Hi! We had no prenatal diagnosis, and were surprised when our LO was born with DS. It was a rough two weeks, then I got into TREATMENT mode. I had already healed my older child from PDD NOS, a mild form of autism (vaccine damaged at 2 months of age and problems worsened till I began treatments at age 3y2m, totally healed by age 5.5)
Anyway when Etel was born, I KNEW there was something to help biochemically.
There are many treatments for DS, but your doctor will not know any of them. It's critical you get on some good lists, like Lawrence Leichtman MD's yahoo group DSTNI (TNI means Targeted Nutritional Intervention) and Einstein-syndrome.com/join and Yahoo group Down Syndrome Info Exchange. Those three lists alone will tell you loads about where to start.
First, research the vaccine issue thoroughly as people with DS are much more prone to damage from toxins (current study stated that 1/6th of people with DS also have autism dual diagnosis) So you want to be extra cautious what you put into that little body.
From infancy, the priorities are
1) surgeries (many babies need NONE) and stabilizing oxygen and infections after birth
2) establishing Breastfeeding. See these documents for BF and email me so I can send you the La Leche League pdf pamphlet too. lioracc at yahoo.com. Check out my posts here http://asianparentsgroup.icyboards.net/showthread.php?tid=254&pid=1605#pid1605 for much more DS breastfeeding info and download the files as well. There are THREE linked DS BF documents in my two posts.
3) reduce toxins, non toxic home and personal care products and diapers, maybe cloth, healthy whole foods, water and air filter if you live in polluted area
4) Neurodevelopmental principles. The Einstein-Syndrome list and Dr. James Macdonald PhD's methods for late talking children HERE groups.yahoo.com/group/COMMUNICATING will have the best recommendations. Basically, there are optimal ways to hold, play and be with your baby every day that will enhance communication skills, physical milestones and brain development and it is very important to learn what these are.
5) Start Supplements in infancy. Begin slowly and work up steadily. First: probiotics, Vitamin D drops 1,000-2,000 iu a day, and DHA, 1/8 to 1/4 doses at first, start individually, working up to full dose. DSTNI or Einstein Syndrome will have brands and recommendations for you and the cheapest places to buy each - these mamas are PROS! And add in Nutrivene-D when you can add it in. If you cannot add it in successfully to a bottle, then you can take it and breastfeed and add in the Microencapsulated onto applesauce or other food as soon as you can. Microencapsulated tastes better than NV-D powder.
Other supps can come later, get these basics off to a good start early though.
Enjoy your baby! Our girl is 3y5m and doing GREAT, talking, dancing ballet, just a fabulous kid. You definitely can ameliorate the destructive proteins in the extra 21st chromosome. I don't want to burden you with the WHYS but if you want to know, most of it is here http://www.lleichtman.org/tni.shtml and here http://einstein-syndrome.com/biochemistry_101/wipers_bus/ and http://einstein-syndrome.com/biochemistry_101/hole_bucket/ also see
http://einstein-syndrome.com/2009/04/11/top-15-things-a-new-parent-should-know/ for some awesome info and priceless advice.
It will be OK. Your other kids will be jealous, mine certainly are, they feel I "love her so much more" and I have to say that while I love each kid in their own way, I am MUCH more involved and invested in all Etel's accomplishments. She has really brought out the best mommy in me, and I have a feeling you will feel like me in a couple of years - not even sure why you were sad and afraid!! I look back at that time and can't even relate to how I felt then!