Rough aquamarine in gold plated setting and gold filled chain.
From the beginning Madeline’s life was a miracle, I struggled with Infertility and was only given a 3% to ever conceive naturally. She almost made it through the first trimester without being noticed. I’d been getting sick, but being pregnant was not even a thought. We were very shocked when we did finally find out. The months went by, she kicked, squirmed and grew right on track. She checked all the boxes except for one, her face. At 8 months, I was referred to a larger hospital with better imaging to rule out a cleft lip. They did rule out cleft lip, but were surprised to find out she had a heart defect.
When they found what was then a “small VSD” they encouraged us to get genetic testing. We agreed, and I got the call that she had a 64% chance of having Down syndrome. I’ll never forget the overwhelming fear I felt. I tried to hang on to the small chance she didn’t have it. The what IFs consumed me, and any Joy I felt before was starting to vanish. We went back 2 more times before delivery, and each time we got hit with more scary news. At our last visit, we got confirmation that Madeline’s small VSD was now a Complete AV canal defect and a small PDA that would require surgery in a few short months. With the little time we had left, we prepared ourselves the best we could.
Madeline was born during a Covid surge on Labor Day by cesarean with only my husband by my side. No other family were allowed at that time. We had no idea how we’d react, we still believed there was a chance she wouldn’t have Down Syndrome. When my husband looked over to see her for the first time, he looked back at me, and just nodded. I knew what that meant, and for the first time in a very long time my heart felt at peace. I knew it was going to be ok.
Looking back, I wish I wouldn’t have been so afraid, and I wouldn’t have let a diagnosis steal my Joy. I wish I could have seen how perfectly she fits into our family and how happy she had made us. She is brave, strong and beautiful! Her smile is contagious, and she always brightens my day. She’s conquered heart surgery and just celebrated her First Birthday!
I know that her life won’t always be easy, which is the inspiration for her necklace… but Just because the journey is rough and not perfect doesn’t mean it still can’t be a beautiful one! Our sweet Madeline.