FINDING THE BEAUTY WITHIN LIFE’S CHALLENGES
Written by Jen Sexton
MONDAY, OCTOBER 6, 2014
This blog post was written by one of our families whose little ‘peanut’ as they call her, is now two years old. Thank you for sharing the story of your prenatal diagnosis with us!
I’ve always imagined myself having children. Sure, there was a period where Brett and I questioned if children were right for us. Were we ready to give up our on-the-go lifestyle and commit to raising a family? Would we be good parents? Even though those questions would sneak up every so often, deep in my heart, I knew I was meant for motherhood – that we were meant to be parents. We’d end up having two children, likely a boy and a girl, and live happily ever after in our beautiful home with a white picket fence. Lily would live forever and our family would be picture perfect.
2014 was the year we decided we were going to try to make this happen. Everything played in our favor and I’m happy to announce that I’m currently 29 weeks pregnant with our sweet baby girl. My pregnancy wasn’t something I felt I needed to announce on social media right away. I’ll be honest, one of the main reasons why I knew I’d wait to announce this wonderful news was because I was afraid my clients would question my ability to photograph a wedding for 8-10 hours while carrying a baby in my belly. Would potential clients choose another photographer who wasn’t a new mom? There were so many scenarios that ran through my mind and at the end of the day I decided that Brett and I would embrace this time together. Eventually, I’d let the world wide web know but I’d do it when the time was right for us.
Three weeks ago, we received a call that would rock our world and test our strength in every aspect of becoming parents. A call that confirmed our baby girl had tested positive for Trisomy 21, better known as Down syndrome. Those two words knocked the wind right out of my lungs. It couldn’t be possible. We are young and healthy. I mean, I’ve never been lucky to win any lottery or drawing of any kind. With a one in 700 chance to have a baby with Down syndrome, the odds were in our favor. Why now were we chosen to be that one in 700? I was flooded with emotions and left with a broken heart. What about our picture perfect family? The family I envisioned traveling with, sharing stories and celebrating many milestones together.
Little did I know at the time how narrow minded I had become. I wanted what most of society considers normal. In three short weeks, I’ve come to realize that none of that is going to change. In fact, this journey will probably only make us stronger. Just because our little girl has an extra chromosome doesn’t mean she won’t be beautiful, intelligent and independent. It doesn’t mean she won’t have friends or can’t participate in dance lessons. Down syndrome will not define her as a person.
I’ve learned more about myself and my marriage over the past three weeks than I thought was possible. I’ve come to realize that I couldn’t have fallen in love with a more compassionate and understanding man. Brett has been my rock. His strength and positivity mean the world to me. If it wasn’t for Brett and the out-pour of love and support we’ve received from our family and friends, I wouldn’t be as accepting of this news as I am today. This journey wasn’t what we expected, however, it’s one that we’re ready to take on as a family. It’s a journey that we’ll conquer one day at a time. A journey that we know will have a lot of ups and downs, but we’re hopeful that the ups will prevail. I’m a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. There’s a reason why we won that chromosome lottery.
So, let me proudly introduce sweet Baby Sexton! She’s going to be the best Christmas present we’ve ever received.
Thank you so much Jen for sharing your story with us. We cannot wait to see you, Brett and little Navi back in the playhouse soon!