Before this blog was started I wrote about our journey on my personal website (I’ve since have closed that site down, and have focused my blogging efforts here.) If you’ve read Noah’s birth story you know we had no idea Noah was born with Down syndrome until several hours after his birth. As we were thinking about ways to tell our friends we decided the easiest thing to do was to write a blog post that we would email out / post on social media..vs calling each one of them. (We did call our closest friends and family, this is just how we let the “masses” know.
Below I decided to post a copy of that blog post for anyone who may be interested.
Spoiler Alert: Our Son Was Born With Down Syndrome
(Dec 16, 2010)
(Sorry for the spoiler, but if you’re anything like me, this much text can be overwhelming!)
Wow. There are no words that can describe the rush of emotions that Abbie and I have experienced in the last 24 hours.
We were told on Tuesday that Abbie would be induced at 7 am on Wednesday. We came into the hospital and waited for Noah (our son) to arrive. After almost 12 hours of labor, the doctor decided to perform a C-section on Abbie. (This was not an emergency C-section, and I was allowed to be in the delivery room; behind the curtain, of course). Shortly after, Noah David Smith, was born! We were so happy, excited, thrilled, and all of the rest. Around ten pm, last night, we were informed that Noah was born with Down syndrome. We didn’t see this one coming, and as you can imagine we had even more emotions. (Fear, disappointment, worry, but mixed with the same joy, and excitement that we already had).
Noah was able to spend the night in our room, and today we were told that Noah’s heart had an Atrial Sepal Defect (my wife is a Doctor, but for the non-medical people out there, like me, it means that Noah has a small hole in his heart, and that one of the connections is still open as well.) Our cardiologist told us that this wasn’t considered “major”, and that it could have been much more serious, and in fact may heal itself without surgery. (We are praying that is what happens!)
We are waiting for him to take his first “poop.” He hasn’t yet, we really need him to soon to confirm he doesn’t have any medical issues with that. So PLEASE be praying for that! Noah then passed his hearing screening at 100% in both ears! (Which is great because he has a dad who really enjoys talking!)
If you are anything like Abbie, and I you may be at a loss of what to say (we certainly are), or not sure how to respond to us. We are hurting, happy, and confused all at the same time; and are just as confused as you may be. We wanted to just say a few things that we hope would make things more comfortable for everyone.
- We are ok. Seriously. We are extremely happy, and any fear we have is quickly overshadowed by the deep love we have for Noah! So if you were wondering if you should still get us a “Congratulations” card you most certainly may! This is a time to celebrate, not morn. Trust us – Noah is very, VERY much alive. (You really have to see the little guy, he is full of energy!)
- Please feel free to talk to us about any of this. We are VERY much open to talk about anything we are feeling, so please don’t feel as if you have to avoid the subject around us. You don’t. Feel free to ask anything. Seriously. We mean this.
- Be prepared to see us cry. Seriously we can cry at the drop of the hat. There are just so many emotions going through our hearts right now, but we can also stop crying just as just as quickly as we started. Don’t feel bad, or awkward, really. Just tell us a good joke or something! ☺
- Yes, you can hold Noah. (Unless you’re a twitter stranger, or cyber stalker). Noah is not broken. He LOVES people, and likes to be held like any other baby. You can touch him, hold him, play with him, and kiss him, everything you would do with any other baby. Down Syndrome is not contiguous, so you don’t have to worry about catching it!
- Keep being our friend, praying for us, and reminding us that God knows what He is doing. Seriously. We really need you guys. More than ever! So every text, phone call, or visit counts! Also, if you are someone who prays, pray for us as often as you remember! We are in a bit of shock about all of this, and really need the Lords comfort. We believe that God is in control of everything, and it is an honor when people pray to God on our behalf. (Oh, and we love hugs!) ☺
- If you know me at all, then you know I’m very easy-going. I think having a sense of humor is important in everything that we do. So what I’m about to say is my attempt to have some humor with one of the most awkward things about all of this – what do you say to us? The answer – whatever you want. However I will caution you that we fully know that Noah is “Special;” that we are “blessed;” and “that things are going to be challenging, but we can do it!”
I sometimes say these things as sort of”filler” because I’m not sure what else is appropriate to say. You don’t have to. I am giving you permission to have some fun with us! Let me give you three alternative phrases to give you some more creative ideas; 1.) Wow – I bet you guys didn’t see this one coming. 2.) Hey did you know Sarah Palin has a baby named Trig that has Down Syndrome? I wonder where she got the name Trig? 3.) Wow – your baby has fat cheeks! 4.) Merry Christmas!
Of course, you can say we are blessed, and he is special to. We just want you to know that you don’t have to watch your words, or feel like you are walking on eggshells around us. You aren’t.
Ok, that’s all we’ve got for now. If I think of more, I’ll add them later. We just wanted you all to know you don’t have to walk on eggshells around us, or Noah. We really are ok. We really trust God. We really are excited. We really are nervous. We really love Noah. And we really like Chick-Fli-a. Thanks for your friendship, and support as start on this new journey in our life!
Psalm 139: 13-18
-Rick, Abbie, and Noah
“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. 14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. 15 My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. 16 Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. 17 How precious to me are your thoughts, O’ God! How vast is the sum of them! 18 Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand— when I awake, I am still with you.”