Tuesday, March 17, 2009

They grow up so fast...

March 20, 2008

6 weeks

I can't believe my baby is almost 1. It is still very fresh in my mind, the day I called the Dr. back after my amnio, and found out he would have Trisomy 21 and that he may not make it to term due to possible abnormailities with his heart. We were given the option to terminate, but that was not an option I could live with. We soon found out that his heart was basically good, and it just had a small hole, but otherwise he was healthy.

I am still glad we got the prenatal diagnosis as it gave us time to learn more about Down syndrome. I have to admit that finding information (other than the statistic that something like 80% of mothers who get a prenatal diagnosis abort) from others who had prenatal diagnosis and gave birth, was fairly difficult. I finally ran across a site from the UK that showed problably 50 picutres of smiling happy children with Down Syndrome, and after seeing that website, I had the first sense that everything would be OK.

Another thing I remember reading early, was that a baby with Down Syndrome is a baby first. Ben, like many other babies, decieded he did not want to wait until his due date and decided to show up early, on the first day of the NCAA Basket Ball Tournament. I still think his Dad had somethingto do with that. When I finally got to hold my little bundle, after he was thoroughly poked and prodded, I wondered how anyone could possibly not consider him a normal baby. He smelled like a baby, he looked like a baby, and he sounded like a baby. I remember the skin on his back was the softest skin I had ever felt. He also kept me up at night just like my other two boys had. Sure he was a little bit floppier than my other boys were, in fact he still is. His is also not hitting his milestones as quickly as his brothers did, but he is hitting them, at his own pace.

I feel so blessed to be given the opportunity to look after this special guy. His is a very social, happy baby, who has brought us more joy than I ever could have imagined. He is truly a gift that I did not know I needed until after he arrived. He has taught us to slow down, to enjoy life, to embrace differences, and that the most important thing we have is each other. Who knew that a baby could be such a great teacher.

4 months

7 months

9 months

Ben at age 1