-- An Illinois mom is hoping to raise awareness with a heartfelt Facebook post that relives the day of her daughter's Down syndrome diagnosis.
Cristy Proctor of Niantic, Illinois told ABC News she wrote the post, "in hopes of other families not having to feel that gloom and just enjoy their baby."
Proctor, 40, said it was never a question in her mind that she'd embrace her daughter, Isabella Grace, after learning she would be born with Down syndrome.
On April 4, two years to the day after hearing the diagnosis, Proctor shared her daughter's sonogram photo along with a message of reassurance for fellow parents.
"Two years ago today, I found out my baby would be born a girl. The news was quickly followed with the diagnosis of Down syndrome. I spent much of my remaining pregnancy in worry, fear of the unknown and probably every of emotion you can think of. It was a very sad time for me. I tell you this as an encouragement to those that may have just received the same news. As hard as it may be to do, focus on your exciting news of simply having a baby! What a joyful celebration. It is a time for you to fall in love with a child you've not even met yet. It's a time to prepare a nursery and pick out names. It's a time to be cherished with your family. Everything else will come in time. Enjoy your pregnancy and welcome to the family! You are now one of #theluckyfew."
The post received more than 700 "likes" and was circulated on local news sites.
Proctor was 22 weeks pregnant when she received Isabella Grace's diagnosis.
"They got me in to see the high risk pregnancy doctor right away, in case I wanted to terminate my baby," Proctor said. "It was just really shocking because I didn't realize that happened in our world today."
"You get this great news that you're having a little girl and then almost a cloud of doom because I didn't know the first thing about Down syndrome," she added.
As Proctor pushed forward with the pregnancy, she began doing research on the Down syndrome community on social media, she said.
"I found inspiring stories that encouraged and helped me," Proctor said. "[People with Down syndrome] do live normal lives, just like anybody else. Do we have struggles? Absolutely. But, every family does. They are just a different set of struggles."
On July 2, 2014 Isabella Grace Proctor was born.
The toddler is now 21 months old and is "very determined," her mother said.
"That's my number one characteristic I love to tell people about her," Proctor said. "She's very funny. She looks at you and says, 'Ha Ha.' She wants to make you laugh. She lights up a room."
Isabella Grace has her own Facebook titled: "Isabella 'Amazing' Grace - My Down syndrome Journey."
The community page has over 21,000 followers.
"If one child is saved because of our story," Proctor said. "It makes everything worth it."