Yesterday we had our 24 week checkup for the baby.  It went as most 24 week checkups do – couple questions, some measuring, doppler the heartbeat, talked a bit and then “welp, see you next time”. Pretty standard stuff.

We did, however, talk in some detail about labor and delivery and some of the things we can prepare for and expect and it was really a confirmation that, barring any heart-related issues, which are common with Downs, this could be business as usual. The doctor made the good point that in many Downs pregnancies, and certainly all just decades ago, no one knew of the DS until after delivery, sometimes days and weeks even. So, ultimately, no special planning or care was taken. We have the luxury of knowing what to be prepared for, so that is actually quite nice and less stressful, but otherwise we don’t have to do anything differently or be particularly cautious.

That news, along with some other more “normal” moments of the visit really made Michelle feel good about things. That is positive and a sign that her attitude is coming around. Still don’t wanna rush her and we both still have moments, but we are really getting the hang of this, I think ;-)

On the way out, we ran into a friend of ours and her husband. They are expecting and were in for an early-term check-up. They know about baby boy’s DS and they we chatted a little. I know a couple weeks ago it was hard on Chelle to think about others who are pregnant and the fact that they’re not gonna have to go through this. I think that is tough to see and maybe even tougher to find excitement and happiness for them. Yesterday, however, she was very happy and excited for them and I know she’s starting to see that we are all to be happy and excited for all the new wonderful lives coming into our lives, our little guy is one of many and he’ll be a little different, but probably a lote more awesome…i mean, come on! He is OUR kid, after all ;-)

Well, despite our chipper day, night time was a little less wonderful with Liddy having a really tough time falling to sleep and both of us getting a little worn out trying to help her get there. Sadly, she woke up just as I finally laid down to go to bed at about 12:30am and vomited :( It was really sad. She cried and then had some weird spells of energy and lucidity, but had several icky moments. We cleaned her up and brought her into our bed where we could be quick to get a bucket and clean her up.  I think Chelle maybe got 2-3 hours of sleep. I think I maybe got 1.  Between the 3 of us, we are having a rough go of this Friday from being sick and tired.

Here’s hoping it’s a 24 hour thing. Our friends have a little b-day party tonight and we are trying to sneak out to a double date for dinner with another couple beforehand…you know, normal stuff. I think we could really use a night out of fun and good food and just being excited about everything with our friends. Hopefully Liddy gets down OK so we can make that happen. Fingers crossed for a speedy recovery.

Icky Sicky Friday :-(

Icky Sicky Friday :-(

-CH

So, a couple weeks ago, our friend Anna shared a story about Italy & Holland, which I mentioned in the post Awesome Perspective. The story is worth the read, so bounce back to that post and check it out.  The same story was included in the “The Kit“. It’s a good story and makes a lot of sense.

One of my aunts sent us a little package yesterday. Inside the box, which was covered in new-fallen snow, was music box.

Dutch Windmill

Dutch Wind Mill

It took me a minute. At first, I actually just thought of it as a normal music box, but since we are having a boy, it must have been the only non-girly music box she could find. Then it dawned on me as I read the label on the box as I was putting the packaging away – Dutch Wind Mill..Dutch..the Netherlands….HOLLAND!

Seriously, that’s a REALLY thoughtful gift. We use the word thoughtful a lot, but this was the real meaning of that word. She thought about the significance of that Holland story and sought out a special memento to commemorate it. It will be a constant reminder to me about perspective and about this unexpected journey we are on that will surely be amazing.

I texted her my thanks for the nice gift and she simply replied “Welcome to Holland!

Text from Auntie Diane

Text from Auntie Diane

Thanks to auntie Diane!

-CH

World Down Syndrome Day is annually on March 21st. It’s in March (3rd month) to signify the triplification of the 21st chromosome, the specific genetic make-up that is Down Syndrome.  Baby H is due that same week…go figure.

In other news, we go in for a normal checkup this week on Thursday. I like the idea of having routine things that would happen with any other pregnancy to remind us that this is a pregnancy like any other.  We still have some follow-up on the horizon to take a closer look at baby’s heart with a cardiologist. Fingers crossed.

It’s been remarkably normal the last week or so…that feels good.

Cheers,

-CH

So, obviously the entirety of this situation is, itself, a weird coincidence, but there were a weird series of occurrences that made everything seem eerily fateful. For instance, About a month ago, I was contacted work by a person at March of Dimes to take part in a fund-drive. March of Dimes’ efforts support babies with birth defects and one of the programs that they fund is a major Down Syndrome research project and they also fund a support program for Down Syndrome.

Another not-so-weird coincidence was that I had emailed an aunt of mine to seek her support in my fundraising and I sent her an email that the subject of the fund-raising has gained new significance in our lives with the news of baby boy’s DS.  She, as it turns out, didn’t get the email right away because she was out for dinner that very night with an adult with DS that she is guardian to.

There has been more and more things, some specifically DS-related, some things that I will just say are “signs” that we were up for this, as well. No matter what mystical things abound, I am sure of 1 thing – there are no accidents in this life. Things happen for reasons. Cliche as it may be, we WERE chosen for this because we can do it. I believe that whole-heartedly and am looking forward to the exciting times ahead.

Coincidentally, if you would like to support my March of Dimes fundraising effort, I have til mid-day Wednesday (12/4) to hit my goal an I am not quite there yet. You can go to my campaign page and donate directly to my goal. I would very much appreciate it. Go here: jailandbail.marchofdimes.com/coryhollenhorst

-CH

So, it’s 2013 and the reality is that we have a means to share our world in ways that can reach virtually everyone at once. That’s fairly daunting when you have need like ours, but it’s also nice because you can control the message and hopefully contain the gossip.

I’ve continued to learn more and more about Down Syndrome and am sure that even the smartest and best-educated amongst our large networks are probably mostly green to DS and have their thoughts on it, right or wrong. So, ultimately, we have a great opportunity to educate our friends and followers beyond just telling them this news.

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Yesterday, with a simple photo and quick caption on Facebook, we let the masses know about being pregnant. Immediately the love and congratulations came pouring in. Many amongst those “Liking” and commenting already knew we were pregnant and several of those even know about the DS. Feeling the love and excitement from our friends makes us a little nervous to tell those people, less for how scary it may be for us, more for how their excitement may turn to pity or sadness. I want them to share in our excitement and maintain their congratulatory tidings because baby boy’s DS doesn’t change the fact that we are still growing and excited to bring this little guy into our world.

Given the fact that we can control the message, I am thinking that now that we’ve made the pregnancy “Facebook Official”, I’ll follow up soon with a message about baby boy’s DS and probably lead people to this blog to see where we’ve come in the last week or two and help them understand where our heads are at and hopefully get them educated and excited with us. We are gonna need all of their love, support and positive vibes as we continue to prepare and grow into our new reality.

I also want to make dame sure that people know that we are excited, happy and positive about this child like we were about Liddy and definitely don’t want anyone’s pity. Of course there’s still sorrow and sadness that we are working through, but in the end, we are being blessed with a child that we will love beyond words and raise to be the very best and most wonderful he can be. He deserves no less.

-CH