Hello everyone! So, I've never blogged before in my life (and frankly always thought my life was not interesting enough to do so), but we are just way too excited about our new addition to our family not to share him with everyone we know and love!
So ... we would like to officially introduce to the world the new light of our lives, John Robert Hickling (affectionately known as "Jack"). Jack was born on Friday, May 28, 2010 at 5:27 am after 26 hours of labor (very fun, by the way ;) and an eventual C-section. He weighed 6 pounds, 11 ounces at birth and was 19 1/2 inches long.
As many of you probably already know, we were shocked to learn shortly after Jack's birth that, despite negative prenatal testing, he has Trisomy 21, more commonly known as Down Syndrome. Although we were all stunned to hear this news, our feelings were completely transformed into nothing but love and amazement when we saw Jack's beautiful face, his little feet and hands, and his big heart. We also began to count our many, many blessings as we found out that Jack's echocardiogram was completely normal (heart defects are fairly common in Trisomy 21) and that he passed his hearing test with flying colors. And, after a brief stint with jaundice and 3 days on home phototherapy, Jack began to and continues to thrive daily. Breastfeeding has been challenging (for mom) but, with formula supplements, Jack is growing into a very, very strong little boy. He even got back up to birth weight within 10 days of birth, and I have no doubt that he weighs close to 8 pounds now!
Robert and I know that we potentially face challenges in our future with Jack, as many special needs children experience developmental delays and/or health problems. However, as for now, we have seen absolutely no signs for concern in our little buddy, so we chose not to worry about anything until there is something to actually worry about. We know a little bit about Down Syndrome but continue to learn more each day by reading and talking with other parents of children with special needs. We are amazed by the amount of resources and support there is out there for parents like us. We love to watch Jack develop and interact with us, and we try meet every new day as an opportunity to grow as a family. Even our beloved dog Forest seems to know how special our little guy is and, as his first job as "Big Brother," has taken on the responsibility of Jack's constant guardian!
We may have obstacles in our future that many other people never have to face, but one thing is for sure ... Jack is one of a kind already, and we know that he will enrich our lives more than we could ever imagine. We feel like the luckiest and most blessed parents already to have such a special little boy in our lives, and we know that he will teach us more about the right way to live than could ever be taught in any book. After my prenatal screening, I was assured that there was only a "1 in 10,000" chance that my baby could have Down Syndrome. Now, we feel blessed that we didn't miss out on being parents to this "1 in 10,000" kind of child!
We would like to thank everyone for their many, many cards, gifts, emails and phone calls. We are so lucky to have so many caring and supportive people in our lives at this very important and life-changing time.
We have been told by the "Band of Angels" ... "Just wait until you discover the HUGE JOY packed in that little extra chromosome." We have already discovered such joy in our little Jack, and we look forward to so much more! Just as importantly, we hope that you also get to experience the joy that Jack brings!