Updated: Sep 28, 2018
Raysha here- I'm so excited to start my blog with an awesome guest post by Carrie who has an amazing blog that chronicles her journey with a little boy blessed with an extra chromosome. Without further ado, check out Carrie's birth story below and follow her blog at One More To Adore
Down Syndrome. Two words you never expect to hear about your child. Whether those words come as a prenatal diagnosis or minutes after birth, they still sting. I will never forget the day that my Colton was born. A day that my life was forever changed.
It was January 6, 2016 and I was 37 weeks pregnant. I woke up in the middle of the night with contractions 15-20 minutes apart. I woke up my husband and told him that I thought it was time to go to the hospital. I arrived at the hospital around 4 am and was measuring 5 cm. They admitted me and I asked for them to go ahead and do my epidural. My epidural was working beautifully by 7 am, so I decided to put on some makeup. Who wants to meet their baby for the first time looking like a hot mess? My husband jumped in the shower. While he was in the bathroom, I all of a sudden started to feel a ton of pressure. I called to him and he told me to call the nurse. The nurse said that my doctor was actually there making rounds and she’d come check me. I measured 10 cm. It was go time! We were so excited! We prepared for delivery around 8:21 am and Colton arrived at 8:38 am.
It was the easiest delivery I could’ve ever imagined. Hunter said, “Babe, you didn’t even break a sweat!” They took my sweet baby boy over to get cleaned up and I noticed it was taking longer than normal. My doctor could see my concern, so she tried to ease my worries by telling me that they were just doing their routine checkups and tests. After she finished with me, I still didn’t have my baby Colton in my arms. She went over to the nurse to check on things and she came back to my bed and said, “Carrie, they think he’s showing 4 markers for Down Syndrome. His eyes are almond shaped, he has a mark on the palm of his hand, the top of his ears are crinkled, and he has a little extra space between his big toe and second toe.” At that moment, I completely froze.
Was she joking? If so, this isn’t funny. Am I dreaming? How could this be? None of our ultrasounds showed any signs of Down Syndrome. At our 4D ultrasound, the tech even said that if he had Down Syndrome, some of his measurements would be larger than normal and none of his were.
The joy and excitement that was initially in the room was gone. In its place came shock, fear, confusion, and sadness. As they brought my baby to me, I remember holding him and I felt so completely guilty. Here I was holding my brand new baby who lived inside me for 9 months and I was disappointed. I was heartbroken. This wasn’t what I wanted. I wanted him to be just like his big brother…
I wanted him to be “typical.”
It was the hardest, most shocking day of my life. Never once in my pregnancy, or even in my entire life, did I picture this. I gave birth to a child with Special Needs. I was grieving the loss of a dream. Of the life I thought I would have. I was completely blindsided. I spent most of the first day in shock. I was just trying to process everything. I didn’t know how to tell people. I ended up just announcing, “He’s here. We are a family of 4!” I wasn’t ready to break the news to people other than close family and friends. I watched my 6’5”, 250 lb. husband sob. He doesn’t ever cry…and it absolutely broke my heart. We were scared. There was nothing we could do to fix it. Our lives would forever be changed.
As the weeks passed by, our tears began to subside. We soon realized that Colton is just a normal baby. He eats, he sleeps, he poops, he cries (but not very often). I set my alarm to wake him up every three hours to feed him because he doesn’t wake me up. He seriously is THE BEST BABY I’ve ever been around. At 2 months old, he sleeps through the night (11-7 most nights), he smiles, and he rocks tummy time. We take him to church and out to eat and he is always so good! He is the biggest blessing and he is winning over our hearts. I’m beginning to realize that God has been preparing our hearts for this for a long time through 3 unsuccessful pregnancies. At the beginning of my pregnancy with Colton, I thought I was going to lose him, too, but I didn’t. He was meant to join our family. I prayed for 2 healthy little boys…and that’s exactly what I got. Our little Colton is absolutely beautiful. He was born with blonde hair, blue eyes, and ONE EXTRA chromosome. And the more time that passes, I don’t care about that ONE EXTRA chromosome…because that’s just “One More To Adore.” He was perfectly and wonderfully made. He is going to change my life for the better. I don’t care how many therapy sessions we have to attend or how may hours of my time are spent teaching him, I’m going to do it.
He is a blessing. He is like any other baby. He just wants to be loved and treated like any other “typical” child. We may have to work harder than we would with a “typical” baby. We may have more doctor’s visits than we would with a “typical” baby. But it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter how or when he gets there, just that he gets there. His daddy, his big brother, and I will be his biggest fans. We are a proud family of 4. I don’t know what the future holds for us, but all we can do is take it one day at a time. If you went back to 1993 and told a little 10 year old girl from Indiana that she’d someday be living in Little Rock, Arkansas, married to her high school sweetheart with 2 little boys, one with Down Syndrome… she’d never believe you. I would’ve never picture that life for me…but it’s awesome. I don’t know what life is going to look like in 20 more years…and that’s ok, because it will be better than anything I could ever imagine for myself. God has a plan…and I can’t wait to see that plan unfold.
Down Syndrome. Two words I never expected to hear about MY child. On the day that Colton was born, I knew that my life was forever changed…but what I didn’t know was that it was changed FOR THE BETTER. MY son, Colton, has Down Syndrome. It’s just a part of who he is…and I LOVE that about him. It makes him SPECIAL and UNIQUE and WONDERFUL. Colton just so happens to have ONE EXTRA chromosome…but like I said, that’s just ONE MORE TO ADORE. I’m so proud to be Colton’s Mommy.