I call my blessing my angel. I want you to know that this sweet angel will be the biggest blessing in your life. With that being said, I want you to also know all of the feelings I had as soon as I learned that my angel had Down syndrome. I want you to know the feelings I still have and expect to continue to have as a mom to a child with Down syndrome. All of these feelings are normal and I hope that by sharing my story, you will feel some comfort. That is why my husband and I started this mission – to bring comfort to you and your spouse after learning of this diagnosis.
It all started out in early 2015 when we found out that we were going to have our third child. We had two girls already, ages 4 and 2 at the time. We went back and forth about whether we wanted to have a third child. I always wanted 3 and my husband was content with 2. I won in the end and thank God I did!
Of course all we wanted was a healthy baby but hearing the news that it was going to be a boy was so exciting! All men want their boy, right? All moms want that mamma’s boy, right?
We decided not to take the test to find out if anything was “wrong” with our baby. Going into my C-section, I had no idea what would happen next.
Although the days, weeks and months after having a baby are such a blur, I will never forget those moments after my OB/GYN gave us the unexpected news. I can remember with such clarity the doctor walking in…
As he struggled to give us the news, I knew something was wrong. I could see it on his face. The words came out as “we think he has Down syndrome.” My heart stopped. My world stopped. I saw my doctor on the verge of tears and my husband began to break down. All I could do was close my eyes and pray since I knew this was God’s plan. I knew it would be ok. I knew this angel came into our lives for a reason.
I remember holding my baby and patting my husband on the back as he leaned on me with tears of fear, sadness and confusion. I remember staring at my baby thinking it could not be true. He looked perfect. I could not even tell at times that he had Down syndrome. I accepted it though. I knew everything was going to be ok.
My husband, on the other hand, needed help. He needed assurance that it was going to be ok. All it took was for him to talk to a friend who had been in this same place just two years before. That friend told him that it was ok to have the feelings he was having and not to feel guilty for having them. He said you have to mourn the loss of the son you thought you were going to have in order to see the gift you have been given. That was such a turning point in my husband’s acceptance of our new angel.
Although I accepted the diagnosis right away, I do have bad days. Some days I struggle with it. Not because I am sad that Spencer has Down syndrome. I get sad for him because he will not have some of the same life experiences as my girls. He may not get married, have kids, live on his own, drive a car….but in those times when I get down, I tell myself that even though he will not have some of those same life experiences as my girls, he will have different ones!
What pulls me through and gets me back on track is thinking of all of the things that Spencer will bring to our lives for the better. I know he will make my family stronger. He will make us love more. He will make everyone around us love more. He will make us be kinder to one another. He will make us more tolerant. He will make us more forgiving. He will teach us the true meaning of life. So, for that, I am grateful.