"We now have a little “ginger” one-year-old boy who loves squash, his dog Arnold, and his big Sister Ali with all his heart and has Down Syndrome.” We are not alone anymore-connected to Parent to Parent/Children’s Village and many other parents.
January 2015 for my family was the most exciting and surprising time in our lives. My husband, Levi, and I just found out that after about 6 years of hoping for another child that we would give our daughter Ali who was 9 at the time a sibling. We were over the moon.
I had bought a cute “Big Sister” shirt to surprise her with after giving her a card and a picture of the ultrasound at 10 weeks. Our check-up went normal, everything looked great. Of course I had asked the same questions as I had with Ali, I was a little more concerned since I was older. I was 37 which is not old, but for starting over it felt like it was. The doctors gave me the statistics of things that could happen, since none of the scenarios ran in my family, we never really worried.
1 in 695 babies are born with Down syndrome; that is a .001% odds -that is lottery odds; my family has never won the lottery. Well we won the lottery this time! At our twenty week check-up we were excited to find out the sex of the baby, it was a boy; we also saw only 3 chambers of the heart and were referred to UW. We went to our first University of Washington appointment hoping for it to be just a bad view, it wasn’t. My husband and I sat down in a cold room staring at each other until the news was broken. “Your son has a congenital heart defect, and…..markers for Down syndrome”. We both cried, we were heartbroken.
After a rough weekend we decided that it was time to move forward with our news, my husband thankfully was the stronger of the two. We were connected with the Parent to Parent at Children’s Village while we went to appointment after appointment, and then, at 32 weeks, it was 2 weekly stress tests and then the news of having to have the baby in Seattle, 200 miles away from home. I had a really rough time, I couldn’t see past the diagnosis. I didn’t think I could do this. I remember one day at work I got a phone call from another mom of a child with Down syndrome. I cried talking to her. She just listened. It was probably the first time I felt like someone “Got it”.
Colton Reid came barreling into this world on August 30, 2015 after a C-Section. When I saw him, I just knew it was going to be ok. He was rushed off to Seattle Children’s due to medical issues; he surprised UW doctors a little. We spent 30 days at Seattle Children’s before we came home. Colton had his heart repair in January and we stayed another 32 days at Seattle Children’s. One last bump in the road was when Colton was airlifted to Seattle for our 3rd longest stay due to lung issues.
Finally, after all of those stays, we got to start our life with our 5 month old baby boy in Yakima. The hardest thing I have ever done in my life has turned into the most rewarding. Children’s Village has helped me connect with other parents. One new friend I just recently connected with, and I found out we were pregnant at the same time with our special babies. Our children are about two weeks apart.
Colton just turned the big “One”. We had the biggest celebration for him and for us. We made it a year. We now have a little “ginger” one-year-old boy who loves squash, his dog Arnold, and his big Sister Ali with all his heart. He can roll over and is working on standing, doesn’t let anything stop him, who says momma, da-da, bye-bye, and is currently working on his parade wave.
Everyone falls in love with him where ever he goes. He is a spitting image of his dad and has my toes…and also Down syndrome. We attended the Children’s Buddy Walk in October for the 2nd time. I enjoy meeting other families and supporting Colton. We recently graduated from the Holland program that is offered through Parent to Parent.
We have proudly established Colton’s Crew, who has been there every step of the way cheering us on, and our new found friends who we have met through Parent to Parent that are now part of our lives. I don’t know where I would be today without all the love and support of the families who reached out to me and Amy from Parent to Parent. They helped me through my darkest days, and I am so glad