Today’s post comes from Mollie, mother to Wren. I absolutely adore this sweet family! I melt every time I see little “Birdie” pop up in my Instagram feed. And guess what! Today is Wren’s third birthday!! We are so happy to celebrate with her on her special day! You can follow Mollie and her family on Instagram at @mollieglasgow.
How/when did you find out your loved one had Down syndrome?
We found out shortly after Wren’s birth that she had Down Syndrome and a heart defect. She was born 4 weeks early and there were no indicators prior to her birth that caused her doctors to suspect any health issues or genetic disorders.
What were some of the emotions you had when you got the news?
To be honest I was just completely shocked by Wren’s diagnosis. I didn’t quite understand what it meant for her to have Down Syndrome. I remember feeling guilty, like I should have just known that something was going on during my pregnancy. I don’t remember feeling sadness but just confusion at times. I felt completely incompetent and immature to be given such a huge responsibility in being Wren’s caregiver. She was in the NICU for the first week of her life due to trouble with her body temp and oxygen levels. I felt helpless and clueless but from the beginning she was a fierce little girl. She taught me very quickly not to put limits on what she could accomplish. I realized in that first week that all that mattered is that I was there for her and that I was willing to believe in her. I might have been the worst choice, in my eyes, to have a child with special needs but I knew that I didn’t want anyone else to take my place.
How did siblings respond to the news of Down syndrome?
Wren’s big sister Willow has always been her biggest fan and cheerleader. Willow was three when Wren was born and it was a love fest between those two from the very beginning. I have learned so much about how to approach Wren’s diagnosis from Willow. From day one she has embraced Down Syndrome in the most beautiful way. At three, Willow knew nothing about Down Syndrome but would point out all of Wren’s little traits that she loved most. She would obsess over Wren’s little almond shaped eyes that were exactly the same color blue as hers. She would hold Wren’s tiny hands and kiss her chubby short fingers. As Wren has grown, we have had to have discussions with Willow about her delays in sitting, crawling, walking, talking. We would explain that Wren will have to work extra hard to accomplish things. Willow just saw that as an opportunity for her to be involved, and sometimes overly pushy, with Wren’s therapy. She probably drove our in-home therapist crazy with all her questions and literally jumping in the middle of therapy to motivate Wren and help keep her happy. When Wren was born people would always tell us that Willow was going to be Wren’s greatest teacher and biggest strength. But what I have seen is that they are each others greatest strength. Willow is patient, caring, kind, accepting and I attribute that to Wren. Wren is confident, brave, silly, loving and I attribute that to Willow. Wren now has a little sister, Pippa, who is 7 months and I cannot wait to watch their bond grow and watch Wren blossom as a big sister. Willow is PROUD to tell people that her sister has Down Syndrome because it is something that she loves about Wren. To this day when asked to describe Down Syndrome, out of the mouth of our now six year old, Willow will exclaim, “beautiful”!! And it truly is. It makes Wren beautiful. It makes Willow beautiful. It has made our life beautiful.
If someone I knew was told their baby would be born with Down syndrome, I would tell them…
Get ready for an amazing journey ahead. Not every day is going to be easy, and there will be a TON of worrying in your future but there will JOY beyond measure. Your eyes will be open to an entirely new outlook on life and you will never want to look back. You may not feel like you are cut out for this or even worthy to raise a child with special needs but, the most important thing is to love your baby and realize that God’s plan is beautiful and perfect.
Click below to read all the stories from Down Syndrome Awareness Month!