A big thanks to my hubby, Mike, for sharing his thoughts to bring awareness to Down Syndrome.
What can I say about My Son Jack? – that’s what my wife asked me. “Can you write something about Jack, can you say something about him? World Down Syndrome Day is coming, please say something” she told me.
So I sit here with pen and paper and my thoughts on Jack. It all started… oh wait, I can skip over that detail. We all know how babies get here. On November 7th of 2011 we got the word, or should I say, two pink lines that told us we were pregnant. My first thought was, “Oh thank God! Now I can take some time off!” She had me working everyday for this. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining but when it feels like work, I kinda feel like I need to get paid. (Although I did get a Nook out of the deal. Thanks Jack!) Once we found out, it was off to the doctors for Danielle’s ultrasound.
The ultrasound pictures are cool. You see something that resembles a baby. Ok. I’m lying. My wife had to point out to me where the baby was. I was looking at an intestine or something. That ultrasound came in handy, Danielle was so nervous about telling her dad about her being pregnant [again] because he thinks she should stop having kids. I guess he thinks she is getting to that old lady who lived in a shoe. Anyway, she came up with the bright idea of having Gracie wear a shirt that said, “I’m going to be a big sister!” while holding the ultrasound pic… lol, great idea, wish I would’ve thought of it.
So it was off to the doctor again, this time for blood work to see if she was at risk for having a baby with issues like Down Syndrome. I never took that test seriously, I mean I guess I thought, “what are the odds?!?” When the results came back that the blood work showed a high risk, I got nervous. I kinda blocked it out though. I thought it was some kind of fluke or some mistake. So they sent us to a high risk for another ultrasound to confirm these Down Syndrome results. The worried feelings that we both shared were, “are we up for this? How bad would it be for him or her?” The ultrasound was done and I’ll be the first to say that I hate going to the doctors office. I call them the ‘bearers of bad news’. The whole time the ultrasound was being done, I kept saying to myself, “it’s okay, everything will be fine” but the doctor changed all of that.
“Your baby has Down Syndrome” – like it was a death sentence. They even said we could discuss termination. I don’t think my wife knows this, I never told her, but I actually thought of this news like it was a death sentence. I thought that his or her life was in for a long and rough road. And that to bring a baby into the world having to fight for everything or wondering how people would look at him or her. I couldn’t stand the thought of someone looking at my child and thinking “poor baby”.
The amniocentesis concluded what all the other testing said it would be. So now all the wishing and hoping were over. Our baby would be born with Down Syndrome. My wife had different feelings than me. “No matter what”, she said, “the baby was ours”. And “no matter what, all babies have the right to live”. “Who are we to decide the fate of a child all because the child will be born with Down Syndrome?”
June 21st 2012, my life and my feelings changed.
It was the day that God blessed me with my first son. As his head was coming out, tears began to fall down my face. The doctors and nurses took ahold of the most precious gift and wrapped him in a blanket and laid him on what I call a baby heating table. I walked over to him and looked down at him. Hands and feet kicking and don’t forget the crying. And then I looked into his eyes, my eyes. “THIS IS MY SON and I love you so very much”.
And not just any son, this is my son who has Down Syndrome and I love him.
LOTS OF SOCKS for World Down Syndrome
World Down Syndrome International is trying to create a global voice on March 21st by advocating for people with Down Syndrome so they launched LOTS OF SOCKS. On March 21st, wear LOTS OF SOCKS to get people talking about World Down Syndrome Day and to raise Down Syndrome awareness. Do not wear just any socks, but crazy mismatched socks. Me and my family participated last year and so did YOU! Lots of friends and fans posted their crazy socks (in honor of Baby Jack) to the WE HAVE IT ALL Facebook Fan Page. It was so touching to see the photos come in all day long! Don’t forget to wear crazy socks on Friday and share your pictures on our FB page!
Do you know someone who has Down Syndrome?
How have they changed your life?