THE BEGINNING OF GRAYSON'S STORY - CONFRONTING DOWN SYNDROME
On October 1st, 2016 my sweet boy arrived at 5:05 PM. We were all overjoyed with so much happiness that day! On October 2nd, 2016 he was diagnosed with Down Syndrome. The first person I confessed my thoughts to was my sister-in-law. I looked at her and said, “He has Down Syndrome, right? It’s not just me that sees it.” She responded, “No, don’t worry, He’s fine.” I didn’t believe her. I had many thoughts racing through my mind. You know like in a movie when everything just slows down and all you can hear are your thoughts and nothing else? That’s exactly how I felt. I couldn’t hear Grayson crying in the background, I didn’t hear the doctor talking to me, I didn’t hear anything, but my thoughts. The doctor took Grayson away for the normal routine check-up and I was stuck on my bed…with my thoughts. I asked to speak with the pediatric doctor to confirm everything but the doctor never came. I didn’t sleep the first night in the hospital. I was googling, “How can you tell if a baby has Down Syndrome”. A list of things popped up and I’m pretty sure I read them all. Every thought I had about Grayson was slowly confirmed by the list I found online. Almond-shaped eyes? Yes. Sandal toe gap? Yes. Low ears? Yep. I was holding on to the little hope I had to answer ‘no’, but by the time I finished, all the questions were checked ‘yes’. Finally, it was the next day, and I was hoping it was all a dream. It wasn’t. I saw my baby boy and his sweet almond-shaped eyes. I remember holding him tight and just taking it all in, and while I was holding him, my OBGYN walks in. He says, “I hear y’all have some concerns? Let me take a look at him.” Dr. Gordon sits next to me in bed while holding Grayson and examining him. My heart was racing, and for the first time, I had zero thoughts. Dr. Gordon then says calmly while still examining Grayson, “It looks like he has trisomy 21 by the characteristics. The low ears, almond-shaped eyes, etc.” I waited until he walked away to burst into tears for the first time. All my thoughts had been confirmed right then and there. Our entire world flipped upside down at that instant and my heart completely dropped. Then things slowly began to change.
THERE IS NOTHING DOWN ABOUT DOWN SYNDROME
I reached out for help because our son needed strong parents that understood Down Syndrome. As we began to understand Down Syndrome, our worries slowly began to fade away. Grayson will be able to walk. Grayson will be able to play sports. Grayson will be able to speak. Grayson will be able to go to University. Grayson is capable of reaching any goal. Will he need a little more help than others? Yes. Help does not mean he is not capable. All of Grayson’s future endeavors are reachable. I see hope, beauty, and so much love in him. He is my strength to keep going and continue to fight. There is nothing down about Down Syndrome. My boy is already breaking down stereotypes one day at a time and he will continue to do so. What the world may view as broken or damaged, Grayson has taught me what true beauty is. The probability is 1 in 2,000 at the age of 21….I’d have to say God blessed us with a sweet little guy and we wouldn’t trade him for the world.