I remember the pediatrician who had evaluated Landon congratulating Scott and I on the birth of our beautiful and healthy baby boy. He stood beside us as we compared Landon's features with Mason's and Elijah's. He was very kind. And he gave us our proud parent time. After a few moments he acknowledged that those similarities would be true and informed us of some markers he noticed at birth. Landon had a thicker neck, a flatter nasal bridge and a gap between his big and little toes that would be consistent with some markers found in children with Ds. He then asked us if we would like to have a blood test done.
I remeber feeling really confused..........and asking him if the blood test was to see if he had Ds or to confirm what he already believed to be true. The latter being the answer. Scott said he thought something was different and that he noticed a couple of things that were different from when Mason & Elijah were born. He also noticed that the staff had been communicating quietly.
Numb. It took a minute for my mind to process the information I had just been given. Now, I know realistically how I felt during my pregnancy after getting the call that my risk factor was 1 in 3. But I also remeber how hopeful I was when we were told that there were no markers on the level 2 ultrasound.
Sadness. Why Landon? What does this mean for him and his future? How do we tell his 2 big brothers (who are eagerly waiting to meet him)?
Angry. I'm not quite sure at who. At GOD?! Why is this happening to Landon? Why does this happen to any child? Why should he be denied of the things that we all take for granted? Why is life so UNFAIR?! All babies should be born........well......."perfect".
Scared. I don't know what it means to actually raise a child with special needs. Where do I begin? Will I be able to give him everything he needs? Is there enough of me to go around?
Informed/Educated. Scott and I had the opportunity to speak with a former nurse (who visited the maternity ward on occasion when a new family was given a Ds diagnosis). She shared with us her story about her son (who also was diagnosed with Ds at birth) born at a time when a Ds diagnosis was not expected to show great outcomes. Not only did this child beat the odds..............he actually "chose" to live on his own (assisted living). She left us with a new perspective and some great resources to prepare us for the journey we were about to begin.
Hopeful. It took a while before I felt I had the confidence enough to take that first step as Landon's advocate. About a month later (after reading many books and surfing the web on anything Ds) I had decided to put some of those great resources to use. I made a couple of calls and was connected with some wonderful people (the MDSC and a local support group "21FrienDs") who have become an important part of our support circle. I made a promise to myself (for Landon) that every day I would educate myself so that I would truly be his #1 advocate. And with that education I would help spread awareness so that others would see what we see: a thriving, healthy baby boy just waiting to "WOW" the world with his presence and abilities.
Inspired. Through Landon, we have been introduced to this warm and welcoming community. As our journey begins, we have met some amazing people (some who have become very dear friends). Their ability to act so selfless, and to take time to share their family's experiences and struggles, has been most inspiring. Each story is so unique yet we share this common bond.........our children..........a sense of camraderie. Through these remarkable families, I have gained wisdom and knowledge and the courage to face any challenges that a Ds diagnosis may throw our way. And finally, the strength to get through it, knowing that we are not alone.
Blessed. Yes, truly blessed. Blessed that Landon is part of our family. My only regret is that I went through so many other emotions before I got here. But I guess that is what part of this journey is all about. Exploring the depths our hearts can go! I have the most loving and supportive husband (oops......did I just say that.........just kidding honey) and 3 beautiful, happy and healthy boys! A great big family and the best of friends. We are so fortunate to have such a solid support circle. We couldn't ask for a better group of people to travel with!
Welcome to the world sweet baby boy! (with all 47 "PERFECT" chromosomes)