Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Our First Post

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!


  1. Korey and Robert, thanks for sharing your blog. I can't wait to meet little Jack and to share in all the joys that lie ahead. Love you both!

  2. I have not gotten a chance to congratulate you on your beautiful new addition, so congratulations!!! I figured you were probably overwhelmed with visitors and calls and such in the beginning, so now is as good a time as any. You all are truly blessed beyond belief to have created such a miracle. God chose the two of you as parents for Jack out of all the people in the world because he knew how great the two of you would be as parents. Make the most of each moment with him and each other. You will all be amazing! I cannot wait to see what an inspiration the little guy grows up to be. Make sure to keep us updated on his progress and how things are going with the new family. Love to all of you!
    Lauren, Brandon, Keagan, Kamden, and Baby

  3. Thanks for blogging about Jack, Korey. It's so great to hear your joy. You've brought back all the sweetness of those early days. Abby and Jay used to be so much fun to watch. Now they are never still long enough for me to even get a second glance! Love to you, Jack and Robert.


  4. Love you guys! I cannot wait to meet Mr. Jack so please keep me in your thoughts for any weekends in the next few months that I can come down to NC. I will cook (poorly), clean, walk the dog...
    I love the pics so keep them coming!
    Love, Mary

  5. CONGRATULATIONS!!!! I can't believe I haven't told you that yet! I am sure it is so exciting/overwhelming being new parents! He is just darling (or should I say, handsome). Thank you so much for sharing this with all of us, can't wait to hear all the updates as y'all start this adventure! And of course can't wait to meet him! Much love to the Hickling family!!!! xoxo

  6. Korey, you are a beautiful writer and even more beautiful mommy! Your post brought me chills and tears to my eyes! Jack is so adorable. Every minute of every day I wonder how you, Robert and Jack are doing at that exact minute (maybe that's why I bug you 24-7 on the phone!). You are amazing and I am so proud to call you my sister. You make me strive to be a better person and mother. I love you and Jack so much! (and Robert too, of course!)

  7. Forgot to tell you just how much I love the name of your blog - how perfect!!!

  8. (not Korey's "mom and dad")
    I just love reading your beautiful thoughts on being a new Mom to very special Jack. He is such a lucky baby to have you and Robert for his Mommy and Daddy! Take time to cherish every moment; they are gone all too soon!
    Love to all of you, Aunt Lyn

  9. I am so excited that you decided to do this, I look forward to following baby Jack's progress. He is such a beautiful baby and could not have been blessed with better parents than you and Robert. See you soon! Love Jennifer

  10. How amazing it was to read about baby Jack. I ask Kelly every time I speak to her how is Jack. I love that now the answers are just a click away. Congrats to both you and Robert on this beautiful baby.

  11. You made me cry! And made me want to pick up blogging again! I can't wait to meet Jack. I really need to come by soon. Mila has been teething and not the most joyful kid on the block...

    Love y'all! (all 3 of y'all- even though I haven't met the newest member yet, I already love him too!)

  12. I really enjoyed reading this Im so glad that we will have new friends that will be going through all the same milestones as our family. I really do feel that we are so blessed to have children with Down Syndrome. I look forward to reading more from you and meeting you this Sunday!

  13. Congratulations Korey and Robert on your wonderful new son. - may the future bless and protect him forever. You are both so wise to understand the responsibility and privilege of having a special child. We are well aware of the many joys and everyday challenges of living with a special needs person. I suspect that Jack will provide the two of you with as much love and happiness as ours has brought our family.

    Bettie & Bob C.

  14. Hey Korey! Absolutely love the idea for this blog and I really enjoyed reading your words. Can I just say, what a cutie Jack is!! Keep the photos coming, they are precious. Looking forward to catching up with you again one of these days/months/years - you know I love ya and I want a plant a fat one on Jack's cheek. Is that so wrong?!

    sharon :)