Let me tell you Grace Margaret’s Story:
“We struggle with fertility issues due to my PCOS. When we got pregnant in 2010 we were overjoyed! Soon, our Joy turned to heartbreak and we lost our son, Ethan at 18w2d in utero. We were devastated! We decided to give it one more try and in November of 2011 we welcomed Brendan Thomas!
He was the light of our lives! We lived happily as a family of 3. Then the thought of Bren not having siblings started to haunt me. I have siblings, my husband has siblings.
In June of 2014 I went back on the fertility medicine. It was awful. I told my husband, I will give it 6 months, if nothing happens, at least I know that we tried. On December 1st, I went into the office for a schedule IUI. It felt differently than any other one, but I didn’t get my hopes up. Then I got sick as a dog, it was December after all-cold and flu season.
December 10th I felt horrible, I decided to take a test. Well the first test was so faint that I couldn’t tell. So I took 5 more tests and they all came back positive!! We were pregnant and going to have another baby!!!
I called the fertility doctors to schedule the blood test ~ that came back positive! We scheduled an ultrasound, they couldn’t find the sac, this was 3 days before Christmas.
I went back to the doctors on December 26th and there it was, a perfect little yoke sac and fetal pole! We were truly pregnant!
Due to my advanced maternal age( I hated that phrase, I was only 37) I was to have frequent ultrasounds. They asked if we wanted genetic testing, we said why? We would love this baby no matter what!
I only got one test, the Nuchal translucency ultrasound, that measures the fluid at the back of the baby’s neck, it is a precursor test to Check for Down Syndrome, mine came back within normal limits.
18 weeks, gender reveal time! We were having a princess!! Tutus and Bows, holy crap, what the heck did I know about that? We were into fire trucks and police cars!
The only abnormal thing about my whole pregnancy was that I had extra fluid ~ boy did she use that like a diving board!
D-Day -August 17th 2015
We drove to the hospital at the butt crack of dawn. We were scheduled for an 8am delivery. I get all hooked up, my husband is being goofy, checking out the equipment, wearing his dorky paper scrubs and a ear to ear grin! In just about an hour, we were going to meet her!! I was so excited!!!
They took me to the OR, I got my spinal and I waited to the show to begin!!
My OB was wonderful, talking to us the whole time, while I was feeling the tugging and pulling and finally, the cry heard around the world!! She was here!! Grace Margaret, a super healthy 9lbs 14oz! As I was getting put back together, I remember I kept asking to see her, why was it taking so long! Finally, they brought my princess over to me. As I gazed on her sweet face, something was different, her eyes were almond shaped. Now, that might not seem like a big deal to some, but the second I saw her, I knew, knew in my heart that my baby was special!
I looked at my husband and said, she has Down Syndrome. He said you can’t possibly know that, I said, I do and she does.
As I was wheeled to the recovery room, I started to cry – why was God giving me this baby! I had grown up with special needs people my whole life, I have two very special uncles.
As I was trying to nurse her, the attending pediatrician came in and said that they had some concerns about Grace. I said, I know what they are, he said you do? I said you suspect that she has Trisomy 21 or Down Syndrome. After confirming the results with a blood test, my world crumbled! I was in shock, I was hurt, I was angry! Angry that God had given us this baby, where was my perfect baby? I cried for an hour! I cried for what I thought she should have been! That was Monday, the best worst day of my life.
Tuesday, Tuesday brought hope, Joy and all the love that I could heap onto this little girl!
The more I realized that God had in fact given us this amazing gift, the more in love I fell. You see, Grace didn’t have any of the typical health issues that Trisomy 21 babies have. She didn’t have heart problems, wow! We dodged that bullet! Grace was AMAZING, soon she became our AMAZING Grace or AG!
I want to share two of my posts from Down Syndrome Awareness day, March 21st.
The first one is from 2016:
3.21 – Today is Down Syndrome Awareness day! I have to be honest, before AG..3.21 was just another day. Today is a day that I am blessed to be aware of! Today is the day that I look at my beautiful daughter and see that her amazing potential isn’t limited to her diagnosis. Today is a day of possibilities, a day that I will tell her you can do or be anything that you want with hard work and determination. Today is the day that I tell her yes, she might look different from other people, but you are beautiful inside and out. Today is the day that I will wipe her tears when people are mean to her, but I will tell her that they are the sorry ones to not have a kind and gentle soul. Today is a day that I explain to her brother that she came to us from heaven with something extra, extra smiles, extra giggles and extra love. Today is a day of hope, a day that I will advocate to eradicate the “R” word, it should never be said, EVER! Today is a day that I will look at my beautiful children and tell them that I love them, how they completed our family and how I couldn’t my life without them!
Today is Down Syndrome Awareness day! This is a day that I am aware of every single day. This is a day that I cherish. I cherish the giggles, the smiles, and the hugs. I cherish the beautiful sound of laughter coming from my children. Today is a day that makes me fearful, fearful that my child won’t be accepted, fearful that she won’t be included and fearful that because of other people’s fear and ignorance she will be made to feel inferior. Today is a day that makes me hopeful, hopeful that people are educated that a diagnosis doesn’t define my child, hopeful that people don’t put limitations on my child, and hopeful that people will continue to advocate for my child. Today is a day that I am grateful. Grateful for the AMAZING support system that AG was born into. Grateful for my Grandparents who were trailblazers and amazing advocates for special education! Grateful for friends that have become family and family that have become friends! Grateful that the important people in her life love her unconditionally, will continue to watch her grow and will be there for her forever.
Today is a day that I will hold dear in my heart, because every time I look into the eyes and hearts of my children, I will continue to be an advocate, be fearful, hopeful and grateful and give and NEVER, ever forget that WE were chosen to have this incredibly special and beautiful child in our lives.” – Heather Smith/AG’s mom
Project submission: Crush Photography