The National Advocate for People with Down Syndrome Since 1979

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Abigail's Journey
Abigail's Journey

After 22 years of marriage, Connie and I were blessed on December 8, 2012 with our precious daughter Abigail Lynn. You may wonder why I emphasized the “22 years of marriage” part. It is due to the fact that we are both in our mid-40s, have two teenage sons (19 and 16), and an empty nest was in our near future. Getting pregnant was not planned, but our excitement could not be contained from the moment we found out. Once the ultrasound showed a baby girl was in our future, the excitement grew exponentially. For most of our marriage, we had wanted to have a daughter and finally it was happening. We chose the name Abigail because it means “source of joy” and it fits her perfectly. Each day that goes by, just enforces the fact that God blessed us with an incredible gift. Abigail was born with Down syndrome and a ventricular septal defect (VSD) - a hole in her heart. We refused all prenatal testing for Down syndrome because it would not change our decision to bring our beautiful girl into this world. The issues with her heart were not visible on the ultrasound, so at delivery we were told about both issues. I followed Abigail to intensive care and the doctor coldly said “she has a problem with her heart” with no details on what could be wrong. It was the most gut wrenching conversation I have ever had with a doctor, and I broke down in tears when telling our family that Abigail had to be transferred immediately to Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital in Saint Louis, MO. At that point, we didn’t know if we would see her again so tears flowed as they got her ready for transport. Abigail spent 46 days in the NICU at Cardinal Glennon before a joyful homecoming on January 22. During her stay in the NICU, a Facebook page was created to make it easier for family and friends to follow her journey. What we didn’t know was that the page would be shared to reach people from coast to coast and even outside the United States. Because of this, prayers and support have been incredible. It is amazing to see how many lives she has touched just with her story and pictures. Looking back, neither Connie nor I saw Down syndrome as an issue to get upset over. Doctors had warned Connie so much because of her age, that we were mentally prepared for the diagnosis. We know with Down syndrome there will be challenges, but Abigail has a strong support system of family and friends that will help her to succeed. As any parent would, we will do anything for our little girl.




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Wendy Wollenberg, United States, MO
4/23/2013 7:30:08 PM
I love to hear about Abbigails story. I work with kids with special needs and love to see them grow and learn new things. Every step is an amazing feat. I.ve watched some of my kiddos pres chool thru high school. I am very proud of all of them. Abbigail you smile lights the sky! May you always be one of Gods many miracles.

brenda meyer, United States, MO
3/15/2013 11:20:02 PM
she is so cut e and will have a bright future

Michelle Shough, United States, MO
3/8/2013 8:52:54 AM
Abigail is a Masterpiece, says the Lord!

Becky Holland, United States, MO
3/5/2013 11:51:05 AM
Pictures do not do this precious baby justice! She is the most adorable baby I've ever seen! She has been a fighter since day one. She is defintly going to rock that extra chromosome & surprise everyone!

Christy Cox, United States, MO
3/5/2013 9:39:05 AM
Abigail is a precious gift from the Lord! What a blessing she is to Doug and Connie.

Delma Mallett, United States, MO
3/5/2013 8:21:00 AM
Beautiful little girl who will always be loved.

Trish Vance, United States, MO
3/4/2013 11:04:26 PM
Wonderful story. God bless you Abigail!

Selina Krumwiede, United States, MO
3/4/2013 10:28:55 PM
God bless all of you, Abigail is a beautiful lil girl &is very blessed to have the wonderful family she has

ARTHUR L TEAGUE, United States, MO
3/2/2013 8:59:59 AM
MY GOD BLESS YOU ALL

Gloria Falk, United States, MO
3/2/2013 1:10:03 AM
What a beautiful story and a beautiful family. God Bless you all.

Cheri McCloud, United States, MO
3/1/2013 11:45:18 PM
Abigail is so beautiful and so is her family. God bless you all!

Carrie Jacobs, United States, MO
3/1/2013 10:37:03 PM
Abigail is beautiful! God blessed this sweet baby girl with a wonderful family, who will continue to love and adore her!

Monica Block, United States, MO
3/1/2013 6:54:23 PM
A great story on a great couple and wonderful little girl. Abigail you will go far!

Great Aunt Pam , United States, MO
3/1/2013 12:44:17 PM
Abigail has brought with her so much love and happiness into our family. She is truly a blessing.

Tima M, United States, MO
3/1/2013 12:09:31 PM
Such a precious gift for a wonderful family!! Good luck with the votes!!

Kellie Sweeney, United States, MO
3/1/2013 11:47:16 AM
Beautiful to see the love parents have for a blessing from God no matter what the challenges are. That is the true love of Christ, unconditional. Abigail has got the cutest little lips and sweetest little eyelashes. Good luck Hutton Family.xo

kay dreher, United States, MO
3/1/2013 11:04:06 AM
What an adorable little girl!!!!

Wendy Wollenberg, United States, MO
3/1/2013 8:50:27 AM
Abbigail is a beautiful baby girl with the best parents God could have ever given her. I know that her journey will be challenging but with God's faith she will have a wonderful life. We love you Abbigail!

Charla Jones, United States, MO
3/1/2013 7:53:03 AM
A beautiful child and a beautiful family.....what a blessing!

Karen Deines, United States, MO
2/28/2013 9:44:59 PM
Such a beautiful family. The words in Abigail's story are touching and humbling.

Angela Newcomb, United States, MO
2/28/2013 6:34:03 PM
Love you baby Abigail~Aunt Angie

Nancy Falk, United States, MO
2/28/2013 6:14:06 PM
I was with Connie's sister working a pet adoption day the day Abigaile was born and will always remember that day! Bonnie was so excited - crying and we told all the customers at PetSmart about it and everyone was so excited. It was also traumatic when we found out her challenges, right off the bat. I have to say, her family has done an EXCELLENT job at taking the most adorable pictures of her and putting them on facebook. This little girl could win a beauty contest! So glad she is on her way to a healthy life with LOTS of people to love her! Nancy

Jerilynn Dowty, United States, IN
2/28/2013 5:48:16 PM
I will keep Abigail and her family in my prayers. God be with you and bless you all.

Tonya Linton, United States, MO
2/28/2013 4:57:41 PM
Beautiful story, beautiful baby girl!

Fran Clare Schnarre, United States, MO
2/28/2013 4:49:08 PM
Doug & Connie: I don't think I have ever met you, but I grew up with Debi Colbert Achor. My brother and I played with Debi and with Kent at Sunday School and church activities, and I remember when you were born. I have enjoyed hearing about Abigail and watching her grow on Facebook. I plan to take my computer down to my mother, Margaret Clare, who is now living in Sugar Creek assisted living. She will enjoy seeing the pictures. Blessings, Fran Schnarre

Neva English, United States, MO
2/28/2013 4:49:07 PM
God bless you Abigail, you're daddy wrote a wonderful story.

Aunt Michelle, United States, MO
2/28/2013 4:23:37 PM
Love You Abigail, so excited to be a part of your journey!

Mary Achor, United States, MO
2/28/2013 4:11:46 PM
Abigail has fought her way into the world. It has been a joy to watch her flourish in spite of everything. I can scarcely wait until I am with her and can cuddle this remarkable little girl.

Diane DePriest, United States, MO
2/28/2013 4:02:09 PM
God bless Abigail on her journey.

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