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Saint Louis Baby
Saint Louis Baby

I was only a few weeks along in my pregnancy when my husband and I packed up ourselves and our two daughters for a mini family vacation to Saint Louis. This was actually the first vacation we had ever taken as a family. Our oldest daughters are actually my husband's step children. This pregnancy was his soon to be first biological child. We were extremely excited. We had been waiting for what we felt like was good time for our family to have another child. One of our stops in Saint Louis was to the Arch. There was a long wait until we were able to get to go on the pods that would take us to the top. So to pass time my husband took our girls into the museum to look around. I stayed back because I was feeling sick. This was the only pregnancy that I had morning sickness with, and it was making up for missed time. When they were finished looking around they all met me and like many other families we sat on the floor to wait. It wasn't but a couple of minutes when this beautiful baby girl crawled up to me. Her eyes were like sunshine, and her smile was its warmth. She had Down syndrome, I had never seen a baby with Down syndrome before and the last time I remember seeing anyone who had it was when I was in elementary school. So I really took a good look at this little one. She warmed my heart. Throughout my pregnancy I thought of this baby often, even more so when we found out that our daughter would also be born with Down syndrome. Shortly after our vacation complications occurred in the pregnancy and things kept getting worse. I was put on strict bed rest and was being monitored two to three times a week. I was devastated and scared for what would happen once our baby was born and at the same time I was excited and in love with her. It was a hard time. Sometime during the end of my pregnancy a friend came to visit me. She told me of a website she had heard of for parents who have a child (or children) who have Down syndrome. After she left that day I got on to the site and after being approved I briefly told my story. I was blown away by the response. Mothers showered me with kind encouraging words. It was like a private community where you weren't judged and you were surrounded by others who were strong and wise and loving. This was what I needed, this is what helped me be stronger. After being on for a few days I shortly told my story of how I met this sweet baby in Saint Louis the summer before and asked if any of the other mothers was in Saint Louis the same time, if they remembered the short encounter that we had. None of them did, however those mothers got on other sites, told my story and with in a day or so I found the family. I was able to tell her that her daughter helped me through some of the hardest times in my life because even though I had only seen her smiling face in person for minutes I was able to see her in my memories. I believe that God works in amazing ways. I also believe that he put that family and my family at the same place to meet. Even if it were only for a few passing minutes. I think he was telling me that this too would be my future. To me that baby was an angel sent to open my eyes and heart for the changes that were about to come. I talk to the mother of the Saint Louis baby some. I wish she was closer so we could see each other and talk more often. Maybe become friends. I think it would be nice for our girls to meet each other, I think because I am so grateful to have been blessed with the opportunity to meet this family. I will forever have a place in my heart for that baby. My daughter Vada was born having Down syndrome on March 2, 2010. She is the most amazing and beautiful baby I could ever ask for. I've been asked questions like would I change it if I could. Naturally no parent wants their child to have complications, but what these people who are asking these questions don't realize is that Down syndrome is not who Vada is. She is a sweet baby who will grow up to be her own amazing person, and she just happens to have Down syndrome. So no, I wouldn't change a thing. My life is better because she is in it.

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