The genetics doctors were right. Not everyone will understand what the word syndrome or genetic disorder means. Some people, even family, will think that it all genetic disorders are hereditary (But of course no one would really think that it came from their side of the family.. and sometimes they are hereditary) or that it was because of something that was done during the course of pregnancy.
One time this lady told me that she remembers that I had frequent colds while I was pregnant. She then adds this could have happened because of that. I then added that I have allergies (rhinitis), but she still insists that it could be because of my frequent morning colds. It almost seemed like she was so certain of her “hunch”…perhaps she really felt it in her gut.
Truth is WHS was not caused by anything that I did, or didn’t do, or overdid or didn’t do enough. WHS was a result of a chromosomal abnormality. It happened during the moment of conception when the mother and father’s chromosomes unite to form a new, unique human being. Chromosomes are long strands of DNA complexed with proteins and RNA that condense and allow for equal distribution of the genes when cells divide. Each chromosome contains hundreds or thousands of genes, and every cell needs to have two copies of each chromosome in order to maintain genetic balance. At the time of conception, an extra copy or missing copy of a chromosome or even a part of a chromosome disrupted normal development and thus resulted in syndromes that are caused by chromosomal abnormalities. This is true for Wolf Hirschorn Syndrome where the disruption occurred in the 4th chromosome (a portion of the arm of the 4th chromosome is short or missing). It all happened during conception... before I even knew I was pregnant.
So there, WHS happened not because I stood in front of the microwave while I was warming up my soup. It was not because I used the photocopying machine frequently while I was pregnant. It was not because of pesticides that I might have been exposed to since the school that I work with is surrounded by fields. It was not because I may have accidentally sniffed some chemicals while I was having my nails done at the salon. It was not because I ate overcooked broccoli or a banana with dark spots. It was not because I had one too many fish. It was not because I had the flu shot. Not because of the swine flu shot either. It was not because I let the dog lick my face or because I frequently went up and down the stairs. It was not caused by that one time that I had to take my prenatal vitamins in the evening because I forgot to take it in the morning, nor was it because I had missed taking my prenatal vitamins for one, maybe two days. It was not because I ate the cracker that fell off the floor that I picked up after 5 seconds. It was not because I happened to be with special needs children for the most part of my day, nor is it because I happened to watch a documentary on HBO about children with special needs while I was pregnant. It was not because roses are red or that violets are blue. AND It is most certainly and definitely is not, and I’m sorry to burst your bubble, because I had a cold.