped me see light in the situation, and both. and she was very neutral.

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Christina Cano: It's her job to lay out all your options, to be supportive of whatever decision that you make, and there's no right decision, there's no right answer. Every is uniquely different. And

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Christina Cano: she also

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Christina Cano: explain that having a file. A file downstream can be beautiful, and the family's lives can be really fulfilled

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Christina Cano: and joyful, and helped get us connected with some networks in the area, and some families, and just encourage us to

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Christina Cano: reach out and

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Christina Cano: kind of go to the source and talk to people that have had that experience firsthand.

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Christina Cano: So I left feeling more, much more optimistic.

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Christina Cano: From that meeting. Our next step was to decide whether we wanted to do an amniocentesis or not. and there was a risk to that there was a risk that we could miscarry from that procedure.

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Christina Cano: so we decided not to proceed with that we decided to continue a few more tests. So we had

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Christina Cano: an echocardiogram in utero. Normally they do those around 15 weeks, but at 13 weeks the heart is fully formed. So we were able to do that

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Christina Cano: at 13 weeks. and we went to one of the best teaching hospitals in San Diego.

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Christina Cano: and they knew our plan. So again, unique decision making

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Christina Cano: experience. But Isaac and I, we're both united on our decision to continue the pregnancy so long as the baby

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Christina Cano: would not have

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Christina Cano: catastrophic health issues and core quality of life.

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Christina Cano: So for me, like the thought of terminating a pregnancy, would be devastating after have wanted a second child for so long.

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Christina Cano: and I fully support the decision to choose, and I know every family has to make that decision for themselves. And it's a unique experience for everybody, but for us that was like a living nightmare for me, and I like had to mentally walk through what that process would look like.

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Christina Cano: and I had to sit with those feelings like I had to really feel what that felt like, and for me, that was my process.

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Christina Cano: I had to go through a grieving process. I had to grieve

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Christina Cano: the loss of what I had imagined

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Christina Cano: this pregnancy would be.

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Christina Cano: and that was my way of opening my heart to a new experience.

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Christina Cano: So we had

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Christina Cano: that echo, and the Gen. The cardiologist

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Christina Cano: new our plan, and it was about 45 min.

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Christina Cano: and of course it's a teaching hospital. So there's like 5 other doctors in the room, and they're talking, you know, Doctor Lingo, and

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Christina Cano: you're seeing they have this, the heart, the baby's heart up on this huge screen, and

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Christina Cano: they know they're walking through each little millimeter of that heart, and there's like Christmas music playing in the.

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It's just a real experience. And after the procedure she sat across from me and she said, I understand that

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Christina Cano: your plan is to terminate if there's any major heart defects or catastrophic issues with this baby, and I want you to know I fully support whatever decision you make. And she said, I wanna let you know that this baby has no major heart defects.

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Christina Cano: I can't say that without tearing up, because for for me it was feeling like I had won the lottery she had a moderate Vsd. Which is a hole between the chambers and the heart.

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Christina Cano: But the likelihood of it closing in utero was high, and if it didn't close in utero they can do an outpatient catheter procedure.

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Christina Cano: That's not major open heart surgery. We have little friends that their babies have had open heart surgery, and as you can imagine that as a mom like having to put your baby through that at 6 months old is hard, really hard. They've done amazing, I have to say, but that was something that was really scary to me.

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Christina Cano: so she had a small Bsd, and then we had I don't even know. Maybe like 6 different ultrasounds. maybe more. But at the 20 week scan the Vsd had closed.

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Christina Cano: Amazing. I know second miracle, and then.

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Christina Cano: when she was born, they did another echo after birth, and it had remained closed. So she was born without any physical challenges at all.

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Christina Cano: Which what a blessing! And I never could have foreseen that obviously, but once we had decided to

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Christina Cano: continue the pregnancy and found out that

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Christina Cano: she didn't have any major health issues. Then I was able to.

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I don't wanna say enjoy the pregnancy because I still was

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Christina Cano: fearful. But yeah. I was able to start having more of a positive mindset.

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Christina Cano: Isaac didn't speak with it, and I was really frustrated with him in the beginning, and

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Christina Cano: I think for anybody going through this, I think, recognizing that you need to just allow your partner to have their own feelings and not try to control how they feel.

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Tanya: Yeah.

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Christina Cano: that was a huge lesson for me. I wanted him to feel my pain, and I wanted him to

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Christina Cano: feel my fear, and he like refused to, but now that I reflect on that.

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Christina Cano: like he, he was our anchor like he was, the same was the safe space, and he was.

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Christina Cano: He carried me through.

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Christina Cano: I think if we had both gotten into like the depths of despair like, I think it would have been a lot harder to go through that process.

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Christina Cano: But I was angry with him. I was like.

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Christina Cano: because he was positive he was like this baby's gonna be amazing. He's gonna be amazing. And I was, and I didn't I. It's not that. I didn't believe that.

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Christina Cano: But I just. I had done a bunch of research, and I knew how things could go, you know he chose not to.

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Christina Cano: Yeah, right?

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Christina Cano: So she ended up being born at 37 and a half weeks. I had to have a plan C section because of my previous fibroid surgery. And we had an amazing. I switched doctors by the way, we had an amazing maternal field medicine doctor, and

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Christina Cano: things started really lining up during the end of the pregnancy. So I became friends with someone that has a 3 year old with down syndrome, and met her a few times during the pregnancy, and found out that we had the same obgyn that delivered her son, and she also has the same pediatrician that I had for my previous daughter, and

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Christina Cano: so she had an amazing experience with her as a pediatrician. So we just kind of had those commonalities, which was kind of fun. And so Aila was born

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Christina Cano: At that teaching hospital, and everything went great. She I was able to meet with the neonatologist over zoom so funny because everything's over zoom these days before she was born, and just talked me through what it would look like if she needed to have a Nicki stay ahead and had a Nicki stay with Ainslie, so it was nice to be able to ask questions and kind of just plan for that

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Christina Cano: I was able to express my wishes. So I definitely wanted to breast feed. I definitely wanted to do skin to skin. I wanted to avoid a nick used day, unless, of course, medically necessary, and so they were able to make all of those notes in my chart.

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Christina Cano: Everybody was super on board with my plans and supportive, and when when Ayla was born she needed a brief Nicu stay. The Nicu team was in the Or, and they evaluated her, and she had a little bit of low oxygen. But that can just be from having a C section. You don't get the push that you get from a vaginal deli.

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Christina Cano: and she had a little bit of low glucose but otherwise was doing great. So they asked my permission to take her to the Nicu, which was really nice. It wasn't like they just took the baby away. They came over bedside and said, This is what's going on. We would like to just evaluate her and Nickew, are you okay with this plan? And so that was

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Christina Cano: really be able to make that decision for my baby.

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Christina Cano: So Isaac went with the baby to the Nicu, and I went into recovery, and that was hard, because there's these other moms in recovery, and you can hear them with their babies, and I'm alone, you know, without my baby and I'm super. I'm a super goal oriented person. So I was on a mission to start pumping cause I felt like that was like the one thing that I could do

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Tanya: so hopefully. I remember you texting me and like being so proud of how many ounces you.

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Tanya: Oh, my gosh!

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Christina Cano: Docked because I'm like pumping. I got like 30. Ml's like the first time I pumped out of the.

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Tanya: But that's a but that's a lot like every just have gave birth, and especially having a C section, too.

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Christina Cano: So another tip. And obviously I'm not a medical professional. You need to talk to your doctor, but I hand expressed like in the bath tub, a few days leading up to the C section to get my milk to come in.

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Tanya: That can put you into labor.

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Christina Cano:  so yeah, typically with a C section, your milk doesn't always come in right away. It's a little delayed, but my milk came in, and I was able to send the milk up to the Nicu for her, and they bottle fed her with my milk

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Christina Cano: brought brought her glucose up right away, and so they just monitored her oxygen. Her oxygen also came up, but they just monitored her oxygen. Think it was about.

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Christina Cano: I want to say

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Christina Cano: 24 h, or maybe closer to 30, but we were downstairs, and she was upstairs, and we were able to go see her. They wheeled me in

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Christina Cano: during recovery to visit with her, and yes, she was just on like flow by oxygen.

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and then

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Christina Cano: she was able to be reunited with us, and then we left the hospital after 4 days, and we were so fortunate during the hospital state because it's a teaching hospital. We had an occupational therapist that came to visit us, and

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Christina Cano: doctor from the the pediatrics team, and everybody wanted to see her and evaluate her. She so what's down syndrome? There's a lot of features that they can have there. I did, wasn't aware of this, but

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Christina Cano: different features, and she didn't really have any of those features.

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Christina Cano: So the assumption is that she's mosaic, which is something that I've had to learn about. It's a form of down syndrome where

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Christina Cano: some of their cells have an extra chromosome, and some of their cells do not, and the only way to really get a true diagnosis, for this is to like biopsy different, because there cells everywhere in our body.

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Christina Cano: So to buy up parts of the body, to get a definitive diagnosis. So we're not. We're not going to do that, we it doesn't really

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Christina Cano: us. But basically with mosaism, sometimes they'll have less physical features. And then they'll have sometimes less like health challenges

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Christina Cano: and sometimes less kind of cognitive delays. So

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Christina Cano: yeah, so she's doing amazing. She has ot once a week and Pt. Once a week, and they come in home and work with her, and we plan to do anything that she needs to help her reach her goals.

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Christina Cano: You know. Isaac said something to me in the pregnancy that has kind of stuck with me, and I just am so grateful for him in his outlook. But

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Christina Cano: I was kind of asking him like.

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Christina Cano: you know, what if she's struggling with this or that? And I'm a what if person I wish I wasn't that way.

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Christina Cano: and I try to be mindful of that. But I just have always been that way. And he said, Well, look at it this way. If she's in a race.

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Christina Cano: I don't care if she's dead last. I'm gonna be cheering for her like she's first place, and that

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Christina Cano: resonated with me, and it doesn't really matter like it doesn't.

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Christina Cano: No. And I feel like today

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Christina Cano: in the society we place such an emphasis on these high achieving goals

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Christina Cano: when really we need to celebrate the little things.

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Tanya: Yeah. And also, like I, I've heard this said, too, and it resonates with me, is that life is a marathon.

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Tanya: and

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Tanya: only one person can come in first place.

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Tanya: and the goal isn't to come. In first place, if you're running a marathon really like the goal is just to finish. So just go at your own pace. Everybody just go at your own pace.

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Tanya: Are you there?

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Tanya: Okay? You know what real quick. Too. I just want to quickly talk about

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Tanya: can you talk about that doctor, too, cause you had mentioned there was like a doctor that you saw. I think he did, that the nukel testing that I was like devastated at what he said to you, but I was also

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Tanya: so proud of you how you were just so persistent.

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Tanya: and you just did not want you did refused

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Tanya: to believe in what he said. So can you just share that real quick. And then we'll wrap up.

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Christina Cano: Yeah. So one of the lowest points in the pregnancy was.

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we had a new gold translucency test at 13 weeks, which measures the back of the neck. One of the markers for down syndrome is a thickened nukel.

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Christina Cano: and it's only evaluated at 13 weeks, and hers was slightly thickened. And when we met with the doctor afterwards in his office, he was extremely negative. He told us, I believe, that your baby has down syndrome, and I believe your baby will have low quality of life, and only be able to perform simple tasks.

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Christina Cano: And I was crying and emotional and sad. Obviously. But I remember feeling this fire inside

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Christina Cano: and feeling like, How dare you

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Christina Cano: limit my child? You don't know, my child, you haven't met my child.

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Christina Cano: How dare you put limitations on my unborn baby? And Isaac and I both left that meeting like we're never gonna see that doctor again. And I call the next, and I said, Make sure that he's off the list. We're never, ever going to see that doctor again.

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Christina Cano:  I would love now to like march in there and like and be like. Tell me this baby has a little quality of life. Other baby I've ever met, you know. This is a medical professional that has 30 years of experience in maternal fetal medicine.

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Tanya: and you know, so that really prompted me to go to the source like, go talk to the mom

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Christina Cano: about what their experience was like. They're the ones living in. He probably doesn't even know anybody with down syndrome. He doesn't. He has been given that gift.

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Tanya: and he's ignorant.

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Tanya: and that's what it is, too, and that even that. Christina, that that mindset shift right there. It's a gift

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Tanya: like looking at a down syndrome as a gift.

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Christina Cano: Yes, absolutely. And it's honestly been an opportunity for my entire family, including my daughter, to

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Christina Cano: be more empathetic and more patient, more inclusive, inclusive. Yes, yes, yes, yes.

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Christina Cano: yes, oh, if I can give any advice to

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Christina Cano: other moms with a prenatal diagnosis not just down syndrome. I know this other diagnoses is feel your feelings, allow yourself to grieve.

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Christina Cano: But also, if you can try to maintain whatever normalcy you can like, if you're able to continue going to work, I consider taking, like a mental health medical leave which I could have done. But

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I wanted to

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Christina Cano: definitely grieve and feel my feelings, and had therapy and thought support. But I also wanted to continue doing the things that were that made me feel good and made me feel important and

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Christina Cano: get up every day and take care of my family. And

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so.

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Christina Cano: you know, you do what you have to do, but feel your feelings. It's okay to grieve. It's okay to be sad.

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Christina Cano: It's normal. And another thing that really helped me was seeking out like we've talked about other families. Other moms. I had phone calls with moms, with children went down to normal all different stages of their

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Christina Cano: journey from birth to adulthood.

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Christina Cano: And it was also positive. Honestly, I was able to ask really honest questions like.

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Christina Cano: Are you worried about your child living with you forever? You know I had a moment honesty. I thought honesty, though honesty. I was driving one day, and I was thinking about

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Christina Cano: the fact that this baby might.

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Christina Cano: I had this mindset of like this baby might be stuck with us like we might be stuck with this baby forever, this child forever. And I stopped at a light. I remember this I stopped at a light, and then I thought about Ainsley.

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Christina Cano: and I said to myself, If Ainsley had to live with us forever like, How would I feel about that. And I started like

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Christina Cano: I'm out here.

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Christina Cano: If she wants to live with like she's welcome, she's always going to be welcome in our home. So it's just like changing like you just said like that mindset trip like we've developed. I've developed all of these. It's like

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Christina Cano: these, deeply ingrained.

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Tanya: You gotta look at your beliefs like, what are your yeah?

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Tanya: And quite and question i'm, like, why do I believe that where does that even come from and is that really true? Like, yeah.

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Tanya: And

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Tanya: so with that, we're gonna wrap up today's show. But what I want to just repeat that Christina said, is that

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Tanya: for anybody going through something similar to what Christina has been through. What has helped her through? She said. She feels her feelings. Just allow yourself to grieve and continue normalcy. Just continue doing things that make you feel good, make you feel like yourself, and make sure you're seeking out other moms who have been through it. And Christine is gonna share her information today. So if you wanna reach out to her she will be more than happy to help give you any advice or tips or encouragement, I'm sure

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Tanya:  And also I just want to say, you know, she gave us so many inspirational bytes of wisdom today. And what I'm taking away from today's episode is that when the unexpected inevitably happens, it's important to one let go of control and let go of our plans.

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Tanya: and it helps to have faith in a higher power and just trust that God has a greater plan for our life, one better than we can ever imagine for ourselves. And it's all part of a bigger picture.

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Tanya: one that from our current level of consciousness we may not be able to fully comprehend. and our eyes just cannot perceive it as we're looking at our situation right now, and we just need a different point of view.

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Tanya: and also. Just listen to your intuition and be persistent about pursuing what is right. Letting go doesn't mean sitting back and doing nothing like laying back and just accepting your fate? No.

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Tanya: rather you accept what is what is out of your control, and you change that which is in your control meaning. If a change needs to happen, or if you need more information, or you don't like the answers you were getting, don't give up. There is more than one solution to a problem, and then be careful who you see counsel from like. What if Christina had listened to that one doctor who told her that her daughter would have no quality of life, and she should abort the pregnancy.

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Tanya: If you could see this beautiful baby she has today who is thriving, and what a blessing she has been. and Christina wouldn't be sitting here today sharing with us her story. And who knows how many lives Christina has blessed today by sharing her story.

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Tanya: My hope and prayer is that anyone going through a similar situation hears this message today and feels a sense of relief.

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Tanya: peace.

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Tanya: clarity, empowerment, and a sense of just that. Everything's going to be okay.

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Tanya: Christina. Thank you so much for gracing us today with your time and sharing your beautiful story. Can you please share with the audience the name of your businesses and how they might connect with you.

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Christina Cano: Yeah. So Ayla has her own Instagram. Down there. You can message me on there. It's called down for it all. With Ayla. Eila spelt a YLA.

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Christina Cano: And you can also reach out to me by email, northcounte. aw@gmail.com. you can find my website, Www. Dot northcounty, equine, massage.com.

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and also if I can recommend

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Christina Cano: the lucky few podcasts. total game changer. For me, it's 3 moms that each have a child with down syndrome and it's an amazing podcast and you know, I told myself this story that I wouldn't have time to listen to podcasts. I found time I on my car ride to work on my car

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Christina Cano: when I was at the gym, when I was cleaning the house when I was vacuuming whatever just pop pop that podcast on and super inspirational and uplifting.

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Christina Cano: Oh, that's so nice. I'll put this all in the show notes, too.

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Tanya: Alright! Thank you so much, Christina, and if you're thinking, wait! I need more of Christina.

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Tanya: You're in for a treat. Her wisdom is overflowing, and we had to spread it across 2 episodes. Right, Christina, so keep your ears tuned to future episodes until then, stay connected and take care.

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Tanya: And if you found value in this episode, please consider leaving a rating review. This helps more. People find the show, and if you can think of anyone in your life who would benefit from the content shared in this episode. Please be a friend and share it with them. We will be so incredibly grateful.

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