We invited our readers to take stock of the blessings they are thankful for, and to share it with our community. We had some wonderful submissions but our judges overwhelmingly picked the following essay.
Thanks to everyone who wrote us and congratulations to Katie!
It’s amazing what 3 years does to ones perspective… let’s start at the beginning.
Oct. 6th, 2009 I gave birth to a little boy, he weighed 6 lbs, 10oz. He was perfect to Mike and I, but I instinctively knew something wasn’t quite right. He was having a difficult time nursing, he was a really small baby for me, he had jaundice and something about him just looked different.
We weren’t too worried as we thought we were too young to have a baby with Down’s Syndrome and we didn’t have any sort of family history of any sort of birth defect. The pediatrician seemed to come check on him often but again I wasn’t too worried as he was having some difficulty.
Day 2 in the hospital was when the pediatrician came in and told us that he thought our perfect little boy had Down’s Syndrome and wanted to do a blood test to confirm this. My world came crashing in with those words…
I can still hear him saying them in what now seems like slow motion… I thhhiinnk yyoouurrr ssooonnn haaasss Ddoowwnn’s Ssynnddroomee as he picked up his little arm and let it fall to show me his low muscle tone.
We had our baby in Paradise at Feather River Hospital so the ride home that afternoon was the longest, hardest ride of my life. I put ‘Baby of Mine’ from Dumbo on repeat and cried the entire way home. I remember thinking that my world was going to be so different from that point on.
Those first weeks were hard, my days were filled with trips to various specialists, home visits from various providers and lots of people wanting to be supportive but not knowing how to be. If the first weeks were any indication of what lay ahead then we were in for a rough ride. While the road was really rough in the beginning, with time the bumps became fewer, the road became smoother and life became pretty normal!
Fast forward to today… Mitchell is now 3 and is more like any other 3 year old than I ever thought possible. He is rambunctious, crazy, busy and into everything just like his siblings were at 3.
We have had to work hard to get him to this point. It has meant weekly trips out of town to various therapists, learning to teach him in different ways, learning his unique needs.
It has been a pleasure to be his mom, he has taught me so much about determination, hard work and love.
He has taught me that each and every person has something unique to offer to this world. He has shown me how to love without judgement. He has changed my outlook on life.
I am so thankful that I have the opportunity to go down a slightly different path with my wonderful son. Down’s Syndrome has made our family so much better and I will forever be thankful for the Lord’s blessing of Mitchell and his gift of Down’s Syndrome upon our family.