Kelsey: Our Little “Up” Baby

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Kelsey truly is a gift from God

Article Update – since this article was originally written Patti Matthews has developed a separate blog site for Kelsey which you can visit at www.theupfamily.blogspot.com . Here you can get daily updates on Kelsey’s progress.

I wanted to write an article about the unexpected coming of our new little baby and how surprises come in all types of packages.  My wife was expecting Kelsey October 3rd, but after going to her normal doctor visit last week, the doctors did not like what they saw.  To make a long story short in about two hours I was looking over the blue sheet in the operating room with the doctor saying, “Andy, do you want to see your new baby?”  I looked and saw the most beautiful baby girl in the world!  In fact my wife said my first words when I first saw her were, “she’s so beautiful”.

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Mom and Dad with Kelsey

That joyous feeling would only last a short time.  I went down to check on her in the nursery later, and you should have seen all the nurses and doctors working on her.  She went from a cute little four pound baby to a little baby strapped to a board with I V’s in every place you could think of.  It was almost like she had hemophilia because she was bleeding into her stomach and they were giving her fresh frozen plasma and her liver was enlarged.  It seemed as if she had similar problems to everything I had having hemophilia.  I was convinced she was a symptomatic carrier, but finally it was proven that she was not, when the bleeding stopped.  The doctor came into our room later and it was almost like an episode of “House” because they were listing all the problems they knew she had, but did not know why any of these things were happening.  It scared us to death!  Then the big news came the next day when they told us what we thought, at the time, was the worst news we could have imagined, “Your baby has Down Syndrome.”  I said, “What, there must be a mistake!” as we were looking at our baby and the doctor in the NICU.  I thought about all of the parents of newborns diagnosed with hemophilia and how they must feel, not knowing themselves much about hemophilia at the time.

For the first hour it felt like someone had just died.  “Did you hear about baby Kelsey?” And, “Oh, I am sorry, that is just terrible!” Then the phone started ringing off the hook and people started coming to see us, but it was not until this angel of a doctor came to see us that afternoon that we felt an unreal sense of relief and peace come over us.  She told us, “Your baby does not have any heart problems which a lot of what I call ‘Up’ babies suffer from.” She went on to say, “Don’t let this diagnosis get you down because ‘Up’ babies are beautiful little kids.”  She then said that she could ask every Down Syndrome family she knows, and they would tell us that having their child was the best thing that had ever happened to them.  It completely changed the way we looked at our situation.  We then started to look at Kelsey as a precious gift from God and “God does not make junk!”  There must be a reason why he gave us this child.

I know this is long, but I  want to make a very important point.  In my speaking engagements, I always say to people, “You should think of your Hemophilia as a gift – all of the challenges hemophilia brings that you are able to overcome actually adds fulfillment to your life.” I believe this with all of my heart.  Now am I being tested because I need to say that our little sweet baby that has Down “Up” Syndrome is a gift?  Well,  it is amazing what God can do, and after talking to many parents of Up kids that were not sad at all but actually said this was one of the best things that had ever happened to them, I began to look at it as a gift.  Like I have always said, you cannot change your circumstances, but only the way you look at them and we now are so excited about our little gift, Kelsey.  Again, because of all that we have been through with my hemophilia – all the challenges that it brings – I feel like we are just a few steps ahead of other parents even though we are neophytes in the Down’s community.

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Reaching out to our little "UP" baby Kelsey

Don’t feel sorry for us but rejoice with us!  I am so excited about all of the people in the “Up” community that I can encourage in the future and how I can use this story to maybe get people to look at having hemophilia differently and that hemophilia is not so bad.  I hope one day you will be able to meet Kelsey, because I bet she will bring a smile to your face and really show you that it’s the little things in Life that make a difference!

POSTED BY ANDY

38 Responses to “Kelsey: Our Little “Up” Baby”

  1. Andy, thanks for making me bawl my eyes out editing this article for y’all. My employees are wondering what is wrong with me! This was a beautifully written story and very poignant. You and Patti’s attitudes are incredible and I can’t wait to meet your gift from God! Give her a kiss from Amy and I!

  2. so sweet!! can’t wait to meet her Andy!!
    Love,
    the Comptons

  3. What an amazing story…thank you for sharing kelsey’s story…it’s so true what you said “the Lord doesn’t make junk” You and Patti are very positive, i can’t wait to meet her:)

    the neylands

  4. Andy, my best friend’s little boy has Down’s Syndrome & he’s been a true blessing in their lives. Nicholas is a happy and healthy 5 year old & he will start kindergarten this year. Life will be so much sweeter with the addition of your special gift from God. And the Down’s community has a strong support system & national conferences, etc. Many congratulations!

  5. Oh Andy what a precious little gift!
    A little baby like Kelsey blesses so many people in so many ways. She has already shown great courage and strength in her short little life. My family will be praying for her to get well and to come home soon! Sending you all big hugssss and warmest
    wishes!

    The Crews Family

  6. You and your wife are obviously both wonderful human beings. God bless you and your new baby!!

  7. Thanks for putting this up. Love you Nanacf

  8. Andy & Patty- she is Beautiful!!!!! congratulations on your little miracle!!!

  9. All I can say is you are amazing! You have done so much for Caulin and our family and have been such an inspiration to us. I hope we get an opportunity to meet your beautful family. You are in our prayers. We love you!

  10. Kelsey is so precious, and she is blessed to have you and Patti as her parents. God chooses those with special hearts to take care of his special angels. Her life has – and will have – more meaning than you can even imagine for one child. I look forward to meeting her and, of course, holding her!

    If you need anything, please let me know. I can make it down the block pretty quickly!

  11. SO, so , so sweet! Sweet, little Kelsey is such a blessing as is her big, brother Keeton who is gonna do some serious loving on his little sister when she comes home! I continue to pray for all of you! Thanks for blessing me with your message!

  12. Andy,
    Thanks for sharing from your heart. We know God orchestrates ALL circumstances. Already you and Patti have an inspiring story to tell.
    The Helms Family

  13. Evelyn Moore (Michael's mom)

    Saturday, 15th August 2009 at 4:52 pm
     

    God has given you this beautiful, precious little girl for a reason. We are never to question His wisdom and purpose because He never fails to do what He has promised–that is to sustain, love, and guide us through all of life’s situations. Rememer Jeremiah 29:11 “I have plans to give you hope and a future.” Just love Kelsey unconditionally and take each day at a time!!

  14. Andy&Patti, so proud for you that you have Kelelsy God’s gift for you to love and take care of my prayers and love is with you.

  15. Andy and Patty we love you and respect you so much. The baby will be a blessing to you.
    It cannot compare— but our Mark has been such a blessing to us. After 46 years I wouldn’t trade him for a anything, I know yall have a great challenge ahead of you. But you can do it with the Lord.
    Bless you both and the baby
    We love you
    Dan and Cookie

  16. Greg, Dena, and the boys

    Sunday, 16th August 2009 at 10:58 am
     

    We can’t wait to meet our new sweet baby cousin! We have sooo much love to give God’s special “up” girl. We would love for Keeton to come play for a weeknd or more, while you guys are traveling back and forth to the NICU so much. We are praying strength and encouragement for you guys. Love Always, Dena and the boys

  17. Andy and Patty,

    God doesn’t waste anything in our lives–every experience prepares us for the next thing. How amazing hearing about Andy has always been to me, knowing how he has faced his own challenge with great strength and courage, even using it as a way to reach out and bless others. Your mother’s attitude of faith taught you that nothing is too hard for our Lord–he can not only handle it, he can bring great things out of it. You and Patty will be a gift to your daughter as she learns to live a life of faith.

  18. Andy & Patty — your faith and spirit inspire me. My cousin Shelby Kate was born three years ago and she is UP! She has changed all of our lives in profound ways. We celebrate every victory and she keeps giving them to us. This is a beautiful story written by a precious daddy. God bless you.

  19. She couldn’t have a better set of parents…I have known Patti a long time and I am so impressed by her!! Thanks for the sweet story and I look foward to hearing more!! God bless you!! Jenni

  20. Larry and Sherry Roskey

    Sunday, 16th August 2009 at 5:56 pm
     

    Andy and Patty. She is beautiful and I know that you both will be great parents to her and will love her unconditionally. She will be the light of your lives. I know you cannot wait to get her home. We love you.

  21. Thank you for sharing this beautiful story Patti (and Andy for writing it)! God is indeed good in all things–and makes no mistakes! I am blessed by how He is already using you to impact the kingdom for HIs glory!
    In His love, Ro-

  22. Congratulations Andy! Your baby is beautiful. She is very lucky to have you and your wife as her parents, and I know she will do great things!

  23. What a powerful story! I know God will use Little Kelsey to bless you and Patti beyond your wildest dreams.

  24. Andy, thank you for sharing. If you all need anything at all, please let us know. We can bring dinner, watch Keeton, whatever will help you guys out.

    I look forward to meeting little Kelsey! Give Patti a hug for me! You are all in my thoughts and prayers.

  25. What a testimony of God’s marvelous grace. His Peace is desired above all other peace.

    When it fits into your schedule, I want to come hold your precious “gift!”

  26. Hello Andy. What an adorable family! I do not know your wife but I know what a wonderful person you are! Thank you for sharing your pictures and your little Kelsey is precious! Love, Laurie Aslin

  27. Daniel and Lisa Price

    Tuesday, 18th August 2009 at 6:13 pm
     

    Andy, it’s true we all have been given the gift of Hemophilia so we can become prepared for our bigger challenge later in life. After reading this story I believe you and Patti now know the driven force God has had planned all along. Our prayers are with you for Kelsey’s safe return home to her family.

  28. Andy,
    Thanks for sharing your lives with us. Your daughter is beautiful & I hope to meet her one day. I’ve known Patty & her family for a long time & I love keeping up with you all on FB. God bless you all.
    Billy & Vanessa Clendening

  29. Dear Ones, I just read your stories about your new little girl. How blest it made me feel to see your faith. I know that God will use this for the good. He knew your hearts before she was even thought about by you. We can’t direct the wind but we can adjust the sails. My prayers are with you and yours.

  30. What a beautiful little girl Andy. Your attitude towards life and now being able to apply that to this surprise situation is amazing. May God continue to bless your family! Let’s see some new pics dude!

  31. Andy – thank you for sharing this blessing with us all!! I am Brandon’s mom – you and he were at Camp together this year. He’s pretty awesome, and I’m proud of him. Remember with God ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE!! Think of the testimony little Kelsy is going to have thanks to all of the prayers and love she’s gonna have. We are believing with you that God WILL bring this child through the amazing journey that is set before her, and your family. You are in our prayers. God bless- Bev DAniels

  32. Wow….I just don’t have the words!!! I was blessed to have Ryan and he has hemophilia but he was my “only gift” from God. I wasn’t blessed with anymore children. You, Patti and Keeton are definitely blessed to have another gift in your family, little Kelsey and she is BEAUTIFUL!!! Oh…and I hadn’t planned on crying today but I couldn’t help it. Give little Kelsey (and Keeton) a kiss from us!! Love to all of you!!

  33. Yoou have been in my thought and prayers. I will continue to remember you.

  34. My love to you and your family. You have a very special place in my heart.

  35. Andy and Patti, Your courage and faith is inspiring. The Lord has truly bestowed a blessing and beautiful gift by way of this child, to you both. Love and prayers to your family. Helen

  36. Dear Andy & Patti ~ This was such a beautiful article about Kelsey. I have shared your blog with all of our prayer warriors who prayed for our baby Asher who was born with HLHS on June 24th….it really helps to have a support group in place as you go forward with difficult decisions that have to be made for Kelsey. I will be praying for all of you….Kelsey and Keeton are just precious!! Love & Blessing in Christ ~ Sharon ** your Aunt Sandy is a good friend of mine!!

  37. hey Andy and Patti- not sure what is the latest on Baby Kelsy. I think I read that she is home now- CONGRATS on that! That must feel wonderful. We are wishing you a merry Christmas this year as a family, and I will look forward to more posts.

  38. You can view updates on Kelsey at http://www.theupfamily.blogspot.com

    Kelsey has really been struggling and is actually in the hospital again.

    Please continue to pray for her and thank you for supporting our website.

    Regards,
    David
    Sweetaffliction.com


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