It’s hard to believe this is our second Christmas as parents…and especially parents of a child with Down syndrome. Crazy!
This 2nd Christmas as new parents is much different than our 1st Christmas for a number of reasons.
Last Christmas it had only been ten days since we found out our son had Down syndrome. And only a few days since we were told Noah’s new born screen tested positive for Glutaric acidemia (GA-1) and he’d need to undergo several months of testing to rule it out. (Which, by the way, is why I refer to that week as the scariest week of my life.)
There was so much newness in our life this time last year, and it’s amazing how much more calm this Christmas is compared to last Christmas. Here’s a few of the new things we were experiencing this time last year.
1. We were new parents
We had spent months before Noah was born preparing for his arrival. We had turned my home office into Noah’s nursery. I still remember it like it was yesterday. I remember going to Home Depot with my wife and carefully studying the various paint color options. Taking home handfuls of those small paint sample cards and going back and forth on what the perfect color for Noah’s new nursery should be. Finally deciding on the color. And finally laying down the first coat of paint on the walls of the room that our son would soon call his home.
It was a lot of work (and I learned I’m not a very good painter) but it was fun.
It was so exciting preparing for his arrival.
We read books. We had showers. We got gifts. We bought tons of clothes, and other fun toys. Then we waited for Noah to come. And we waited. And waited. And waited. I’m not a very patient person, and it felt like foooooreeever before hearing the words I longed to hear from my wife’s OBGYN on December 14, 2010:
“We’re going to induce labor tomorrow morning, so be here at 8 am.”
Wow…!!! I couldn’t believe it. We were so excited. So pumped. So ready for this…! (Boy, if I only knew what the next 24 hours had in store.)
2. We were new parents to a child with Down syndrome.
As I’ve mentioned before, pretty much everything I knew about Down syndrome prior to Noah being born I had learned from watching T.V. So not only were we first time parents, we were first time parents of a child with Down syndrome.
By the way, if someone from Barnes and Noble is reading this, it’d be cool if you’d put the down syndrome books closer to to the parenting books for people like me. I had to track back and forth between the two sections.
3. We were experiencing so many new emotions and feelings.
I can’t even begin to describe all of the new emotions and feelings we were experiencing. We were new parents, we had just found out our son had Down syndrome, we had also just found out he may have been born with GA-1; our entire universe at had just changed in the blink of an eye. But we still had a wonderful first Christmas with our little boy (and he scored lots of fun christmas gifts!)
(By the way, each of us are only one phone call away from having our entire lives changed by the way. Such is the adventure of life.)
I have to say this year, with all it’s ups and downs (pun intended) has been the best year of my life. I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I am so madly in love with my wife and little boy. I know it sounds sort of cliché but I really feel like I’m living a dream. God has invited each of us in to this awesome story He is writing. It’s the adventure of a life time, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Here are some images from our son’s second Christmas. It was a sweet, sweet time in our home. And I’m looking forward to many more.
By the way, I know it’s summer but what better time to think about Christmas than in July! How did you and your family spend this last Christmas? Do you have any fun family traditions?