Kelsey: Our Little “Up” Baby
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”.
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.
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