Brian & I met on July 1st, 2005. We feel in love & married on February 24, just 7 months later. We both wanted children. We tried with no success. Two surgeries later we decided to try IVF. We implanted all 3 of our surviving embryos. For us it was our one & only chance. The cost was simpy too expensive to try agian. We went in for our first visit following the implant and there they were... ALL 3 HEARTBEATS!!! We were over joyed. About 8 to 9 weeks into the pregnancy, there were only 2 heartbeat. We lost a baby. The rest of the pregnancy was hard at times, but we were thankful for the 2 remaining babies. We went to all the best doctors and specialist. They all said the babies were fine & healthy... one girl & one boy! Never did any of them say anything about Down syndrome.
On October 11, 2007 our beautiful TWINS were born. It was the most bitter sweet day of my life. The nurse brought the babies to our room for the first time since birth to breast feed. She handed Jayce over to me & no success, he would not fed. She then handed me Olivia. When she opened her eyes..., with no past experience or really knowing what it was... the question came out of me from nowhere... "Does she have Down syndrome or something?" The nurse said most babies with Downs don't breast feed. Well Olivia was a pro from the first suck!
Later that day the pediatrician came to our room. He said Olivia does have some signs of Down syndrome, but to make sure they would have to do blood test. About a week later, it was confirmed... she did have Trisomy 21 (Down syndrome). I never asked God "Why", I simply asked Him to give me whatever I'd need to successfully raise the gifts He had just given to us.
We were then sent to Children's hospital in New Orleans to see a cardiologist. She had a leaking PDA (a vessel that should have closed on it's own, but didn't, it was pumping too much blood into her lungs). At 19 days old she had a successful surgery to clamp off the bleeding. Thank God!
It was a very stressful week in recovery. We had to watch her lay there almost lifeless, attached to several life lines. The most hurtful part of it all was to know she & her brother were separated for the first time, after being SO close inside of me for 36 weeks. What a happy reunion for us all on the 7th day when we were able to take her back home with us!
Brian, nor I knew anything about Down syndrome. We have learned so much in the past two years. I have created a web site called http://www.blessedbydowns.org/ It is still very new & I would love suggestions, information, 'happy pictures', your story, etc... to put on the site. It is registered with the NDSS. They have provided me with lots of information, so if you are a new parent, please ask me how you can receive a packet!!!
We truly feel like we were Blessed By Downs. Our babies are our life. I thank God everyday for our exceptional pair He has given us. I will tell you I never would have said "God please send me a child with Down syndrome!" I did ask for "happy & healthy" babies and that is what I got. Today I can honestly say... Olivia and Jayce are perfect EXACTLY the way God created them!!!