At 37 weeks, after a day of not being his usual active self, our doctors made the decision to deliver two weeks earlier than planned. This day would officially become Aiden’s birthday. This was my second pregnancy and second c-section, so I knew the drill and was so ready to meet our boy!
Aiden was born at 3:05pm weighing just 5lbs 9oz. As a mom, when you see your baby for the first time, so many things typically go through you mind. What went through mine that day was something I never imagined for my life. From the moment they held Aiden up, in my heart I knew.
Aiden has Down syndrome.
After getting to the mom/baby floor and settled in our room, we had the sweetest nurse tell us to keep an eye on Aiden because he seemed to be a little shaky, which can be a sign of low blood sugar. At around 9pm they checked his blood sugar, and his levels were extremely low, like dangerously low! This got him a trip to the floor nursery, which eventually turned into a move to NICU after they realized not only were his blood sugar levels but his oxygen levels were also low. After a few hours of Aiden being in the NICU, my husband was finally allowed up to see him, since I was still stuck in bed after my C-section. Shortly after he got up there, he called me. He began to tell me the doctors had noticed some characteristics in Aiden, I interrupted, “they think he has Down syndrome don’t they,” I said. He said, “Yes,” and that they wanted to do genetic testing. I told him they could do whatever testing they wanted but I already knew. I knew from the moment I saw Aiden.
Of course, that is not how I imagined the day to end. A day that started with excitement to meet our baby quickly turned into a day of unknowns and confusion. As someone who knew nothing about Down syndrome, naturally I was scared, worried and, honestly, a little sad. What would this mean for Aiden? For his health or his future? And what would this mean for our family?
I wish I could go back to that day and tell myself what it would mean to our family! It meant our house would be filled with the most loving boy in the world. Yeah, our lives have been filled with tons of appointments and therapies but we’ve also grown so much as parents and a family getting to watch Aiden grow and learn and succeed. I wish I could tell myself that day that I’d be learning things like patience, pure joy, and hard work from such a tiny little human.
Aiden is now 2 and a half years old. Last summer we learned that Aiden also has cerebral palsy. This was big curve ball for us and it’s never easy to process a diagnosis. It kind of made me feel like we were back to square one, like the day we found out Aiden has Down syndrome but we have learned so much in the last 2 years that this time it wasn’t as scary. We are working to set him up for whatever he needs to succeed, in whatever way that is for Aiden! Because yea, compared to his peers, he does have developmental delays. He’s still not sitting independently, or walking or talking, but boy does he try hard to keep up with his big sister and little brother. I’ve learned that’s okay that he’s not a “typical” 2 year old! I’m learning to love the stage we’re in, to appreciate and enjoy this moment, where we are now and not constantly worrying about the future. Aiden WILL do things, maybe a little differently but perfect in his own time and own way! We honestly cannot be more blessed to have Aiden in our life and we thank God everyday for the joy Aiden brings to not only our life but everyone around him!