Our "LT"

Our "LT"

Thursday, October 2, 2014

October is DOWN SYNDROME AWARENESS MONTH!

October is here!
Many things happening this month but I can't let my chance to give extra love to my oldest daughter, Lauren.
October is
DOWN SYNDROME AWARENESS MONTH!! I will be sharing facts and pictures of my girl.
I found out I was pregnant in 1998. Chris and I were so excited because we were told that we could not have children without help. Long story short, we were expecting our first child after 2 years of marriage.
I quickly became sick and was diagnosed with hyperemesis gravidarum.
That ended up being a blessing as I was released from the base doctors and sent to a local specialist.
I was 21 weeks pregnant and during our visit an ultrasound was done. Strangely, Chris noticed something unusual on the picture and the tech rushed out of the room to get the doctor. The next few months were nothing short of crazy as I was rushed to have an amniocentesis, genetic counseling, and bed rest. Five days after the amnio was done our phone rang. I watched Chris answer and in a matter of moments knew something was going on. He turned to me and said our baby is going to have Down Syndrome. Do you want to know the sex? I don't remember much after that because I couldn't catch my breath. I ran into the nursery and collapsed on the floor. I must have cried for a good hour. I remember thinking of all the possibilities of our baby. Now, I thought, those were all gone. I thought that there was no way I could be strong enough to care for a child that would be handicapped. What would she look like? What would our family say? Would my friends stick by my side?
(One thing I want you to know is the doctor had to offer us the option to terminate my pregnancy. In California is was the law. I had to make that decision in 2 days because 22 weeks was the cut off for termination. He did NOT want us to terminate)
I remember Chris walking in and kneeling down. He held me and then took my face in his hands. I remember exactly what he said to me because I knew at that moment I had chosen the right man to marry and that God had put us together for a reason. He said "Renee, that is our baby you have there and your crying is stressing her out. We are going to do this together. We have no idea what this will look like but she will be loved and I love you"
I got off the floor and we called our family and shared with our friends. I can tell you now that all those things I worried about never came true. Our family was there for us. My beautiful Marine Corps family supported us like they always had and we went head first into all the information there was about Down Syndrome.
Remember how I said I had no idea what she would look like? Well, a few weeks before she was born God showed me. I had a dream. Lauren was a perfect blonde haired, blued girl. I dreamed she would have pig tails in her hair one day and I also was shown that our journey was going to be tough but we were going to be okay.
On January 8th, 1999 our baby girl Lauren was born. Chris and my friend Angela Orrico were there with me. It was a very long night but Lauren Taylor Ayres came into the world screaming. We didn't get to bring her home right away because she was born with a heart defect but 21 days later she was home.
I am so darn blessed, lucky or whatever you want to call it that God chose ME to be her momma. She has profoundly changed me in ways I never knew were possible.
This is the way I remember her in my dream