Friday, February 27, 2009

Fun! Blog award!

Cheri at Raising Reid has awarded me the Premios Dardos blog award. This award acknowledges the values that every blogger shows in his or her effort to transmit cultural, ethical, literary, and personal values every day. Thanks Cheri!!
And in the spirit of passing along the love, here's how it works:
Step 1: respond and rework -- answer the questions on your own blog, replace one question that you dislike with a question of your own invention, add one more question of your own.
Step 2: tag - eight (I only did 4, sorry!) other bloggers to do the same.

1) What are you wearing right now? Jeans, a black shirt and an off white sweater jacket.
2) What is your biggest fear? Losing a close family member, ie: husband, daughter, son, sister, parents
3) Do you nap a lot? I wish!
4) Who is the last person you hugged? My husband, Mike.
5) What websites to you visit when you go online?My favorite blogs, Facebook, babycenter.
6) What was the last item you bought? A "couple" of items from Target:)
7) If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go? Honestly, I would just love to go on a tropical vacation with my husband and maybe a few other couples- no kids! We haven't done that since before be had kids.
8) If you could go to the Oscars, who would you want to sit next to? Oh, I don't know, I'm not really into drooling over Hollywood stars or treating them like they are that special but if I had to choose maybe Reese Witherspoon??
9) Has a celebrity's hair cut ever influenced your own hairstyle?
Yes, Victoria Beckham aka: Posh Spice! Very into her cut last summer (like everyone else and their mother!) but now I think I'm over it and I'm going to grow it out some. Still like it tapered in the back though.
10) What is your most frightening moment? I think at the time- finding out Bennett had Down syndrome. I know that may sound bad but at the time and until you've experienced that, you think it's the end of the world. I just didn't know anything about DS and I'm still learning. But that was one of my worst fears when I first found out I was pregnant- what if something is wrong with this baby? Now I know better.
11) What was the last movie you watched? Fool's Gold with Kate Hudson- on demand though. We haven't been to a theater in so long.
12) What is the luckiest thing that ever happened to you? Gosh, I think I may have to replace this because I'm just not the kind of person that wins things or gets really cool deals. Strange things seem to happen to me... So my #12 question will be: What do you regret? Right now for me it's having a c-section with Harper after having one with Ainsley. Now I have to have one with Bennett and if we ever have a fourth (most likely not going to happen!)- I just feel like that's risky and having 4 c-sections is not safe- I don't know. Also, it would be nice to say I've experienced child birth- not that I think I'm any less of a women because I haven't- recovery from a c-section is no cake walk-but I can't participate in the conversation when child birth comes up.
13) If you had a whole day to yourself with no work, commitments or interruptions what would you do? Probably go shopping by myself if I had a bunch of money to spend!
14) Is there a major goal you have that you haven't yet achieved? Being patient-don't think that will ever happen! I've been working on it all my life.
15) Drinks are on the house!! What do you order? Well, it used to be a Margarita! But now I'll go for a glass of wine- well, not right now, but once Bennett is born I will!
16) What is something that those in blog land might not know about you? Hmm, don't think I've mentioned I'm a runner. Still running at 27 weeks pregnant and hope to continue as long as I can.
17) My added question: What is something simple that relaxes you and you enjoying doing? For me, I love reading my "People" magazine in front of the TV while eating chocolate chip cookies and caffeine free Diet Coke-uninterrupted! I said simple- that's pretty simple to me and it makes me happy!
Now for the love, in no particular order ...

Jeanette at Down Right Faith
Michelle at Our Road's Traveled

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

New Prenatal Testing

New Prenatal Testing. I got this from Megan while reading her blog today, thanks Megan!

Well, here you go, read it and take from it what you want. It makes me sad honestly. Is Down syndrome so bad people, that we have to target it and come up with the earliest test possible so women can have plenty of time to abort and not feel as bad about it? Yep, I'm saying it, this is my blog and my baby and this is how I feel. I'm sure this will be great news for many but for people in my shoes it's kind of a slap in the face, quite honestly.

And the line about more time to plan- do you really need 7 months to prepare?? I realize it takes some people longer to grieve or get used to the idea that their baby will have DS but I also feel the earlier you find out the bigger the temptation is to just end it. I just don't see why they are targeting DS. I think that is my biggest issue here. Again, I take it personally like my little Bennett isn't good enough and his life isn't worth living- seriously, that makes me cry.

I've copied a few key sentences italicised from the article:
New Safety, New Concerns In Tests for Down Syndrome
By Rob Stein ,Washington Post Staff Writer,Tuesday, February 24, 2009; A01

Several experts agreed that the Sequenom test and others in development show great promise, potentially offering women either an earlier chance to end a pregnancy or more time to prepare for caring for a child with disabilities.

"We have a history in this country of a eugenics movement where people tried to eliminate certain people from the gene pool," said Andrew J. Imparato of the American Association of People With Disabilities. "People could start wondering, 'How did you get born?' "

Advocates worry that such tests could increase the number of women getting inaccurate information that makes life for people with Down syndrome and their families sound worse than it really is.
"We have a nation of physicians who are unprepared for explaining a diagnosis of Down syndrome," said Brian Skotko, a physician at Children's Hospital in Boston who works with the National Down Syndrome Society. "Many overemphasize the negative consequences or outright urge women to terminate their pregnancies."

Skotko, whose sister has Down syndrome, predicted such tests would result in fewer babies being born with the condition.

"Every day my sister teaches me lots of life lessons -- to laugh when others are mocking me, to keep on trying when obstacles are thrown my way," he said. "If there were a world with fewer people with Down syndrome, I think the world would miss all these important lessons."

Wow, I wish this were Bennett's doctor! Not that we have bad doctors but to have an advocate as your doctor would be really nice.

Again, I don't want this blog to be about pro-choice or pro-life. This blog is about my family and our life and now we obviously will have Bennett in our lives and you better believe I am going to be an advocate for my child. This is about Down syndrome and hopefully showing people that just because you may look a little different or act a little different shouldn't make you less desirable as someones son, daughter, brother, sister, grandson, granddaughter or friend. I hope and pray that my girls will learn this from their brother, to never "judge a book by it's cover!" And again, I'm not sitting here judging others that may have made a choice to abort a baby with DS- it's not my place to judge- do I like it? No, but that doesn't mean I hold something against people that have done this. I just hope by me blogging about my experiences on this whole journey, maybe someone will see that, maybe it's not that bad. Maybe having the "perfect" baby isn't all about being the smartest, prettiest, best athlete, coolest, maybe it's about giving someone the opportunity, whether we think or assume it can happen or not to show us what they can become or what they can overcome.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Harper In a "Big Girl" Bed...

Sooo not happening. Yes, today the plan was to paint Bennett's room ( which I did, eventually, a very nice beige/brown- I will post pics when I have the finished product with all his bedding and things) so I thought let's just give Harper a little trial run in her soon to be (hopefully) bed. Bennett is getting Harper's current room and she will have twin beds in her new room where I have the little rails on one of the beds for her. Now, the crib does not convert into a toddler bed and I refuse to buy one when I have two, perfectly nice twin beds that we plan to use for guests when we have them, plus Bennett will get the crib.

Anyways, let me just add that we put Ainsley in a big bed about a month after she turned 2 and Harper is almost 22 months so I realize it's a tad bit earlier but I thought just maybe. Also, when we had Ainsley in a bed she laid there like a mummy and did not get out until I came and got her- such an angel- I know. Well that's not happening with Harper. I laid her down and oh, I wish I took a picture because if you could have seen her little scared face. She did not cry though, she just sat up and kind of crawled around (I had the little video monitor on her-quite amusing to watch) but then she started to try to climb out so I went in there several times to lay her back down and tell her no, she caught on to this as it continued for quite a while.

So when I went down stairs to get my painting supplies I checked on her again and saw her standing on the night stand- yes, on the nightstand, next to the lamp. That was it- Mike got the pack-n-play out. Well folks, it didn't end there, the child can now climb out of the pack-n-play, this is all new because she was in a pack-n-play just a few weeks ago and didn't try to climb out. Plus, like I said Ainsley was a mummy in the bed and although Harper does like to climb on things way more than Ainsley ever did I've never seen her try to climb out of her crib or anything.

So I realize that Harper will just have to stay in the crib for a while and Bennett will probably be in the pack-n-play in our room when he's born. However, we are going out of town this weekend and now that she can successfully climb out of the pack-n-play, which is what she will be sleeping in this weekend, what am I going to do?

I think I'm flipping a little because really, both our girls have always been good nappers and sleepers and are pretty well behaved. But there's something about Harper- she's a little more of a rebel and risk taker compared to Ainsley and I'm just not used to it! I'm thinking ahead to their teen years- Ainsley the obedient one and Harper the hellion! She's really not that bad but I think it's more me- being inflexible and expecting her to act just like her older sister. It was just the first try but it's more of the climbing out of the pack-n-play that bothers me. I can no longer keep her confined, unless she's in the crib and what if she climbs out of that!!?? This is early parenthood people- ya gotta love it. And you'd think with everything that is going on with Bennett, I'd learn not to sweat the small stuff...

She did eventually fall asleep so I was able to paint but seriously- on the night stand? I'm glad I caught her before she jumped off of that!

Here's some old pictures of Ainsley the first night we put her in a big girl bed. She's so grown up now!
So happy to be in a bed!

The mummy with her paci

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Best Brownies Ever!

Last week I was talking with my sister about these brownies I made a while back and I'm telling you people- if you like sweets or chocolate they are to die for! Well, I'm having my Chez-Ami parties next week and I thought they would be a yummy treat for my hosts to serve the guests. So of course last night I thought I should give them a trial run since I haven't made them in a while- in other words, I'm really craving them now that my sister brought them up!

So I thought I would share this delicious recipe that I got from a good friend of mine in Raleigh, NC, Traci! Beware- they are addictive and horribly fattening but once in while you need to treat yourself to some yummies, right? Children should only be given small portions to avoid sugar overload!:)

Layered Brownies
4 (1oz) Squares unsweetened chocolate
1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup flour
1 cup chopped, toasted pecans- (I don't add these- just not a big fan of pecans in my sweets)
Vanilla Cream Topping
Brownie Glaze

In double boiler melt chocolate and butter until smooth. (I use the good old microwave!) Remove from heat and add sugar, eggs and stir until blended. Stir in flour and pecans(no pecans for me!) Pour into greased 13X9 pan. Back at 350 for 20-23 min. Let cool on wire rack for 1 hour.

Spread cooled brownies with Vanilla Cream Topping: Chill 45 min. Pour Brownie Glaze over Vanilla Topping and spread evenly. Chill 1 hour.
Vanilla Cream Topping:Add Image
1 cup butter, melted
1 (16 oz) pkg powdered sugar
1/4 cup half and half
2 tsp. vanilla
Stir together until smooth

Chocolate Glaze:
4 (1 oz) squares of semi-sweet chocolate (I use chocolate chips)
1/4 cup butter
Microwave chocolate and butter for 1 1/2 minutes, stirring twice. Spread over brownies. Keep refrigerated.

Here's the finished product!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Our trip to CHOP.

Today we went to CHOP in Philadelphia to get a second opinion on Bennett's heart defect. Let me start by saying- I already love this place! They were so nice and really impressive. We had the girls with us, which is always a little stressful but they were very accommodating- I guess it is a children's hospital so they are used to children and how they can act.

They did another fetal echocardiogram and then a "team" of them came in to talk to Mike and I and the girls about what they saw. They explained how the normal heart works and what happens when babies have AVSD's (Atrial Venticular Septal Defects). The diagnosis remains the same as before-AVSD. No big surprise there. They did see a leaky valve, which the cardiologist last week did not mention but they said it is very common with this type of defect so it's not like they are seeing something alarming- although anything leaky, especially when you are referring to the heart, is alarming to me! I do not like the word leaky!! Anyways, they want to see me in 6 weeks or so to keep an eye on the leaky valve to make sure it does not get worse- they don't suspect that it will. We will also be able to tour the ICU where Bennett will stay after his surgery and the step down unit when we go back.

We talked about a time line for Bennett's surgery and I asked if he is born at the end of May- hopefully no sooner- and they prefer to do the surgery between 2-6 months, could we possibly look at a August-September time frame (Bennett would be right around 3 months)? I worry a little about going to 6 months because it will be November then and I want to avoid cold and flu season and being in the hospital. They agreed and said right now that would seem to be a good time to do the surgery but of course we will need to wait and see. We have some weddings coming up later in the year and we would love to be in the clear as far as surgery goes by the time those roll around which it sounds like we will be.

I am trying to stay positive about all of this but sometimes it's just really hard. Bennett seems so peaceful right now inside of me, kicking away just like any other baby but I can't help but worry what it's going to be like for him when he's on the outside. I just wish this didn't have to be so complicated but there is nothing I can do to change it so I will continue to remain faithful and know that God has a plan for us and Bennett. There is a wonderful and simple saying I saw from a blog friend of mine - "Let Go, Let God". This has been my m.o. through all of this and really ever since we had Ainsley in the NICU when she was born. This is all in His hands because I know I cannot take this all on my shoulders. Alright, enough feeling sorry for myself! Thanks for reading and for everyone who is praying for us! We will continue to pray, as we do every night with Ainsley, for Bennett to be big and strong when he is born and for God to heal his heart.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Am I the only one who thought this??

I hope I'm not but here goes- when we first found out about Bennett in those awful and dark hours in my private thoughts, I thought what will he look like? He won't look like me or Mike, he'll just look like all those other people that have DS. I know, I know- sounds harsh but I didn't know. Now that I've done research and really looked into it I see that Bennett will of course have all of my genes and Mike's genes and they aren't mutated or anything crazy like that, there is just simply one extra and this is what throws off the balance of the chemical makeup of the body.

So I've visited several blogs in the last few months and I'm so happy to see that the children with DS resemble their parents and siblings- very much so, yes many of them have the common characteristics of DS but they don't all look a like, like I previously thought before I was educated. They are very different just like we are all very different but yet they share that common bond with their families. I don't know why I was thinking about this today but just wondering- am I the only one that thought that- come on, others had to think this? Was I that uneducated about DS? The answer is yes I was uneducated about it and still have a lot to learn, like so many others and that's okay but I'm glad now that at least I can help educate my family and friends on something that they may have not known much about or paid attention to.

Now I'm really excited to see who little Bennett will resemble. Secretly, (well I guess it's not a secret now!) I'm kind of hoping he has a head full of white blond hair like I did when I was a baby- a "towhead". Both my girls were born with dark brown hair and although Ainsley has some blond in hers, it will most likely be brown. Nothing is wrong with this of course and Mike does have very dark brown hair so it's expected that our kids will have dark hair. Even mine is dark now (if I didn't high-light it:)) And wouldn't it be neat to have a baby with blue eyes- Mike's dad has blue eyes- it's not impossible is it? Oh , I'll take whatever I get and love him just the same but it's fun to think about it!

Saturday, February 14, 2009


Just a quick post to thank everyone for all their support on a recent comment that was made under "Will it make a difference". While I know everyone has their own circumstances and their own reasons for making the decision they make, I know in my heart I have made the right choice. If I can help others that may be facing a decision that can change the rest of their lives by sharing my story and showing them hope in an unknown future, then I will continue to do so.

I never thought in a million years I would be carrying a child with DS but the overwhelming support I have received in such a short amount of time has made me realize that this is something so special. So thank you!

Friday, February 13, 2009

25 Weeks!

So here I am at 25 weeks with my torpedo belly. A friend of mine posted her pic on facebook and she is a week behind me and I told her I would post one of me to show her the difference in how we carry. We have similar builds so I just think it's funny that we look completely different when we are pregnant. My stomach will only get more torpedo like and stick out like a shelf- it's very odd. People always say you carry differently with girls than with boys but that's not the case for me. This is how I looked with my other two at the same time and we know this one is a boy for sure. So I figure I'll update a new pic every 5 weeks- that's only 2 more times- the weeks are flying by!

Now an update with Bennett- looks like we will be making a trip to Philadelphia this Tuesday to meet with a Cardiologist at CHOP to get a second opinion on his heart defect. This was recommended by the Cardiologist that we saw last week. So since Mike gets Monday off we will have a 4 day weekend with each other! Plus it will give us a chance to see CHOP and get familiar with it since Bennett will be having his heart surgery there. I don't expect this doctor to find anything different although it would be great if he saw something else that didn't require surgery but the one we saw last week was a really good doctor so I'm thinking the diagnosis will be the same. We will keep you posted on that.

Hope everyone has a nice Valentines Day tomorrow!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

"In my mind I'm goin to Carolina..."

"Can't you see the sunshine.." Today was probably the first day I was really missing the South (North Carolina that is). It was in the 60's today and we actually got to play outside and we could see grass! We even got to speak to some of our neighbors. Everyone has come out of hibernation, briefly, enjoying the spring like weather. I say briefly because I think we are expecting snow again this weekend!

People always ask how I like the weather change from N.C. and honestly I love the snow because growing up we always had snow and once I moved to S.C. and then N.C. with Mike we rarely saw it so we are loving even the tiniest bit! But days like these take me back to the beautiful Springs that N. C. has- I used to hang my ferns on my porch near the end of March and the girls would play out back or in the driveway for hours. We took walks around the neighborhood. It's just been too cold here to do that and I know it will get warm eventually, just a little bit later in the year. I was just having a nice nostalgic moment while watching Ainsley and Harper play with their toys without coats, gloves and hats!

I took some pictures of the girls and they thoroughly enjoyed the warm weather as well. I'm just so glad Bennett will be here when it's warm outside and we will hopefully be able to take walks with him and go to the park. Hope everyone else is enjoying this warm spell during the cold months of Winter!

Ainsley wrote her name all by herself! Well, except for the S and the Y.

Jump Rope!

Harper just checking herself out in the mirror

Very important phone call

Just chatting with a friend

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day-Early!

Rarely do I get both girls smiling and kind of looking cute when I try to take pictures, it's usually Miss Harper that does not want to smile but today (with snack in hand) she decided she would cooperate. We're making some little Valentine frames for some family members so I needed to get some shots asap before we mailed them.

Something caught their eye on TV

Harper usually does not like Ainsley too close but this time she's smiling!
Happy girls!

Also, just wanted to thank everyone for all of the encouraging comments we received on Bennett's heart! It is sooo wonderful to know that many are praying for us and that people I don't even know are willing to answer my questions and give advice. Thanks again!!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Update On Cardiologist Appointment

We met with the Pediatric Cardiologist today and while it's not terrible news it is what I thought and was kind of hoping it was not: a complete AV Canal Defect. It's not that this is the worst case scenario- at least I don't think it is, it's just that this is the type of defect that requires surgery and I was hoping for one that could possibly close on it's own. So our little Bennett will be having open heart surgery between 2-6 months of age as it looks right now. They like to wait for the baby to gain a little weight and for something in the heart to develop- forgot what it is called- before they do surgery. We will be going to CHOP (Children's Hospital of Philadelphia) which is one of the best in the country so I am happy about that. We will also be getting a second opinion at CHOP (the cardiologist suggested it today) I guess before he is born. The cardiologist was wonderful though and was very encouraging and he said Bennett's heart looks wonderful other than this defect- apparently many others things can be present and cause complications but Bennett does not have those. He also said with this type of defect only one surgery is required and babies are usually in the hospital for less than a week.

On a better note, we also did a growth scan and everything else looked good! He's growing at the rate he's supposed to and no other issues were seen. We got some cute pictures and I've posted them below!

Now they still don't have a lot of fat on them at this stage, for those of you not familiar with 3D ultrasound pics, so he's still a little skeletal looking!

So I know many of you have kiddos that have had this same type of defect and I'd love to hear your stories or any advice you can give! So be prepared, I'm sure I will be bugging you with questions as we get closer to his birth!:)

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Important Doctor Appointment Tomorrow!

I know, two posts in one day but I wasn't planning on posting two until I saw the story of Patrick and felt it needed to be shared. Anyways, tomorrow we will be meeting with the Pediatric Cardiologist at 1:00 pm for an ultrasound to assess Bennett's heart defect. Up until now all we've known is that he has a heart defect but the Perientologist was not sure what type because his heart was still very small (18 weeks). Now I am almost 24 weeks so the doctors should be able to see his heart better and give us a diagnosis. That is what I'm assuming. So I'm asking that you all will please pray for us tomorrow and Bennett. For the past couple of weeks when we say our nighttime prayer with Ainsley she has been asking God to heal baby Bennett's heart. That's what we want of course for it to be totally healed but I know that it may not happen. So just pray that whatever this defect is that it is not too large to correct with surgery and if possible that it may not require surgery at all. I'm asking that you also pray if they do look at the rest of him that nothing else is found on the ultrasound as far as problems go. Ultrasounds are not fun for me anymore. I'm so afraid they may find something else that I cannot even enjoy looking at my little baby. I know I just need to have faith and know that Bennett is in God's hands and that God can do wonderful things. I will let you know what we find out after our appointment!

Inspiring Video, Must See!

Okay, I was over at Days with Dylan and I just had to piggy back off of Laurie's story because I did not see this on the Today show this morning but it's such an inspiring story. I commented on Laurie's blog after reading it about how I at times have been concerned that our little Bennett may never get to be the star athlete that I've dreamed of but I've realized that it's all about what is going to make him happy. Same goes for Ainsley and Harper. Now coming from a former athlete who is still very competitive it is hard not to hope that my kids will be the best on their team, I'll admit it I love winning and when I was swimming I always had the belief to myself that second place was first looser! Awful I know, but that's what pushed me I guess. After watching this video not only is Patrick happy but he's awesome! His teammates are truly happy for him and it's not a pity clap that he gets it's a "put you up the shoulders and carry you around" clap, literally. Patrick is dedicated and he finally gets his chance to shine and like Laurie said it gives parent's and grandparents and anyone that is touched by a person with DS such hope. Thanks again Laurie for posting this today! I know others have as well and I just hope it will reach so many people that may dismiss people with DS as far as succeeding in life goes.

Edited to add: push pause on my music at the bottom to hear the story!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Will it make a difference?

I've been thinking a lot lately about the statistic that is out there about 90% of women who receive a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome terminate. Shocking isn't it? If you haven't heard of this before, I think it is. Of course I hadn't heard of this before we got our diagnosis but now when I hear it, I tend to take it personally. Like, my little Bennett isn't "perfect" enough for someone else so they would choose to end his life. Now before I go on I don't want this to turn into a debate of pro-life and pro-choice. What I want this to be about right now is the fact that there is simply not enough information for pregnant women on Down syndrome. Why do pregnant women need to receive information about Down syndrome you may ask? Well, because DS is one of the most common genetic birth defects and I think we would see more babies with DS if the termination rate was not so high. So if it is so common why can't there be some sort of standard pamphlet that is given to a women at either her first prenatal appointment or most definitely at the time when she is given her screening results that may show an elevated risk? When I was told I had a 1 in 10 chance that my baby had DS was I given any information on it? Not a single thing. When I went to see the genetic counselor, was I given any information there? No. Only after we did the amnio and found out the results and told the counselor that we would not terminate she then gave me a couple of websites to visit. That's it.

Once I told the counselor that we would not terminate I visited various sites, blogs, chat rooms and there I realized I had easily made the right choice. I saw that these babies and children were not all that different and they are not in mental institutions or group homes and they can learn just like any other child. They are adorable. They are lovable. They can contribute to society. On the other hand they can have heart defects and various other medical conditions but so can "typical" children so what's the difference? Why couldn't I have been given a simple pamphlet that described what DS was, what medical conditions that can occur but also that they can live a very full life. Show me some pictures in this pamphlet of babies with DS, what do they look like? Maybe some testimonials from parents who have been in my shoes. Give me both sides for goodness sake but don't just give me nothing!

I realize that doctor's offices cannot give out a pro-life pamphlet and that's not what I asking for, I'm asking for something that gives women a little education, (both sides, because frankly we aren't given both sides, we are given nothing which in turn I feel makes women feel like a DS diagnosis is hopeless and so they feel they have no other option but to terminate), education on a condition that happens probably more often than we know but we don't see it as much because sadly these babies don't get a chance.

I realize there are so many other fatal conditions that babies can have and women have to make very difficult decisions on whether to keep their baby but Down syndrome is rarely fatal, yet it is grouped in with all the other terrible conditions that an unborn baby can have. So I guess my question is, would this make a difference, giving some type of educational material to a women when faced with this very common chromosomal abnormality? Has anyone else thought of doing this or has someone started doing this? If so please let me know how I could get involved. I just really think people need to be more aware of Down syndrome and I fear that with all this prenatal testing that is offered these days specifically targeting DS with absolutely no education on DS offered, my little Bennett will be one of few!

On another note, I am not against prenatal testing and sometimes I feel that people think if you do an amnio or the screenings you would automatically terminate. That is not always the case. I am a need to know kind of person. I needed to know for sure what we were dealing with, to get myself and my family prepared and to have the best medical care readily available for when my baby arrives. I'm so glad I did not need a pamphlet to help me to decide but I know that many women aren't like that and I don't judge them for that but I'd like to offer help if they do need that kind of information before they make a huge decision that from what I have read so many times can be so devastating once the decision to terminate is made and is carried through. The babycenter website has a group called "Termination for Medical Reasons" and not all of the women on there regret what they've done but they are in pain and many terminated just for the diagnosis of T21 (Down syndrome). Maybe if they were a little more informed they would have made a different decision.

I received my first Blog award!!

Today I was given this lovely award, The Lemonade Award by Bethany at Life with...Bubba, Chicky and Nika! "This award is for those who show GREAT ATTITUDE and/or GRATITUDE!"

Bethany nominated me because"... Adrienne and her husband recently learned that the baby they are expecting, a little boy, has Down syndrome. I know all too well how hard it is to deal with a diagnosis and I completely admire Adrienne for all that she is experiencing right now. I am anxious to follow their journey as they welcome their third child ... and their first son ... into this world, extra chromosome and all."

Thank you Bethany, this is very sweet and it's so nice to know that there are people out there that are going through or have gone through the same situation and are willing to offer help, advice or just a shoulder to cry on.

So now it is my turn- here are the instructions... If you are given the award, then put the logo on your blog or post. Next, nominate at least 5-10 which show GREAT ATTITUDE and/or GRATITUDE! Be sure to link to your nominees within your post. Let them know that they have received this award by commenting on their blog. Share the love and link to this post and to the person from whom you received your award.

So I nominate...

Kelly at Kelly's Korner ...Kelly just had her first baby, a girl named Harper-absolutely adore the name btw:) and little Harper came into the world with some medical issues that has required her to be in the NICU for several weeks now. This story is close to my heart because my first was in the NICU and it is so hard to watch your little baby with all of the wires and machines when all you want to do is hold them. Kelly has had a wonderful attitude through out Harper's entire stay. Kelly also dealt with fertility issues so little Harper is truley her miracle baby and her great faith in God as helped her through this journey. She has so many followers who pray for her and her husband and Harper every day and I know she is so thankful for each and every one of them. I can' t wait until she brings little Harper home and can dress her in all the fun outfits she has waiting for her!

Kenzee at The Andersons...Kenzee and her husband Derek have a 7 month old, Gage who has Down syndrome. Gage also had open heart surgery back in December and Kenzee has had such a wonderful attitude about everything her family has been through. Imagine having your first baby and finding out he has Down syndrome and that he would need heart surgery at just 5 months of age! You are already nervous about having a baby for the first time and then you've got to deal with the emotional roller coaster of receiving a diagnosis of DS and on top of that heart surgery. Talk about emotionally draining! Kenzee is so proud of her little boy and she should be, he has been through so much at such a young age and he has been so strong! I'm looking forward to following The Andersons on their journey with Gage!

Darlena at The Lehnick Family...Darlena and her husband have 3 children, their youngest, Brayden has Down syndrome and like me, Darlena had a prenatal diagnosis almost 1 year before we found out. I admire Darlena's attitude as she raises three children and all the challenges that come with that. I like how she shows Brayden's progress at his PT appointments and also focuses on her other children's accomplishments as well because that is so important I think- to make sure you are giving your other children the time they deserve as well. Just keeping it all together with a good attitude is what Darlena does!

Jennie at A Little Something Extra For Us...I just came across this blog and like me, Jennie had a prenatal diagnosis of DS with her youngest, Micah. She started blogging right after she found out, like me and I love her attitude during her entire pregnancy and once the baby came. I have not read all over her blog but let's face it, I'm naturally going to be attracted to a blog that "has been in my shoes" almost exactly. Seems like we shared the same feelings and the fact that Micah was in the NICU, again I can relate. I'm seriously beginning to think Ainsley's NICU stay was our prepartion for this next one but I'm trying to stay positive about that. Anyways, it seems that Micah has had some medical issues (again, I have not read it entirely) but Jennie is still thankful for what she has and has been given from what I can gather. This is why I think Jennie has a great attitude and has shown much gratitude in her story.

Holly at Caring for Carleigh... Holly's blog is truly insirational in that her attitude of what she is going through is amazing! Holly's unborn daughter Carleigh has been diagnosed with Anencephaly-this I copied from her blog: The prognosis for individuals with anencephaly is extremely poor. If the infant is not stillborn, then he or she will usually die within a few hours or days after birth. So most would terminate-let's just face it but Holly has amazing faith and love for God and she has chosen to not take it into her own hands and let God take over. So thank you Holly for letting us follow you on this difficult journey that you are taking- so many people will learn from it!

Honestly, all of the blogs I follow are amazing and the moms that write about their lives all have inspirational stories. I wish I knew all of them in person! All of them deserve an award for just putting their lives out there. When I first found out about our baby these blogs are what made me realize it's going to be okay. Even if they had nothing to do with Down syndrome. The strength that these families have and the stories that are so uplifting have made me want to do the same- inspire or help someone else who may be going through tough times.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Thank you Bethany from Life with...Bubba, Chicky and Nika!!!

Well, as you can see my blog has had a bit of a "facelift" and I love it! All thanks to my new blog friend Bethany from Life with...Bubba, Chicky and Nika. She was kind enough to add the new pics of the girls at the top and tweaked my blog a bit since I've messed with it so much and it needed repair! Check out her wonderful blogs-scroll down and you can see her button on my sidebar as well as her super cute boutique, "The Polkadot Platypus", under websites I love. She sells great maternity, baby and kid's clothes and such! Really cute stuff!! Thanks again Bethany!!