A Time for Everything ….

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 says To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven: A time to be born,  and a time to die;  a time to plant,  and a time to pluck what is planted; 3 a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down,  and a time to build up;  4  a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; 5   a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; 6   a time to gain, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to throw away; 7   a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;  a time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

I could always add a few to this list, not that I would cause that’s a pretty dangerous place to be (adding to the Superior Word of God). But if I could it might read a little like this ……

In everything, there is a season.  A time to eat chocolate, and a time to eat more chocolate; a time to do housework, and a time to not.  A time to look fabulous, and a time for a pj day;  A time to dance like no one is watching, and a time to spend on your knees.

But I do love this passage of scripture, if you read it a few times it really covers most, if not all, areas of life.

By the end of the year that was 2004 I had no idea that I was entering into a whole lot of verse 6 …… a time to gain, a time to lose, a time to keep and a time to throw away …..

Noah was 2 years old.  I remember clearly thinking “ok! He’s 2, he wasn’t supposed to make it to see his 1st birthday, but he made it to 2”   That line of thinking was never joyful, it was more clinical, like checking something important off a list!  I know that that is how I coped.  I didn’t have an emotional bond with my son, our relationship was purely clinical …… sounds so awful, but it was the truth!

So 2005 began with Miss H at 4 years old, Mr E at 2 years 9 months and Mr Noah  at just 2 years old.  My hands …. still very full, My soul ….. still very tired, My heart ….. just about broken.

The beginning of a new year for most of us is an Expectant time, a time of  Hope, a time of Re-organisation, a time of Change, a time of New Beginnings.

In February 2005 I had a routine appointment with Noah’s Paediatrician.  It wasn’t a long appointment, as was the usual, his advice to me was this, “if you can move further north, Queensland if possible, it would give Noah a better chance of living.  I’m happy to refer you to a paediatrician in  Brisbane if you can get there as soon as possible.”  This came as a shock to us as parents so plans were made for me to move north with the three children before the air turned cold and on the 1st April 2005 I started the 12 hour journey to my Mumma’s home in Queensland.  The other part of the plan was for him (my then husband) to stay, as we had our own business, and either try and sell it or move it to Queensland in 6 weeks.

Arriving at my Mumma’s home and settling everyone into a new house came with its challenges, as it does for us all, but thankfully Miss H and Mr E were blessed with great personalities, were easy going and best of all they were awesome sleepers.

Here comes the ‘verse 6’ part ‘a time to gain, a time to lose; a time to keep, a time to throw away.’

To do that I need to side-step to address the significant ‘elephant in the room’.  Soon after bringing Noah home from hospital I heard a very scary statistic, that 80% of marriages, where there is a baby born with a disability, end in divorce.   80%! 80%!  And I remember saying a quick ‘that’s not going to be us’ to myself, but unfortunately our marriage was already very unhealthy.  So to say that Noah’s entry into our family put more pressure and stress between us, is a complete understatement.   Before Noah was born we were not communicating, we were both abusive to each other and worse than that neither of us were going to God with our lives.  Were we going to church every sunday, yes! But were we living our lives for God, no!  So Noah’s arrival just pushed us further apart until June 2005 when he decided that he was not joining us in Queensland and left our family. And in the hope that one day he or his family will read this blog I want to say that it takes THREE, a man and a woman and their GOD,  to MAKE a marriage work.  Thus my marriage ended only 5 years after it began.

It was a time for me to lose (verse 6).

Days turned into weeks, weeks turned into months and I leaned more and more into God, and His plans for us, Miss H, Mr E, Mr N and myself. And He (God) has been faithful every step of the way!

God sees all things, nothing surprises Him.








What do i do now?

We’re back! Apologies for the time lapse ….. life happens!  Enjoy!

Note to readers:  This post includes medical terminology and definitions.

The year 2004 was full. By March Noah had had a few stays in hospital and by April he had not only been diagnosed with Bronchiolitus (a children’s form of bronchitus) but he had also been diagnosed with an ASD (Atrial Septal Defect) which is a “hole” in the wall that separates the top two chambers of the heart and also Pulmonary Hypertension.  An ASD is a defect that allows oxygen-rich blood to leak into the oxygen-poor blood chambers in the heart. ASD is a defect in the septum between the heart’s two upper chambers (atria) and Pulmonary Hypertension is a type of high blood pressure that affects the arteries in the lungs and the right side of your heart. It makes it harder for blood to flow through your lungs, and raises pressure within your lungs’ arteries. As the pressure builds, your heart’s lower right chamber (right ventricle) must work harder to pump blood through your lungs, eventually causing your heart muscle to weaken and eventually fail. I didn’t understand any of this at the time … I certainly didn’t have the mental energy to ask the Dr’s what it meant, I just knew that he was very sick.

At each stage of each diagnosis my mind would ask the question ‘ok, but what do i do now?’.  It was not often that the question would ever be verbalised, purely because I didn’t want to know the answer.

So Noah would be in hospital for a week at a time.  The same blood tests were performed and the same antibiotics given.  Then he would come home and as hard as I tried to keep everyone healthy, the house clean, as germ-free as possible …. within days he would end up back in hospital.  I spent my days ….. weeks …. months  driving too and from the hospital (an hour each way) usually with Miss H and Mr E in tow.  By August I was beyond exhausted.  My Mumma had made many trips from her home in Queensland to ours in New South Wales  (1,000kms) to help out wherever she could and so had arranged to pack a few things and come and stay for 6 months.  She arranged a house-sit in the local area so she had her own space and she came to support me.  Her making those arrangements literally saved my life!  It meant that I would not always have to go and sit with Noah but that she could and I could somehow get some sort of rest.

On one of my many visits, while sitting at Noah’s bedside (this time without his siblings) one of the nurses came in and said “Mrs S….., the social worker wants to come and have a chat with you, are you free to do that?” I said, ‘yes, sure’.  I had spoken the the social workers at the hospital a few times by now.  They are great people, so I had no need to be concerned, this was going to be an easy conversation to have!

A few minutes later the social worker walked in with another gentleman who introduced himself as a representative from the Department of Child Safety! DOCS!

My mind went into an instant spin! “Why is he here?, What have I done wrong? Is he going to take Noah away?” It was dreadful because over the course of the months that Noah had been in and out of hospital I had seen DOCS representatives come to the hospital to remove children from families.  I had seen the shock, fear, pain in the faces of family members, the physical fight that would result which was usually followed up by the hospital security being called.   From the outside looking in my thoughts were mixed with desperate sadness and ultimate protection for the baby/child.  But  I was speechless and terrified and it must have been seen all over my very tired face. I went into shock.

The representative very, very quickly reassured me that I had nothing to be worried about …… yeah right!  He reassured me constantly that although, for the most part, his role within the hospital usually means the removal of children from their families, this was NOT one of those instances and I truly had nothing to fear.   I sat quietly while he spoke, hearing but on guard.  The social worker could see that I was not responding and gently said “Mrs S….  this man is here to help you. He has organised for your other two children to go into the local child care centre, near where you live, everyday so that you can drop them off and come to the hospital to be with Noah.”   I heard her and promptly burst into tears. It took me a few minutes to really comprehend what had just happened and then once I had I realised that GOD had done this for me.  HE saw my need! HE caused this to happen.  He provided for us, as a family.  So over the next few days Miss H and Mr E got into the routine of day care, and for the most part ……. LOVED it!  This also coincided with Noah coming home again.   My plate was definitely full!

Twice during that year Noah’s lung/heart complications meant that he was transferred into the Paediatric ICU and put on “The List”.  Both transfers were done during the night, while I was at home asleep and the phone calls went something like this – “Hello Mrs S…. this is Dr ….. one of the paediatric doctors in the ICU department.  We have transferred Noah because his condition has worsened and we are able to treat him better here.  We are honestly not sure how he will respond and obviously wanted to let you know that he could either respond to the treatment or not.”  Let me just say that that is one of the most horrid way to be woken.   My response was “Um. Ok. So. What do I do now”.  He was just so kind and the answer was very obvious.  He said “you probably need to come to the hospital”.   To any of you readers, this may sound absolutely ridiculous but I was not in my right mind and continually hit with shock after shock, I literally didn’t know what I had to do.  Anyway, after the long drive I arrived at the hospital and found my way to Paediatric ICU to find my baby, hooked up to all sorts of machines, one forcing air into his lungs and then pulling out his every breath and others monitoring him.  Overwhelming is not the right word to describe how I was, so I promptly fell apart.  A few hours later, and so thankfully, he responded to the treatment and was returned to the ward, where then days later he returned home.   It was not well with my soul!





My Mumma!!!

We all have pivotal people in our lives. From the second we are born until we take our last breath, we all have relationships with people who directly influence who we are, either for the good or not.

One of those relationships, if not the most influential, is with my Mumma.

She is by no means perfect (she’ll tell you that), but her hearts desire has been to be the best mumma to my sister and I.

Now we’ve all got a history. We all had an upbringing. We all have people we need to thank and people we need to forgive and my Mumma is no different.  We also all have a faith. Whether you choose to have faith in Jesus Christ, another religious organisation or have faith in your own abilities, we all have a faith.  During my childhood my Mumma was invited to put her faith in Jesus Christ and choose to start a relationship with Him and she grabbed that opportunity with both hands ….. and her heart!  From that second her life changed because she knew that she had a great opportunity of a new start, a new beginning, to do life differently. From that very day, through thick and thin, she chooses daily to deepen her relationship with God and seek Him for everything she needs.  This is, above all else, the most impacting gift she has given her children ….. and many others.

There are many, many words I would use to describe my Mumma and recently on a birthday (or mothers day) card I wrote and described exactly what I thought of her …. it went something like this …..

Mumma, you are Amazing, Beautiful, Caring, Delightful, Encouraging, Friendly, Gorgeous, Hardworking, Independent, Jovial, Kind, Loving, Monumental, Nice, Outstanding, Patient, Quaint, Radical, Strong, Truthful, Understanding, Valuable, Wonderful, Xenodochial, Young and Zippy.

[So I bet a few of you looked up the meaning of at least one of those words ….. you’re welcome!]

When it comes to my Mumma and her grandchildren though, that is another story all together.  We used to call her the ‘paparazzi’, taking photos whenever and wherever she could …. beautiful really!  She adores every one of her grandkids and has unique relationships with each of them.

Noah is her second grandson and her love for him has been shown in every possible way.  As you have read in past posts and will definitely read in future posts, she has been like my right hand when it comes to doing what Noah requires when he requires it!  She is my Champion, in doing life, in her faith and fabulous example of a Mumma’s (and Nanna’s) love!

I love you Mumma, so very much!


Voices in my Head ….. and my Heart

There are words that we use and hear often.  Words like ‘seasons’ and ‘journey’.  Words that mean CHANGE!  Words that mean adjustment.  Words that mean having what you know being ripped from you and being thrown into  something completely new. Did I mention …. Words that mean CHANGE!!!

For the past 7 weeks I had been tossed into a ‘season’ that was just crazy; there are no other words to describe them.  I felt continually torn between caring for my baby and trying to bond with him while he was in hospital and caring for my other babies and trying to keep some sort of routine for them.  Kids like routine! I am very thankful that Noah’s older sister (Miss H) was a relatively calm 2 year old and his brother (Master E) a very placid 11 month old. Their mother, on the other hand, not so much … I was exhausted, grieving, in shock, scared, with ridiculously high expectations on myself,  recovering from my 2nd caesarean in 9 months and in a marriage that was not easy.   This was another one of those moments when, if I took a few minutes to focus, I could actually feel the presence of the Holy Spirit …. holding me, thanks to the prayers of some faithful friends and family.

Now that Noah was home I was thrown in to another ‘season’, this one may have had less driving involved but it came with a whole lot of unknown.  I don’t like the unknown, I was a self-confessed ‘control-freak’.

I can’t actually remember those first few days, which I think is quite natural, lots of changes.  But the nights were the worst.

Those first few nights were fitful for me. I hardly slept and as a new mother usually does I got up to check on Noah more than I had with the other two.  By the fourth night I was sleeping more soundly and at one stage I remember thinking ‘ok, I think I’ve got this’ ….. How wrong I was

A couple of nights later, around 11pm, I was woken by a great urgency to check on Noah. I actually heard a voice say “NOAH!!!”  My then husband lay fast asleep next to me, so I knew it was the Lord.  I literally flew out of bed, ran into his room to find him nearly blue!!!!  Thankfully the local ambulance station was just around the corner and so I hardly had to wait.  They gave him oxygen and transported him, my tiny baby, an hour away to the nearest hospital.  I followed in the car!  My heart was racing and cannot remember exactly how I drove to the hospital but I arrived and quickly found my way to the emergency department.   My poor baby was admitted to the paediatric ward and diagnosed with bronchiolitis.  He had only been home for a week and a half and now he was back in hospital!!!

I was scared beyond belief, had no time to pray just to hold my baby and listen to the doctors giving me their prognosis and suggested treatment options.

By this time it was 3am in the morning and after explaining to the doctors and nurses that I had two other children at home, I kissed my baby boy, left him in the hospital alone and drove home ….. in tears.  Soon after 4am I fell into bed but sleep never came because my two other cherubs woke at their normal time of 4.30am.   You might be asking ‘what about your husband?’ ‘Where was he?’  They are very good questions and the answer to those will come later.   I’m not sure how I got through that day … or the next few, but I spent the days taking Noah’s older siblings to the hospital and the nights Noah stayed in hospital without me.  I’m very grateful for the nursing staff.  Each of them fell in love with Noah and loved caring for him.

On one of those days the doctor’s registrar came to speak to me and he informed me that Noah had also been diagnosed with Obstructive Sleep Apnoea, which meant that when he was asleep his airway would collapse and he would not be able to breathe properly and so when he was well enough to come home he would do so but connected to an Oxygen Tank 24/7!!!!

As you could only imagine my already grieving heart and my completely exhausted head collided and began a tailspin! “What does that mean?” “Is He going to die?” “Why is this happening?” “I can’t do this!”

And, of course, the medical profession are not educated in the art of psychology (or good ‘bed-side manner’) and are only interested in providing the information, signing off on medication and resources required and going to the next patient. This was not enough for me …. not by far.  But never-the-less I carried on, took my baby home, connected to a travel-size oxygen tank only to find a huge tank waiting for us at home.   Wow! Is this really happening?

By this time I had become COMPLETELY overwhelmed and for the first time, but definitely not the last, I looked up and said ‘You’ve got the wrong person, I can’t do this!’

But he was my baby, God had given him to me, God had asked me if it was ok, and I had said ‘yes!’  There was never a question in my heart about not caring for Noah but the intensity of those few months was tangible and I simply had no time to process how I felt about all of this, I just had to care for him …. he needed me!

So what about the voices? In my head they were usually negative, usually condemning, usually loud, usually hopeless ….. but the voice in my heart was quiet, loving, encouraging and life-saving. Unfortunately, during this time, my head usually got more of my attention.

Noah spent the next 12-14 months going in and out of hospital.  He spent more time in hospital than at home.  Each time I was woken by the same voice calling out Noah’s name.  Each time his breathing was laboured.  Each time an ambulance was called.  Each time I tore myself apart, trying to be the best mother I could to all three of my cherubs.  Each time I cried.  Each time I was scared.  Each time I was angry. But as time passed I knew that it was the Lord who gave me the strength to do the ridiculously incredible.   I know His hand was all over this time, even when I had no clue what was going to happen most of the time.  He is so very faithful!


Noah comes home ….

If you have ever had a premature baby you will know how agonising it is to leave your baby in hospital when its time for you to go home. I cannot fault the care that Noah was given in the Special Care Nursery and as much as my heart broke to leave him there, I also had the rest of my family who needed me, and I them. So after having my second Caesarean section in 12 months I left Noah in hospital and went back home (to my mothers house, where we were staying for the holidays). Due to work commitments my then husband returned home (1000kms away) and so it began, where I would try and split my time up equally between Noah and his two older siblings. They were guilt generating times.

I must say, and you will probably get tired of me mentioning this, but I could NOT have done it without the amazing support of my family, especially my dearest mumma. You are Spectacular Mum! If I end up being anything like you are to my children, I will have succeeded.

At 4 weeks old, near the end of January 2004, the hospital had worked out how to get my precious bundle home. He was still extremely weak and although he continued to breathe on his own, he had double jaundis and needed medical attention for a few more weeks. A flight was organised by Air Ambulance for him and I organised flights for us to get home too. What another emotional rollercoaster that was! I cried because I was not only leaving my baby in a hospital, this time he was flying interstate without me. Oh my heart! Torn again! Within hours though we were all home and reunited, my dear mum flying home with me and the children.

Home at last! I had that feeling that we all get when we come home from holidays…. aaahhh I’m home, back to normality. Also though it was ‘back to reality’ most of which was greatly unknown when it came to Noah. I prided myself in the routine that I had for my two babies, they were and still are great natured kids, they slept well, ate well, you know….the perfect type of babies. I am SO thankful to the Lord for giving me such treasures. They were and are ‘go with the flow’ type of kids too. Exactly how I needed them to be because the road ahead was going to be rocky.

The next 3 weeks consisted of me going back and forth to the hospital, working with the nurses in to NICU to do things like, teaching Noah how to drink from a bottle. Noah’s diagnosis of Down Syndrome also brought a little complication called Hypotonia. Otherwise known as ‘low muscle tone’, Noah’s body was like a plate of jelly when he was born, he couldn’t initiate or control any movement. This also meant that the muscles inside his body; heart, lungs, bowels etc were all challenged. So learning to drink was a major effort on both our parts. For me it was all about holding the bottle in his mouth, cradled between my thumb and pointer finger, while using other fingers to move his mouth (from the outside) to promote sucking. For Noah it was simply about keeping his energy up enough to drink, and on completion of every bottle he spent hours sleeping. At that stage it took him nearly an hour to drink 20mls of formula, what a Champion!

Many times through these early stages I felt completely overwhelmed but for the most part felt like I was being carried. And even while writing this I am reminded of that poem ‘Footprints’ which talks of the Lord carrying his children when they are going through trials. I knew it then and I know it so clearly now, that the ‘being carried’ feeling I had was because many, many people were praying. They were all seeking the Lord on my behalf, many of them still doing so nearly 13 years down the track. Oh Lord! Thank you for your obedient children, who steadfastly have lifted me up to you!

Wow, thinking back, that was the beginning of an enormous, sometimes challenging but mostly rewarding, learning curve of learning to look after my baby. Like once when one of the beautiful nurses in the Special Care Nursery explained to me that even ‘wrapping’ Noah would take on a whole new meaning. It is common practice for newborn babies to be wrapped, some love it, some hate it. My daughter loved it, falling asleep while being wrapped. Wrapping Noah though was now being used as a ‘muscle building’ tool. It meant that if he wanted to get out of the wrap he had to push his arms out, this was impossible for him at first, but slowly (months later) he was able to get one arm out and then another. Everything I did for him was therapy based, so my relationship with him became very clinical, mostly holding all my emotions back.

I do remember the night that Noah finally came home. He was tiny, nearly 2 months old but smaller than a newborn. Smiles weren’t happening yet and he never made a sound. He never cried, there was not a goo or gaa heard until he was about 6 months old.
That same day our local church was hosting a Women’s conference for the Nth Eastern region of the state we lived in. In years past I had been part of the team who would organise these events but this year was obviously not my year to be involved. Within a few hours of being home though I got an urgency in my spirit that I needed to go to the conference, and take Noah with me. He was very frail, so tiny, so precious but I knew he had to come. So kissing my other two children good night I jumped back into the car and within minutes was surprising my church family by walking into the conference holding my new baby.

I haven’t yet described my Noah to you and should at this time. He was born with alot of blonde hair and the biggest blue eyes, so in short, a heart stopper.

Within minutes of arriving, where more than 500 women had come from all around, I was ushered up into the front few rows to sit with my church friends.

The worship was wonderful! It was great to be back as I had not been in church much since being home. Within minutes the guest speaker was on the stage, which was strange because she usually stayed down in the congregation until invited. Anyway, we were all encouraged to stay standing as she went on to speak. She said “this is really strange but I need to have all the babies, especially newborns up on to the stage with their mothers. I need to pray for them.” Oh wow! I was blown away! I couldn’t get up on to the stage quick enough. There were a few of us with newborns and she simply went along and laid her hands on them, praying God’s blessing of life upon them. I’ll be honest with you, I was half expecting her to stop at my baby and pray some huge big prayer, but no, she simply prayed ‘ God’s life’ over all of them. I was a little upset (that’d be my pride though…taking a fall:) and returned to my seat as directed. I don’t remember any more of the conference that night but just knew that it was obviously part of God’s plan for Noah and I to be there that night.

And so we were home. Our family of five. A two year old, a nine month old and a newborn. I didn’t even have time to think ‘Woah this is gonna be busy’. I just got up every day, loving my kids and trying to be the best mum I could be. What I didn’t realise is that as much as I knew God and loved Him, I wasn’t consciously factoring Him into the day to day life. Thankfully though there were those faithful few who kept praying.

Where do I start?

“Where do I start?” Is the question that is running through my mind as I begin writing. Let’s just say that Down Syndrome has been a frequent visitor in my life so when my youngest son was born and the test results confirmed what the Dr’s thought, I could see God’s hand in my life. And even though, on a number of occasions since, I have pointed my finger in the air saying to the Lord ‘You have got the wrong person!’ I remembered that there had been two other special encounters in my life where He was simply preparing me for this event.

My first was in 1977 when I was in grade 2. I had a best friend. His name was Cameron O’Keefe. Cam had Down Syndrome, not that I even knew what that was. We, the other kids in the class, just knew that Cam couldn’t write but man could he type! He had a massive type writer on his desk and thinking back his typing speed was probably 40 wpm. I thought he was amazing.

My next encounter happened 18 years later, in Hong Kong. I was 25, single and had committed 12 months of my life to working in an orphanage called Mothers Choice, a place where teenage mothers could surrender their babies, knowing that they would one day be adopted. From memory there were over 100 babies in this orphanage. There were a handful of children though whose adoptions would take longer, and needed extra care. I had the privilege of spending 3-4 months with this group of children. There were three in particular, their names were ‘Yuen Fai, Yat Hong and Wai Yee’, two boys and a girl respectively. They all had Down Syndrome. It was here I learnt that Down Syndrome does not determine a persons ability to love, laugh and function within the ‘normal’ realms of life. What a fantastic lesson to learn!

To begin this story though … We were visiting my family, who lived interstate, for Christmas 2003. I was 33 weeks pregnant and three days after christmas went into premature labour. There is another detail essential to this mix of events and I encourage you to brace yourself for this one, it’s a big one.

While in labour I had to tell the Drs that I had a 9 month old baby at home and due to the fact that he was born by caesarean, I could not give birth to this baby naturally. So picture this, here I am in labour and my then husband hadn’t arrived but regardless of that I had to tell these drs. Here is how it happened. “Um excuse me Dr!” I said, “yes” he replied. “I need you to know that I have a 9 month old son at home and he was born by Caesarean section so if this baby is going to be born today, I can’t do it naturally.” What came next was almost funny. The Dr replied with “its ok, we are doing everything we can to stop the labour”. He wasn’t listening. When my then husband arrived the first question from the Dr was “How many children do you have at home?” and the answer came, “We have a two year old daughter and a 9 month old son”. Well, it was all a rush then, I was whisked into the operating theatre and within minutes No. 3 baby was born, a 4 pound 13 ounce baby boy. He was named, Noah Jacob.

We were told before he was born that we wouldn’t get to see him until they knew he was ok, (that meant checking to see if he was breathing on his own, just a minor detail) and if he had trouble then he would have to be transferred to another hospital over an hour away.

A few hours later, after I had recovered, the news came that Noah was comfortable, breathing on his own, in the Special Care Nursery. Yay, he was ok! So here we were, in a hospital 1000kms away from home, with a premature baby. Wow! That was enough to process.

The following day the Paediatrian came to see us and said “some of the nurses have noticed that your baby has some physical features of Down Syndrome and we want your permission to do tests that would either confirm or deny their suspicions.” So on the 1st January 2004 we found out that our beautiful boy had Down Syndrome.

You may be asking “where was God in all that?” And I would love to tell you. As you can imagine, or you may already know firsthand because you have a child with Down Syndrome, there is a measure of shock that comes with a diagnosis like that. Tear flowed, the news had to be shared with family and friends, medical checks had to be performed on our tiny baby, adjustments had to be made for his care and that of our other two cherubs. To say that it was stressful is an understatement. There were so many unknowns. Life was thrown into, what felt like, completely turmoil.

During those days though the Lord was so gentle with me, and even in my shock He brought fantastic new friends into my life as well as the support of my spectacular family. Then one day I remembered a conversation He, the Lord, and I had had. It was during my pregnancy with Noah, on a day no different to any other. My two children were growing and so was my belly. The fact that I was having another baby played on my mind daily. I can’t remember exactly what I was doing but suddenly had a thought that I knew was not my own, but the voice of the Lord. He clearly said ‘What would you do if I gave you a baby with Down Syndrome?’ Instantly my response was “bring it on”. Not a normal reaction right? But in the days and months following Noah’s birth the Lord reminded me of that chat we had. He so faithfully leads us.

The question I have is this. Why is there such fear attached to having a baby with Down Syndrome? If you are a parent, mother or father, you will know that having children brings a whole lot of ‘unknown’. In my personal experience, having a child born with Down Syndrome brings challenges and some are huge, but for the most part gives families the opportunity to learn what loving unconditionally really means.