Friday, March 21, 2014

Meet my inspiration!!!

Today is National Down Syndrome Day!!!!

In honor of this very special day, I thought I would introduce you to the inspiration behind the "Andrew" stamp!!!

This is my son, he will be a teenager in June!!  Wow!!
I was 37 when I got pregnant with Andrew.  Though all my previous pregnancies were considered high risk--solely based on my advanced maternal age--my entire pregnancy with him was perfectly normal.  I even had an AFP test done and it came back NORMAL!!  Ultrasounds were all normal.
When I was giving birth, my husband noticed that Andrew's face had features of Down's Syndrome, but said nothing and tried to enjoy the experience.  When I got to hold him, Andrew was very lethargic.  But in my joy, I noticed nothing unusual.  I asked my husband to take him to the nursery after half an hour and he was eager to do so, he wanted to ask the pediatrician about his son.
When my husband found the pediatrician, he asked point blank, "Does my son have Down's Syndrome?"  At first, the doctor didn't want to give a definite answer but eventually said "Yes, I am 99% sure that he does."  My husband's heart ached for his son.  He asked the pediatrician to come with him so that he could break the news to me.  He brought the baby's godparents with him as well, telling them out in the hallway before they came in to break the news to me.  They all cried and hugged, they were sure I would be devastated.
What my husband and friends could not know, was that when they took the baby to the nursery, I was alone and exhausted.  I laid my head back and said a simple Thank you to my heavenly Father for such a beautiful little boy.  It was then that I heard a nearly audible voice.  It was my heavenly Father speaking in such clarity, it was unmistakable.  "Your son has Down Syndrome, but he will be fine, I am looking after him."  I closed my eyes and said, "Thank you."
When my husband returned from taking Andrew to the nursery, he came in with the godparents, the midwife who had delivered the baby, and the pediatrician.  They all looked at me with very solemn faces.
I asked how Andrew was doing because he seemed so lethargic and sleepy.  That was when the pediatrician spoke up.  "He is doing fine, he is sleepy, but that happens sometimes after delivery.  But we did find something that we wanted to talk to you about.  We are pretty sure the baby has Down's syndrome."  Everyone in the room seemed to hold their breath.  They looked at me, waiting for me to fall apart so they could be my support.
I looked at the pediatrician and said, "Ok."  Now everyone in the room looked at each other with a curious look.  Perhaps I missed it.  Perhaps I didn't understand what he had just said.
In fact, the pediatrician said "No, I don't think you understand.  We think your baby has Down's syndrome.  Do you know what that is?"
I said "Yes, I know what that is.  And what you don't understand is, that is my child.  I am in love with him  already and it doesn't matter what it is, I still love him completely.  God gave us this VERY special gift and I am honored to be his mother, no matter what!!!"
My husband and the godparents suddenly stopped crying and looked at me in disbelief.  Fully understanding what I was saying but still shocked at how accepting I was of his condition.
Understand, very few parents have that kind of immediate reaction to the news that their child has been born with Down Syndrome and that is ok.  I understand the need for some people to grieve when they hear the news.  That just wasn't necessary for me.  I've always believed God gives very special children to very special people.  I am still honored to be one of those people!!!