The leading human rights organization for all individuals with Down syndrome.

National Down Syndrome Society
8 E 41st Street, 8th Floor
New York New York 10017
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Let Me Tell You a Secret About a Father's Love...
Let Me Tell You a Secret About a Father's Love...

When we found out we were expecting our sixth child, we were overjoyed! Throughout my pregnancy, I found it curious that I would often encounter random things related to Down syndrome. A magazine article about a mom and a surprise diagnosis. A reality show about a family with more than a few adopted kids... and they all had Down syndrome. James, my husband's "buddy" who had bagged our groceries for the past ten years. I began to feel like we were being prepared for something. It started to seem very coincidental. I looked at my husband and said, "We might have a little baby with Down syndrome." His response was, "Yeah, we'll see. I'm ok with that!" We did not want prenatal testing. I did have the ultrasound suggested by my doctor. I cannot resist a peek at my beautiful baby! At our ultrasound we discovered Braden had swelling of the kidneys, and open valves in his ureters where they should be closed. Thankfully, the next ultrasound showed a reduction in swelling. However, the doctor found an intestinal blockage. Unfortunately, it would require surgery after birth. He noticed the high amount of fluid surrounding the baby, a condition called polyhydramnios. This occurs in 1-2% of pregnancies, and can be mild, moderate, or severe. Mine was severe. I began bed rest, except for trips to the hospital for doctor visits, ultrasounds, and tests on the baby. At 34 weeks, I received steroid injections to boost lung maturity in case he arrived early. At 36 weeks we went into the hospital for more tests. He was having trouble so they admitted me for a C-section four weeks early' and to our great pleasure, Braden Christopher Sheffield arrived to bless us with a little something extra to love. Braden spent 17 days in the NICU. He had a blood platelet transfusion, bowel obstruction surgery, and an appendectomy. He was on a ventilator for a little while. He had a catheter to administer fluids and meds, and a tube to drain his stomach. After days of being front and center in the NICU, he developed persistent pulmonary hypertension, putting stress on his heart and lungs. This secured him a peaceful, dim spot in the back of the room, away from the door and heavy foot traffic. He developed jaundice and spent a few days soaking up some rays. His kidneys were still showing signs of swelling, and he had blocked tear ducts, as his eyes were constantly watering. We also discovered he has an ASD (atrial septal defect) which was not found on the prenatal ultrasounds. When Braden was born, the nurse held him up to my husband and asked, "Do you notice anything about his face," wondering if we knew the secret Braden had been keeping. My husband answered, "Yeah, it looks like he has Down syndrome. We're ok with that." Yes, we are more than ok with that' We are overjoyed!

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Mary Molvig, United States, CA
8/15/2011 1:05:36 PM
Braden has definitely been blessed with wonderful, caring, loving, joyful parents. I am so thankful he was a little fighter and the doctors and nurses were such good caregivers! This little one has already gone through so much in his short life.

Daniel Sheffield, United States, CA
8/15/2011 3:29:45 PM
What a beautiful little boy!

Jackie Sheffield, United States, CA
8/15/2011 4:38:30 PM
Braden is a blessing and a gift to all his family as his family is a blessing to him. He has a Mother and Father who will always and forever accept him as he is and not try to fix or push him to be what he cannot be. Braden is just, a wonderful, beautiful

DH, United States, GA
8/15/2011 6:02:32 PM 1
What a wonderful story! Braden is definitely a beautiful blessing and he will do great things, you\'ll see! -DH

Wayne Sheffield, United States, CA
8/15/2011 6:37:05 PM
Braden's Papa loves him dearly.

April Davila, United States, CA
8/15/2011 6:57:45 PM
Go Braden! You are amazing! Love April Davila, one of your many \"aunties\" in the Sisterhood!

meriah, United States, CA
8/15/2011 7:10:49 PM

Susie Moore, United States, OR
8/15/2011 7:11:11 PM
Wow, this beautiful little boy is committed to life. His joyous smile will light up the world. He is learning how to dance in the rain..........Love Aunt Susie

Pam Misco, United States, CA
8/16/2011 1:05:39 AM
Braden is such a sweetheart - strong and determined - with the added blessing of a wonderful loving family

Jennifer Varanini, United States, CA
8/16/2011 3:03:03 AM
LOVE this story so much!!!!!

lisa waters, United States, CO
8/17/2011 12:33:01 AM

Emil alexander Svenman, United States, CA
8/17/2011 12:44:49 AM
Great story

Ashley Sheffield, United States, CA
8/17/2011 1:16:34 AM
Love you little dude!! : )

Cori Sarno Villacres, United States, CA
8/17/2011 12:06:11 PM
Awesome story and oh so familiar! I did not realize that Braden had the blocked intestine issue that Joey had too. I also had excess water because of it and was huge!

trevor barstow, United States, CA
8/20/2011 4:12:15 PM
great story and the cutest child every i have seen him in person and he just makes everone smile and i know the family and are just great with all there children and braden haveing downsyindrome hasent slowed them down at all

Pam Fleenor, United States, OH
9/21/2011 12:54:15 PM
I loved your beautiful story and beautiful attitude. What a cutie!!

12/12/2012 1:42:41 AM

Leeann Dee Pressler, United States, OK
06/17/2012 17:35:17
I love these stories, what a beautiful idea. It comforts me to read all these different stories, because my son has down syndrome. He is truely mad my life meaningful!

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