October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month | Have You Met My Baby Jack?

Not sure if I should still be calling him Baby Jack… he will be 16 months old this month! On Instagram I usually refer to him as #MyBigMan or #MyMainSqueeze. I used to refer to him as #MyLittleMan but he’s not so little anymore.

If you follow me on Instagram, you probably already know that My Jack has Down Syndrome and you probably already know that he’s the cutest little guy EVER! But just in case you don’t follow me, let me introduce you to My Baby Jack…

Down Syndrome Awareness 2013

Baby Jack was born in June of 2012, perfect as can be… and sporting an extra chromosome.

15 Weeks Pregnant: Down Syndrome Diagnosis, CDH and Ventriculomegaly

When I was 15 weeks pregnant we found out that not only were we having a baby boy, but he would be born with Down Syndrome. We also found out around that same time, that he had numerous congenital heart defects like PFO, PDA, ASD, VSD and IAA and also had Ventriculomegaly, which is fluid in the brain. The pregnancy was full of worry, mostly due to the heart and brain defects and the upcoming surgeries, but we didn’t worry as much about Jack’s Down Syndrome although we still had questions and concerns. The day after we received the Down Syndrome news… we had a 3D ultrasound:

Down Syndrome Awareness

I always look back to this picture. It looks like my womb is hugging and holding him. Now looking back, that was always the answer. He was my baby and I loved him. Nothing else in the world mattered. Although back then when it was all so new, we had lots of questions.

Questions

The worrying we had about Jack’s Down Syndrome was unknown questions. Questions like…

  • Was our baby going to look like me or would he look like Daddy or his sister Gracie – or would he look like a baby with Down Syndrome?
  • Would he be higher functioning, mentally? Or lower functioning?
  • How will our lives, as we know it, change?

We knew life was going to be different once we had him. We knew our life was going to slow down and things would not be the same. Having a child with special needs does change things, that’s a fact… but what would life be like?

If anyone wants to read about our very first emotions once we learned about this news, I wrote a post called, We Had Tickets to Disney, But We’ve Been Re-Routed to Holland. There is a famous poem called, “Welcome to Holland” that I shared in that post. It’s a MUST READ for anyone who is having or has a child with Down Syndrome… or any other special needs for that matter. It describes a person who is getting ready to go to Italy, boards a plane, and then unexpected lands in Holland. A completely different place. Little did that person know, Holland was a beautiful place just like Italy – just different. Slower paced, but still wonderful. Just like having a child with Down Syndrome. Things will still be wonderful, just different.

I Want a ‘Do-Over’!

What I’ve learned though, is that life will be better than just beautiful and wonderful. It will be perfect. And it was perfect. It was perfect because God gave us the most precious gift I could ever ask for. He gave us our Baby Jack and there isn’t anything in the world I would change! When Jack was about a month old, I wrote Down Syndrome: Can I Have a ‘Do-Over’? I wish I could go back and be pregnant with Jack all over again and really, really enjoy it with no worries or questions. I wish I could have seen ahead of time, to see how great things would be.

Down Syndrome Awareness

Down Syndrome Awareness

Down Syndrome Awareness

Down Syndrome Awareness

So Jack is almost 16 months now.

He’s the cutest little guy and has such an awesome personality. Mike will talk to Jack and say, “Jack… do you want a little baby sister or brother JUST like YOU?” haha. If we could have 10 more kids JUST LIKE JACK – we would in a heartbeat. He’s the best! When I am rocking Jack to sleep during nap time or bed time… I talk to him and say, “Jack, Jesus must have known how much I was going to love kissing you when He decided to give you to us!” I thank God for this baby every single day of my life, and I’ll never stop.

Physically

Physically, Jack is developing in the 8 month old range. He has been getting around the house by rolling, sitting up and pivoting, rolling some more… and schooching on his butt. Just this week he started army-crawling. YAY! He can get into sitting position by himself. Now we are working on pulling up and standing next to toys. We gets physical therapy and 3 other kinds of therapy through out the month to work on different things and also gets adjustments by our holistic doctor too. He loves dancing anytime he hears music and he waves (and says) bye (ba ba) and waves ‘hi’. He can not drink out of a sippy cup or bottle yet, he just can’t get the hang of it yet. He only has 2 bottom teeth and he’s teething like a mad-man! He’s had 2 haircuts and is in need of another.

Socially and Mentally

Socially and mentally Jack is right on track. He’s understanding everything we say and it’s hilarious! He’s SUCH a character – JUST LIKE DADDY! He goofs around just to get a laugh out of us… and it works. He understands “NO” and he hates it and throws a little fit. He’ll hit his hands on his lap and grunt. He knows the word eat and just started signing it. We play “I’m gonna get you” and tickle him and he squeels and belly laughs. Cracks us up! He is the biggest flirt in the whole world… well, next to Daddy anyway. When we’re out in public, he’ll make this fake laughing sound until a lady sees him and then, of course, he gets her to talk to him. He says hi and bye at the right times – it’s adorable! Gracie’s bus driver loves it. He gives ‘smooches’ – which is the cutest, sweetest thing ever!! I wouldn’t trade his kisses for anything! Jack also makes silly faces. We can make a face at him and he tries to mimic us – it’s hilarious. There is one we call the “monkey face”…

Down Syndrome Awareness

Eating

Jack is exclusively breastfed. We started working on baby food 2 months ago. He doesn’t always like food. Some days he will eat half of a jar of baby food, some days none at all. That’s another thing we are working on. The therapists do not want us trying anything more than baby food at the moment, until he can crawl. I guess his tummy muscles might not be developed enough just yet… until they get stronger from crawling. Then we will work on some table food.

Sleeping

Jack sleeps with us and loves to snuggle. I started putting him down for naps in his crib, to get him used to it. He’s been napping in his crib for about 2 months now and he’s doing great! I can’t wait until we are able to transition him at night time. He’s not ready yet though and still wakes up a billion times a night to nurse. I’m patient. Kinda.

Support Down Syndrome Awareness With Me!

If you’re still here, thanks for reading. I just figured, since it is October and Down Syndrome Awareness Month, I would really love to share My Baby Jack to show what a blessing from God it is to have a child with Down Syndrome. Especially considering the abortion rate is so high for babies who are diagnosed with Down Syndrome while mom is still pregnant.

Look at what you might be missing…

Down Syndrome Awareness Down Syndrome Awareness Down Syndrome Awareness

Please support Down Syndrome Awareness Month along with me!

If you are having (or has) a baby with Down Syndrome, congratulations!

If you have any questions or would like to talk, please feel free to send me a message at Danielle@wedonthaveitall.com.

We Have It All

Comments

  1. Jack is the cutest little thing!! My hubby has a cousin who is in 7 and has downs and he is a joy to have around. God made these children in his image and each one is very special and has a great purpose on this Earth 🙂

  2. I absolutely adore Baby Jack. I remember when you first shared that Jack would be born with down syndrome and I have admired what a wonderful outlook you had from the very beginning. You are truly a role model for parents who also find themselves facing this life changing diagnosis. Baby Jack is so blessed to have you as his mama!

  3. I consider myself blessed to have been able to watch Baby Jack’s journey from the very beginning! Thank you for sharing him with us, friend. He is so perfect!!

  4. I’m meeting Jack for the first time and he is adorable! When I was pregnant with my 8yr old I was told that he would be born with Down Sydrome. I went to all the genetic testing and counseling that I could then and abortion was the furthest thing from my mind. He was born with all 10 fingers and toes but he’s autistic. We still love him regardless and nothing would change the way we feel about him now than we did then. Thank you for sharing Jack with us.

  5. Jack is absolutely adorable. I didn’t know that this was also Down Syndrome Awareness month. That is awesome that you are sharing your story for other parents and helping us be aware. Give Jack an extra hug from the GO mamas.

  6. He is so sweet! I love reading updates on how he’s doing, and thriving.

  7. Awesome post. Jack is absolutely adorable! I shared, to spread the word on Down Syndrome Awareness month.

  8. Thanks for sharing your story and photos about baby Jack. He is cute.

  9. Alaina Bullock says:

    What a wonderful post, and a wonderful baby! He is precious! I used to nanny for a girl with Down Syndrome. Out of all of the children I have worked with, she is the one who holds my heart and always has! Such a happy girl, sweet, kind and loving,and so smart! I believe they are angels here on Earth with us, truly a blessing from God! I love your positive attitude as well, Jack is so lucky to have a mommy like you, and a great daddy too!

  10. He is just adorable. He’s only 16 months, he’s still a baby. I think I called my son a baby until he was 2 and now he doesn’t like it, but my 7 year old daughter loves to be called baby girl. Jack is lucky to have you as his mom. You are so loving and concerned.

  11. My gosh, he’s SO cute! I love him! My best friend from elementary school had down syndrome. I’ve looked for her for years but haven’t been able to find her or her parents. 🙁

  12. Jack is a doll, you can tell you are a very happy family!

  13. What an adorable little guy you have! I think having down syndrome makes him even more special and he’s such a precious gift from God regardless. What a sweetie!

  14. You lil Jack is adorable! I’m so happy to hear he is reaching his milestones and that you have a wonderful support system. He is very lucky to have such a wonderful family!

  15. I love baby Jack.. I know I have not met him personally, but through all you talk about him and all the great pictures I feel like I know him enough to say I love him. He is SO adorable.. and he always makes me smile when I see his picture on Facebook or Instagram. Your an awesome mommy!

  16. Awe, Jack is such a cutie! What a sweet little boy!

  17. What a handsome boy! Thank you for sharing your story with us!

  18. Baby Jack is such a cutie! Thank you so much for sharing your heartfelt post with us. I got warm fuzzies reading about your love for Jack and his progress.

  19. Awe, I totally love your Baby Jack and how much you appreciate what a gift he is… I am in awe of all you went through, hormones and all and am glad things are where you want them to be!

  20. he’s STILL perfect, cos’ God made him perfect…. 😀

  21. Wow..so cute. He is doing so great with this looks and style. The future of success is embarked in his cute and shy face.

  22. I really loved reading your post! Jack is so sweet! Thanks for sharing your story with us!

  23. These are such precious pictures! Jack is a beautiful and amazing gift from God!

  24. This is my first time meeting him but he is just a cutie pie.

  25. I’m so glad I came and read your blog. I didn’t know Down Syndrome was in October. I especially loved your top photo. He is so adorable.

  26. Helene Cohen Bludman says:

    What a beautiful little boy. I can tell he brings you so much joy.

  27. Baby Jack is a very handsome little fella! You’re blessed 🙂

  28. Baby Jack is such a cutie, and he will always be ‘Baby’ Jack to you, even when he’s all grown up. You are very blessed to have such a sweet boy, and kudos to your for supporting such an important cause.

  29. He is just adorable. You have a beautiful family. Thank you for sharing “Baby Jack” with us and letting us see the joys of Down Syndrome. 🙂

  30. I have been loving watching Jack grow up! Down Syndrome was always a fear of mine, especially since I had my babies later. But with this last pregnancy, I didn’t have any testing and I wasn’t scared at all. I think it was because I had read your stories about Jack and saw what a gift he is. 🙂

  31. He is cutie! Thank you for sharing!

  32. He is just perfect! You have a beautiful family!

  33. Jack is such a sweet looking little man! Thanks for sharing his story

  34. This is a beautiful love story and you do indeed have a blessing in your big boy! I love his silly sense of humor!

  35. Jack is absolutely perfect! Glad he’s doing well. My youngest is 14 and has Down syndrome, he is also very much a character. I wouldn’t change a thing about him. We just hosted our first Buddy Walk last weekend so that it would be during during Down syndrome Awareness Month.

  36. What a beautiful baby and what a beautiful story. All children bring joy to our lives.

  37. Oh, he is gorgeous!!! Beautiful! I’ll definitely have to follow you on Instagram now. Every child is a gift from God, I believe that with my whole heart.

  38. What a beautiful boy, love all of the pictures! Love that you are spreading awareness, glad I stumbled on your post. I am definitely going to make sure I am following along on Instagram too! 😉

  39. He’s very precious and a true blessing.

  40. What a sweet heart! I love how your sharing your story has helped others as well as raise awareness.

  41. I had no idea it was down syndrome awareness month thank you for sharing. I enjoyed reading about your precious baby Jack and his journey. Children are such a blessing!

  42. Beautiful post, beautiful family. I truly enjoyed reading that and I’m sure it helps other families. Your boy is wonderful!

  43. He’s a cutie! I’m happy that he has people around him that will remind him how special he is everyday. People in this world can be cruel but I hope he never notices.

  44. I adore Jack, and I adore your attitude as a Mom of a child that is uniquely perfect. While having a child that is uniquely perfect has it’s own set of challenges, I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

  45. he’s beautiful and amazing and i love him all the way from CT

  46. Jack is adorable! You have a beautiful family!

  47. He’s way too cute for words.

  48. He is so stinkin cute! Love the name by the way 🙂 I was told that my daughter had down syndrome, turns out the test was wrong, but we would have been so happy to have her anyway she came to us 🙂 Congrats, you have a beautiful family!

  49. Oh what a little doll baby. I know a lot of people stress over the diagnosis. But things are will be ok and the baby will be perfect. I love your post. Thanks for sharing your beautiful family.

  50. What a beautiful family… Love can make everything better. Loving your post!

  51. Sonya Morris says:

    Such a cutie! I am loving the family picture!!

  52. Great post! I think you have shared some beautiful pictures of your family.

  53. He’s such a cutie! A blessing, I am sure. <3

  54. Betsy Barnes says:

    Your #MyLittleMan is so adorable, such a beautiful family you have!!! 🙂

  55. Heather Y says:

    You are such wonderful parents, love these posts!

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