My daughter was born in the end of 2006 in England. She was born at 35 weeks and was admitted into the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit for a couple of hours but was deemed fighting fit. She was a footling breech birth but that was the only complication and she was delivered naturally. She weighed 2.26kg.

Pregnancy and diagnosis

I am an older mother; I gave birth at the age of 45 my husband was 37. Our daughter is my only child although I had three earlier miscarriages and another when she was 2 years old. We found that she has Triple X Syndrome from an amniocentesis we had at about 16 weeks into the pregnancy. Following the results of the test, we were given the option to end the pregnancy but having read a little about the Syndrome from the Internet my husband and I were happy to continue with the pregnancy. In our minds, having any child is a lottery and our daughter would have every chance of living a full and rewarding life.

Baby and toddler years

I found it difficult to breast feed my daughter initially but I think this was due to her being premature and nothing to do with the Triple X. She walked holding on at 10 months and walked alone at 15 months. She started speaking at about 14 months. Her teeth started appearing at 10 months. The enamel on her back teeth hasn’t formed properly and the dentist has coated them to protect them. This hasn’t yet caused any problems for her and she has yet to lose any of her baby teeth. My daughter led her potty training and was completely dry at 29 months during the day and completely dry during the night shortly afterwards.

School so far

She is now 6.5 years old. She is currently the tallest girl in her class but there are boys who are taller (I’m 1.73m and my husband is 1.88m so she was always likely to be tall). She has very long legs, a slim build and an extra fold of skin around her eyes. We think she is beautiful. Her development to date has been well within the normal parameters. We believe all that our daughter requires is extra nurturing and understanding in order to fulfil her full potential. Fortunately she is an only child and I was able to be a full-time mom and have the capacity to provide this. The possible impact of Triple X on her development is always at the forefront of our minds so we don’t know if she displays few of the issues associated with Triple X because she only has a mild form or because we are identifying them early and providing the support she requires to
overcome them. However, specific issues we have noticed with our daughter that are possibly attributable to the syndrome are

  • Sensitivity to loud noises
  • Sensitivity to clothing, especially seams and anything across her tummy
  • Shyness – doesn’t like to be singled out or to be centre of attention
  • Difficulty in pronouncing words, although no problem with her comprehension (we had her referred to a Speech therapist but she received no treatment and was discharged at the age of 5)
  • Poor short term memory
  • Difficulty retrieving words to express herself although excellent at providing sufficient description to enable you to remind her of the correct word
  • Difficulty concentrating and paying attention. This doesn’t result in fidgeting or hyperactivity, rather, her concentration easily wanders
  • Difficulty in using cutlery
  • Extreme distress from watching films (however innocent), mildly scary cartoons or reading mildly scary books which is disproportionate to her age group
  • She’s always chewing her nails or toys or random things she’s picked up especially when stressed.

None of these issues are extreme and none have been raised by her teachers who know of her condition, the only thing they have noticed outside of the normal spectrum is that she is sometimes upset and crying but seems unwilling or unable to explain why. It’s fair to say that if we didn’t know that our daughter has Triple X we would think of her as an average 6 year old with no diagnosable condition. She is happy little girl progressing well at school. She is a good swimmer and enjoys gymnastics and dancing. She is kind, always been great at sharing (even her sweets) and in some ways shows amazing emotional intelligence (this may account for the distress she shows when watching films). She seems to be liked by her peers. She brings so much happiness to us and we feel so fortunate to have her in our lives.

Our daughter doesn’t know that she has Triple X but we intend telling her in the future, we just don’t know when.

M & J