CDSW Day 6 - Daniel

Daniel is 15 months old and is an absolute pleasure to see pop up in my feed. Look at this kids face - LIKE LOOK AT IT!!!!!!

I actually CAN NOT!!!

 He and his sister, Savannah, are quite the duo. Although we have sadly never met in person. I am sure we are bound to one day in the future. I am so glad this little man and his family are in the Lucky 21 Club!!!

Ashley, Daniel's mom, shares with us...

How was your pregnancy?  

My pregnancy was no different than my first. I had all the usual aches and pains. All of the routine tests came back negative so we had no idea the gift that was headed our way.  Delivery was a breeze- I slept through my entire labor and then woke up moments before he was born- everything happened so fast.

When did you receive your diagnosis?

It was a couple hours after Daniel was born when I first found out that he may have Down syndrome. I was alone in the room waiting for my husband to bring our daughter to meet her new baby brother. I had complications with my epidural and was paralyzed from my waist down and waiting to head down for a CT. I was across the room from Daniel when a doctor came in to have a look at him- I was already shaken up from the news that they were unsure if I would gain all feeling back in my legs so I admit that had my full attention.. Until I heard them whispering about his eyes, and his hands. I remember the doctor whispering to his student about the placement of his ears and the tone of his little body. I suddenly couldn't feel my face now either.  The doctor looked over at me and said quickly "we suspect he has Down syndrome, we are going to send somebody in for blood work." Then before I could even reply- he was gone, and I was alone and a world apart from my son.  I felt like I was dreaming. I had so many questions, "how?" and "why?" were the biggest. I had never even met somebody with Down syndrome before. I was in such a panic.

What were some of your initial feelings/thoughts/fears/hopes about having a child with Down syndrome?

I was in complete disbelief, I felt a lot of sadness and fear. I didn't sleep at all that night. I grieved the child I thought we were having and had a hard time accepting that things were going to change. I was in no way prepared for the life I thought we were going to have. I remember looking at all his tiny little features and trying to compare them to his sister. I kept saying "I don't see it" and asking others if they "see it?" For three weeks we (my husband and I) took turns with this. We obsessed over it and I felt so guilty because it really didn't matter- We were already in love. We worried what this meant for his sister and if she would have a chance at a normal childhood/life and how his diagnosis would change our lives. We were especially scared for his health. Looking back now I wish I could tell that mess of a woman in that hospital bed that "I do see it, and he's perfect." I wish I could tell her to stop crying tears of grief and be grateful for this tiny life God had chosen me to care for. I wish I could go back and tell her to just take things one day at a time, go at Daniel's pace and stop researching every little tiny thing that could go wrong - But most of all I wish I could tell her that Daniel is going to bring so much love and so much happiness into our home and that things are going to change but in the absolute best of ways. It's all going to be alright, Ashley.  

What has your child with Down syndrome taught you?  

Daniel has taught me that I have strength I didn't know I had.  

What do you wish the world knew about people with Down syndrome?  

I wish the world knew that Down syndrome is nothing to be "sorry" for. My son is wanted and adored. He is a valuable member of our family and we would not be complete without him.

What are some of your hopes/dreams for your child with Down syndrome?  

My hopes and dreams for Daniel are no different than the hopes and dreams I have for my daughter. I hope my children have a very fun and memorable childhood. I hope they grow to be confident and respectable adults. I hope they find something they enjoy doing and become very good at it. I hope they find purpose and meaning in life but above all else I hope they are happy, and are happy with who they have become.