Friday, March 26, 2010

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

One Month

Austin is one month old today! The time has gone by so fast. It’s strange…it feels like he’s always been here, yet it feels like we just brought him home yesterday. Does that make sense? Probably not. I’ll go ahead and blame it on lack of sleep. ;-)

Austin had his one month doctor appointment today. His pediatrician is very impressed with his growth. As far as percentiles go, children with down syndrome are on a different chart because they tend to be smaller. He’s in the 95th percentile for his height. 80th percentile for his weight and 65th percentile for his head circumference. Austin’s pediatrician said he is actually quite tall for a child with Down Syndrome. I find this particularly funny because I’m ridiculously short and Ryan is merely average height. He goes back in a month and will get his shots. What do you bet I’ll cry more than he does?

As we were wrapping up the appointment today, Austin’s pediatrician said that she sees great things in his future. I smiled and agreed. There are definitely great things in his future!

Happy one month baby. Mommy loves you more than you could ever know.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Special Mother

I came across this short story on the Down Syndrome Guild of Dallas website. It's beautiful and I had to share it!

The Special Mother
by Erma Bombeck

Most women become mothers by accident, some by choice, a few by social pressures and a couple by habit.

This year nearly 100,000 women will become mothers of handicapped children. Did you ever wonder how mothers of handicapped children are chosen?

Somehow I visualize God hovering over earth selecting his instruments for propagation with great care and deliberation. As He observes, He instructs His angels to make notes in a giant ledger.

"Armstrong, Beth; son. Patron saint...give her Gerard. He's used to profanity."

"Forrest, Marjorie; daughter. Patron saint, Cecelia."

"Rutledge, Carrie; twins. Patron saint, Matthew."

Finally He passes a name to an angel and smiles, "Give her a handicapped child."

The angel is curious. "Why this one God? She's so happy."

"Exactly," smiles God, "Could I give a handicapped child to a mother who does not know laughter? That would be cruel."

"But has she patience?" asks the angel.

"I don't want her to have too much patience or she will drown in a sea of self-pity and despair. Once the shock and resentment wears off, she'll handle it."

"I watched her today. She has that feeling of self and independence that is so rare and so necessary in a mother. You see, the child I'm going to give her has her own world. She has to make her live in her world and that's not going to be easy."

"But, Lord, I don't think she even believes in you." God smiles, "No matter, I can fix that. This one is perfect - she has just enough selfishness." The angel gasps - "selfishness? is that a virtue?"

God nods. "If she can't separate herself from the child occasionally, she'll never survive. Yes, here is a woman whom I will bless with a child less than perfect. She doesn't realize it yet, but she is to be envied. She will never take for granted a 'spoken word'". She will never consider a "step" ordinary. When her child says 'Momma' for the first time, she will be present at a miracle, and will know it!"

"I will permit her to see clearly the things I see...ignorance, cruelty, prejudice....and allow her to rise above them. She will never be alone. I will be at her side every minute of every day of her life, because she is doing My work as surely as if she is here by My side".

"And what about her Patron saint?" asks the angel, his pen poised in mid-air.

God smiles, "A mirror will suffice."

Monday, March 22, 2010

Sunday, March 21, 2010

World Down Syndrome Day

Today is World Down Syndrome Day. I have to admit, I never knew this day existed until now. However, I’m glad I do know. We will celebrate this special day every year with Austin. His first World Down Syndrome day was rather uneventful since he’s 3 ½ weeks old, but we’ll definitely do more to celebrate as he gets older.

It seems like Austin grows and changes each day. I knew I would love being a mom…but I didn’t know just HOW much. There aren’t words to describe just how rewarding it truly is. Even when I’m half asleep, making a bottle for him at 3 in the morning…I can’t help but smile. I thank God every day for my sweet angel.

Austin’s Nana and Papa(my parents) are coming to visit in a few weeks and we are all very excited. We’re also in the process of moving…I know you’re all jealous ;-) If I don't update as often, you'll know why.

I hope everyone had a blessed weekend. I'll leave you with a video and a few pictures from today.

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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Multitasking Mommy

The pediatrician’s office called this morning and Austin’s thyroid test came back NORMAL. Thank you, God! That’s one less thing we have to worry about.

Ryan went out of town for work on Monday and won’t be back until Thursday night. We miss him and I know he hated to leave us. With Daddy out of town, Mommy is learning the true definition of multitasking. Austin had an awful stomach ache aka GAS yesterday. I felt so awful for my sweet baby. He’s usually so mellow and laid back. It hurt me to see him so upset. I wish it had been me instead of him. Thankfully, he appears to be feeling MUCH better today.

I’m so blessed to have such wonderful friends and family. My mother in law was kind enough to bring me dinner last night. Some friends of ours came to see Austin and brought me dinner tonight, as well.

I made Austin’s appointment with the Pediatric Cardiologist today. Please pray that everything goes well and we’re sent on our way.

Well, looks like I’m going to go snuggle up with my sweet baby boy and go to sleep…at least for the next 2 hours ;-)


Sunday, March 14, 2010

My sweet boys

Austin...looking up at Daddy. Oh, how they love eachother. It's truly beautiful to see.

Between Ryan (my husband), Austin and our dog, Cagle…it’s safe to say I’m outnumbered by boys! I wouldn’t have it any other way. I love my boys.

I’ve had a few people tell me that I need to take time to mourn the loss of the child that I “thought I’d have.” This may be true for some people, but I don’t feel like I need to mourn anything. Seeing Austin’s sweet face and simply holding him gives me so much joy. He was meant to be mine. Don’t get me wrong, I know there are going to be tough and challenging days ahead. I don’t expect this journey to be an easy one. Austin is more than worth it though. I’m so blessed to be able to stay home with him.

Ryan and I have spent the past 2 days informing everyone of Austin’s diagnosis. I don’t want people to look at my son or his pictures and “wonder” if he has down syndrome, but not dare ask us. Ryan and I both want everyone around us to be informed. We’re not ashamed. The overwhelming support and love from our friends and family has been incredibly heartwarming.

Thank you for all of your support...each and every one of you, you know who you are!

I'll leave you with a video of Daddy and Austin.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Letting it all sink in

Wow…I feel so much better after seeing Austin’s doctor. Ryan and I both feel better. Thank you, God, for putting such a compassionate pediatrician in our lives.

The doctor said we shouldn’t put limitations on Austin. We’re going to treat him like we would any other child. Sure, he may have certain cognitive delays, but we will do everything we can to help him “catch up.” It may take him a little longer to achieve certain milestones…and it may not.

On the positive side, He appears to be healthy. Also, he doesn’t have a lot of the “soft markers” or traits of down syndrome, such as the soft palate at the top of the mouth, which can affect speech. He doesn’t have the creases in his hands. Not that it would really matter…we love him just the same. Austin’s pediatrician said he’s very strong…which is definitely in his favor.

No one can see into the future (except God)…so Austin may function at the top of kids with down syndrome…or he may struggle. We just won’t know until he’s older.

I don’t want anyone to feel sorry or be sorry for us. God has given us a precious blessing. Austin was sent straight from Heaven. When I was pregnant, the specialist told me I had a 2% chance of giving birth to a baby with down syndrome. 2%! I KNOW he was given to us for a reason. The second he was put into my arms, I fell in love immediately . There isn’t a diagnosis in the world that will ever change that.

All I wanted to do last night was hold him and tell him how much I love him…and that we’ll do everything we can to help him continue to thrive. He’s so innocent. He didn’t ask for this. It’s our job to give him the best life possible. There are so many people who love and adore him.

There will be a lot of doctor appointments coming up…we just have to make sure everything is okay. They took blood to test his thyroid today. His newborn screening in the hospital showed an elevated thyroid. Ryan has a depleted thyroid, so it could be genetic or related to downs. Luckily, it’s very easy to treat.

Last night was tough. All we can do is take this day by day. I’m so thankful for Austin…he is my most precious blessing.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Now we know

Austin’s blood work came back today and it’s for sure, he has down syndrome. I tried to remain optimistic through all of this. I have to admit, I had a feeling. Call it my mother’s intuition, but I just knew.

Ryan and I do not have down syndrome in our families. Sometimes things like this just happen.

We won’t know how mild or severe it is until he’s older. There isn’t a test that tells you if it’s mild, moderate or severe…it just tells you that the extra chromosome is there. Before we knew for sure, we had a doctor tell us he probably has a mild case. We had another doctor tell us he looked "fine." Then, we had another doctor tell us she thought there was a 60% chance he had down syndrome.

I’m thankful that all of his organs are healthy. He’s thriving.

I just hurt…for him. He’s going to face so many challenges. All I want to do is protect him.

I don’t understand God. However, I know with all my heart that Austin is exactly what God meant for us to have and he’s such a blessing. The minute I found out I was pregnant with him, I loved him. I made the choice to love him and I love him for exactly who he is.

The fact that my son has down syndrome doesn’t change how Ryan or I feel about him. That’s why I didn’t get the amnio in the first place. The risk wasn't worth it to me. It’s just a hard thing to take in…I have so many thoughts and emotions racing through my head.

Tonight was filled with tears from Ryan and I...but now it's time to be strong. I need educate myself.

The doctor wants to see us at 9:00 A.M tomorrow morning. Austin’s thyroid needs to be tested because that’s a common complication in babies/children with downs. Heart defects are another common complication. HOWEVER, the specialist said his heart looked perfect at 20 weeks. All of the doctors that have listened to his heart have said it sounds great. We are still going to a pediatric cardiologist, just to make sure all is well.

More tomorrow.