Meet Claire. She's going to be 10 months old soon. Isn't she amazing??!!
While I have never met her in person, I have had many conversations with her family over Facebook. I am always so excited when a new family joins the Lucky 21 Club!!! Even more excited when parents trust me enough to reach out or let me share their babes here with all of you. This little lamb has been such a fighter overcoming all kinds of odds since she's been born. Her parents Jamie and Jaime have been by her side, supporting her, loving her and doing all the things that parents do. Claire's heart surgery is in the past and she is growing and thriving. Such a darling!!!
Thanks so much for sharing your sweet babe here for CDSW...
From Jaime & Jamie...
My pregnancy was healthy, uneventful, & full-term. Ultrasounds didn't show anything concerning and so we assumed all was well. As a result, Claire being born with Down Syndrome was quite the shock. She also had a heart defect that would require surgery at 5 months of age and she needed a feeding tube to help her gain weight.
Initially, we grieved what we had lost in terms of our expectations and hopes for the future. But Claire has proven to us every day that we shouldn't put limits on her. We shouldn't assume she "can't" or "won't" do anything. She is developing and thriving just like any other baby. At 10 months, she rolls over, sits on her own, babbles, signs, says her version of "mama" and "dada", and is working on crawling, kneeling, and standing. She is so CURIOUS and must check out everything around her. She is determined and works and works until she figures something out. Claire has the most beautiful smile that lights up the room and makes everyone smile back.
We wish people (including our past selves) knew how awesome Down syndrome can be. That it isn't a scary or sad or disappointing diagnosis. Sure, there are risks for other health challenges, but you take things one day a time and treat issues as they arise, just like you would for any other child. We have extra appointments, but we learn so much from our occupational therapist, physical therapist, speech-language therapist, dietician, and chiropractor.
To borrow from Tara's Happy Soul Project, we wish for Claire to be a "happy soul". That's it. Sure, we hope for good health, friendships, success in school, hobbies, athletic interests, a career. But most importantly - that she's happy.
We have found it really helpful to connect with other families of kiddos with Down Syndrome. There are opportunities now to connect with people all over the world through Facebook groups.
LOVE THIS FAMILY PHOTO!!!!! Thank you so much for sharing Claire here on Chasing Hazel.
In a recent message with Jamie, he explained to me that this pic was taken on their family vacation. They travelled all over the West Coast. He shared with me his wonderful outlook on parenting. He said that he wasn't sure how traveling was going to look with a new baby but that he felt it was important to adapt to each new situation and try to stay as positive as you can.
Really beautiful!!! Claire is lucky to have you both!!!