Parker’s birth announcement


Having a baby diagnosed at birth with Down syndrome is a tumultuous time. Your life has just been turned on its head in one irrevocable moment, and your brain doesn’t stop churning for hours. Plus you have a newborn to look after, which is all encompassing in itself.

I delayed my birth announcement for two days- for no reason other than it was too much to think about! His diagnosis was so important to me I didn’t want to tritely leave it out- but I also didn’t want to word it poorly or leave questions. I waited until after his echocardiogram so I could let everyone know his medical condition in the same post.

I finally made it on the 17th, two days after his birth, and here it is.

The thing that stands out for me is how excited I was!

It had been a huge few months (at this point no one knew my partner and I had already separated) and it was just nice to share some news with my friends and start my new life.

“Its official- he ran out of womb! Baby Parker arrived in a big rush (30mins after we got to the Mater) on Tuesday 15 Jan at 5:08pm. He’s a beautiful, chubby boy with dark hair and the most kissable cheeks. He’s already a ladies man, with all the nurses fussing over him!

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His first few days have been a whirlwind as he was taken to Special Care soon after his birth with some breathing difficulties and a high cell count. Day before yesterday we received test results to confirm that Parker has Down syndrome. This has come as a big shock to us- however we chose in the beginning not to bother testing during pregnancy as it wouldn’t have changed anything for us. He is already feeding well and his initial (very) scary heart tests and checks we had to wait on have come back today with big perfect ticks. He is 100% healthy and awesome.

 

 

 

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In the coming weeks and months we are going to need as much support as possible but right now we need some space in our happy little bubble, and your congratulations and well wishes. For those of you who know Annerley it is important that Parker is simply her beautiful baby brother – as he is for Ben and I. Anything else she needs to know will become clearer over time.

 

 

 

 

 

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Parker, the day his birth announcement was made- two days old.

 

If you would like more information about Down syndrome or how you can help us the Down syndrome Assoc Qld (www.dsaq.org.au) have some great information for family and friends. We’d love you to read it and fill us in later on what you learned- right now we’re busy with our beautiful newborn!!”

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How did you write your birth or diagnosis announcement?

Leave your story in comments below.


9 comments
Mandy Whiley - April 21, 2015

We didn’t know until Elliott, who is now five, was a day old that he might have Down syndrome and didn’t know until he was five days old that he did for sure. I never made a public announcement but instead announced his birth without a mention of anything. After a while i started a blog and linked it on Facebook.

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katie - April 15, 2015

I didn’t use Facebook as it felt too impersonal. I wrote the following email and sent to all my friends and family, bearing in mind that Lucinda was born in Chile where we had very few friends and no family.

To my dear friends and family,

I am writing to you because just under 24 hours ago we welcomed a very special little girl into the world, our daughter and 4th child Lucinda Poppy Elizabeth Rodwell. I know a lot of you will have already read the news and seen the photo on Facebook, however there is more about Lucinda that I need you to know and which I won’t be sharing on Facebook.

To our great shock and, I have to admit great distress, Lucinda was born with Down’s Syndrome. Given you are my nearest and dearest from all around the world I wanted you to know this news first hand without having to take a guess from a photo you might see on Facebook or hear the news through other people and not be sure what to say to me. We had no indication that this was a possibility as all prenatal screenings came back normal and low risk. I wish I could call each of you individually because I know I would draw great strength from your love and friendship.

I haven’t even had a day to digest the news myself so I’m sure you can appreciate what an emotional roller coaster Chris and I are currently riding. There have been more tears shed today than I ever thought possible but I’m happy to say that I am ending the day with a slightly clearer mind and positive hopes for Lucinda and our entire family.

What I do know is that this is a new life that I want celebrated in the same way as we have celebrated our 3 boys. While I’m sure we’ll face some obstacles ahead, at this point all signs are showing that Lucinda will be able to enjoy a full and happy life with all of our love and support. When you meet her I know that you will embrace her energy and spirit in the same way as you have done so with Max, Harri and Oscar.

Sending love, hugs and kisess to you all wherever you may be in the world.

Katie
xxx

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Alana - April 15, 2015

Kat you have such a way with words. Your post made me look back at the announcement we made. We actually made 2 announcements – one the day he was born then another announcing that Angus had DS once we got his fish test back. Reading it again takes me right back to those early days

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Kathy - August 13, 2014

My great niece has Down Syndrome and 5 years later, she is STILL the center of attention and the love of all of our lives! She is beautiful, creative, and always a joy to be around. Congratulations on the birth of your son and may you have many wonderful, sunny days ahead with your precious babe.

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Christopher OHara - August 13, 2014

Your story is lovely,and god bless your family and your child, but it’s kind of the same for most parents of Downs children…..our Daughter Katie’s story is somewhat funny looking back….she is 17 years old now and has just graduated from mainstream secondary school with a Fetac level 2 degree…the story goes….my wife Catherine and I were in the hospital for a check up and my wife having had concerns as she felt something wasn’t right, was seen by a junior doctor who told us all was ok …to go home and come back for our next check up the week later…..the reason they were checking a lot was that our first child Stephanie had been stillborn when she was delivered in this same hospital 11 years earlier…..but my wife refused to go home and wanted a second opinion,and another consultant came to see us, did a check up on my wife and her tummy and announced that there was a problem as our baby was in some distress,and would have to therefore perform an emergency section….which happened within minutes literally,and I was present …YES…and glad I was…..when our baby came out of my wife’s tummy…the midwife and consultant ran with her to give her a full check up ….then the consultant called me over and said to me ….does baby look like anyone in mummy’s family…I said no ….he replied .does baby look like anyone in daddy’s family again I said no ….he then said who does she look like and I replied she looks like the midwife….the midwife was of Asian origin….he and she looked at me and said what did you say and I replied…she looks like the midwife,but it’s ok I know what you mean, she is Downs,but she is alive so that’s all that matters to us….the consultant said how are going to tell mammy and I said I will tell her and it will be ok as our first child was stillborn and this child is healthy and alive and we love her so,so much,so again it doesn’t matter,we will be fine…..it was hard and we said all those things afterwards when we were told,,,she may never,speak,walk,see ,hear,develop properly and all that other pooh ah that goes with that first conversation about your Downs child’s future….but as I said here we are 17 years on and just graduated from mainstream school…and moving on to a four year course to help her become more socially capable and teach her independent living and other skills which she will need to continue to be a part of our bigger community…..and for her own self esteem and future….my daughter ..my life Katie Aoife O Hara .

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    Mandy - April 21, 2015

    Bless your Katie! I have never understood why everyone thinks it’s the worse thing in the world to have a child with DS! I have always been happy to have my healthy precious little Elliott even though it’s hard sometimes. He gives the BEST hugs! His struggles break my heart and then his hugs heal it.

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Elizabeth - August 13, 2014

Your birth announcement is still on my phone and still makes me cry. I’ll forever feel very honored that I could stand by your side in those early days. It was clear from the start this little man would be bring more joy than any of the other emotions put together! xoxo

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Danielle - August 13, 2014

This was our diagnosis announcement after an amino at 20 weeks:

This is our baby boy. He is loved beyond words. He is approximately 11 inches long and weighs just over a pound. He’s got all ten fingers and ten toes. He also has Down syndrome.

Just after Christmas, routine blood work came back with some red flags. In early January, an amniocentesis confirmed what doctors had suspected. It shook our world. We were presented with facts, statistics and options. Overwhelming doesn’t even begin to describe the moments, days and weeks shortly after. We’ve cried and we’ve grieved. We’ve asked “why us?”, “why him?” and if there was anything we could have done differently. We’ve done a lot of reading and learning and will continue to do so. We’ve especially learned that at the best of times, life is unpredictable but the best surprise is the love and support we have received. This little man is a gift.

It’s day by day. So far he’s doing really well. He’s growing nicely and doctors will continue to keep a close eye on him (and me) as he develops in the next few months. We’re still working through thoughts and emotions and we have a hard time with “condolences” or “I’m sorry”. A pity party does no good. We’re not shy to talk about him. We’re more than willing to answer any questions you may have. It’s not an off topic conversation. But we’re trying to be positive, keep our chins up and keep sadness out. We can’t do anything about the Down syndrome, but we can love the heck out of this little guy. At the end of the day, it is what it is and he’s our baby boy. He just happens to have an extra chromosome.

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