"You could have taken care of all this" was a hard comment to take after learning our newborn son Martin had developed a staph infection the day before we would have taken him home to meet his 6 siblings, who were waiting very anxiously to love their new little brother. The nurse meant we could have aborted our son.
Even though Martin was 8 lb. 10 oz. and delivered at 39 weeks by a scheduled C-section – the hospital staff could never stop calling him and treating him as "premature" because he had Down syndrome. After a wonderful surgeon "fixed" his stomach at 4 days old and cautioned us to be careful of the central line in his neck because of his heart condition, a therapist insisted that we stop being so tender with him because all children tend to be passive and lazy. Low and behold, his staph originated at the central line which meant we stayed in NICU a month and a half while they tried to figure out what medication would best fight this particular staph. Once we knew he would need antibiotic IV's for at least 6 more weeks we decided to learn to do this at home 4 times a day so our family could all be together, (I hadn't been home since delivery because the hospital was 2 hours away and we all missed each other terribly).
Before being released from NICU, all "premature" babies had to see a particular eye and ear doctor or they couldn't go home. He bluntly saw me waiting in the hall and told me Martin would probably be blind and deaf and walked away. Martin is neither blind nor deaf. He did have surgery on both eyes but sees beautifully and hears just fine, especially the giggles and whispers of his little brother. Martin thrived at home, growing and being loved by all his family while preparing for his upcoming heart surgery at 4 months.
After hearing every imaginable thing that everyone kept telling us the Martin couldn't or wouldn't ever do, I'd like to share what our beautiful Gift from God CAN do!
Martin can walk, run, jump, skip, dance and do the splits amazingly well!
Martin can laugh, scream, clap, sing off key (like others we know) and cry!
Martin can eat all by himself – especially ice cream!
Martin can sign way faster than mom and dad!
Martin can slide, swing, climb trees, couches & tables & even bookshelves!
Martin can pour over a book with someone for as long as they can endure!
Martin can pick flowers by the handful!
Martin can stack blocks in an incredibly meticulous manner!
Martin can comfort us when we're having a bad or sad day!
Martin can see others hurting when the rest of us don't even notice!
Martin can pout better than anyone I know and that includes 7 other kids!
Martin can hug better than anyone I know!
After Martin was born, we learned of the horrible statistic that 90% of children diagnosed with Down syndrome are aborted, and that many of these diagnoses are false. Every child is made in the image and likeness of God and has a God given mission. But our culture doesn't always think these missions are worthy. Children with special needs have special missions of teaching us to love unconditionally, many times through silent suffering that we could never endure. Martin has already in his 4 years taught us more than we will ever dream of teaching him. We thank God for him every day. Let them live! Let them show you how to love. Let them live! Let them teach you how to care. Let them live! Let them be all that God has called them to be. Let them live!
Martin's mom, Karen
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-The support, information and encouragement provided by the PPFL parents is not meant to take the place of medical advice by a medical professional. Any specific questions about care should be directed to a health care professional familiar with the situation.