Monday, October 5, 2015

31 for 21 Day 5: The Congratulations Project

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. - Psalm 139:14
The moments surrounding all of my kids' births are ones that I will never forget. I can recall details about being in labor for each and their unique entrances into this world. However, the moments involved in Colin's birth story are ones that I can recall differently and in vivid details that are not the same for Kailey and Cody.
For the most part, my pregnancy with Colin was quite normal and uneventful aside from a short blip when we were referred to a high risk doctor for a level II ultrasound because of a "bright spot on the baby's heart". After a lengthy visit with a doctor who had a bedside manner that was much to be desired, he explained it was a calcium deposit that was a soft marker for Down Syndrome. He slapped a paper on the desk and slid it across the way to us and basically said that the only way we could know for sure was if we had an amnio followed by "what is your decision?". We declined and followed up 6 weeks later; the deposit was gone and the doctor said "see, everything is fine! You're baby doesn't have Down Syndrome!".
The people that left home that day Colin was born were not the same people that arrived back 3 days later..;

Colin made his entrance into this world after scaring us half to death when his heart rate dropped for an extended period of time and the moment he was here I knew something was different. I knew that the doctors and nurses were acting funny and I knew because when he opened his eyes and looked at me for the first time, his eyes looked "different". Shortly after Colin's birth, his pediatrician told us they were testing him for Down Syndrome and everything changed.

Chris and I were frightened and emotional but had immediately fallen in love with Colin. Despite the emotions that were bubbling over inside of both of us, Chris and I just knew that he was ours and we were going to do whatever it took so that he knew we loved him (no matter how scared and hurt we felt). And so began this beautiful life together...

The other day, this video popped up in my news feed and it brought back so many feelings from those early days that I hadn't thought about or felt in so long. It is called The Congratulations Project and is "an initiative in which members of the PALS family write letters to new members of the Down Syndrome community. These letters are designed to inspire, encourage, welcome, and most importantly, congratulate parents and siblings of a child with Down Syndrome".
I know that looking back on those frightened parents who were in love with their baby, we would have loved to have received a letter like this one. What a wonderful project... #thecongratulationsproject

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