"I'm concerned that Mason might have Down Syndrome."
These were the words spoken to me the morning after our son was born. Nothing could have prepared me for this and it was one of the most difficult things that I had ever heard. "What makes you think so", I asked.
The Doctor paused and began to explain what he saw--one less crease in the palm of his hands, extra skin on his neck--things I hadn't even noticed. Without other common medical conditions present in children with Down Syndrome, he couldn't be certain until they ran a blood test, the results of which would take two weeks.
In that moment all that I was capable of was to cry and wonder. My mind began to flood with questions right away: What would this mean for our family? What would Mason look like? How would I be capable of raising a child with special needs? Why my son? In the midst of all of these questions, there were three things that I did know:
1. I loved my son.
2. I didn't want my son to have Down Syndrome
3. God was good and sovereign.
Bradley arrived later that morning with the girls and after spending a few minutes together as a family of five for the first time, the Doctor broke the news to Bradley. We cried hard that night and expressed to each other our frustrations, fears, and all sorts of emotions. Bradley went into research mode scrambling to try and understand how our lives might be different, but I couldn't. I wasn't ready to accept it until we had the test results back.
The two weeks waiting for the results were hard. I cried every time I nursed Mason; I cried when I thought about how our life was possibly changing; I cried wishing that it would all just go away. I cried because I didn't want to be crying.
Finally, the results came back--the test was positive for Down Syndrome. We left with stacks of papers full of information and with a son who, although he didn't look much different from our other children, had one extra chromosome that would change the course of his life.
Much has transpired in my heart and mind over the past five months of Mason's life. I still have questions about Mason's future, and our future with him. But, there are three things that I know:
1. I love my son.
2. Although I still struggle with some of the realities Mason faces, there is absolutely nothing I would change about my son.
3. God is good and sovereign.
Mason is a precious gift from God and we love him more and more every day, just as we do our other children. This is a new journey we are on, one we certainly didn't expect, but God is giving us grace every day to face the unknown.
|Mason's first smile caught on camera|
It's taken me months to compose this post. And, now that I've finally written it out for you, I still have much to share! So, I thought I would write it over the month of October. If you've been around this blog for awhile, you might remember my 31 Days series last October, 31 Days of Fall from the Kitchen. The Nester started the 31 series, and I decided to participate again this year. It will have a different flavor this time, but I hope you'll stay around for it. Come back on Monday for my series title and a little introduction.