It was time to share our news with our families and friends. Having undergone the feelings of shock and concern in our own hearts, it was time to feel the tremors of those feelings in the faces and voices of those we loved. I carefully crafted a message to send out, which explained the diagnosis:
We have had some news on our little baby that we want to share.
Firstly, we are having a little girl…so Madeleine is getting a little sister!
Secondly, we had some genetic testing done and just found out that we are having a special girl…. a little girl who has an extra chromosome, also known as a baby with Down Syndrome.
I’m sure you can imagine the news was shocking and it’s still pretty fresh. We are on a rollercoaster of thoughts, feelings and looking forward holds many uncertainties. At the same time, we have some pretty neat experiences that show us God has this little girl in his hands and in His perfect plan for us…and we are both trusting Him to provide all we need for the journey ahead. We are still very excited to have our second baby on her way.
The syndrome is not caused by anything Russ or I could have had or passed on….it’s just a freaky, fluky situation that causes her to have three rather than two of the 21st chromosome.
We know many of you might not know what to say to us about this… I’m not sure I’d know what to say either. Please consider that we are both adjusting to the news ourselves and have a lot to learn about Down Syndrome.
We know this baby will bring her unique design to our whole family…. including you, and there’s a great/short book called “Your Loved One is Having a Baby with Down Syndrome” that’s free to download here: http://downsyndromepregnancy.org/book/your-loved-one/
It’s got some great info on Down Syndrome and a few great tips on responding to our news that would really help in protecting our hearts as the news is shared. 😊
One specific one is that we’d really appreciate if you could avoid saying ‘I’m sorry’. Even though we are adjusting to this diagnosis, it’s not something to be sorry about because Russ and I are very happy about our having this little girl.
So that’s the big news…. the second little Hegedus girl is making her way to us…and already in our hearts. We trust she will be a blessing and be a source of joy to our family!
We love you guys and appreciate your love and support,
Rachel & Russ
As I pressed send, I imagined what my brothers and sister were thinking as they read. I waited for the first reply… and made bets with myself who it would be. My Mom. Sure enough, she was quick to respond. I had called her the day we got the news and she and my Dad had felt the surprise with us in real-time. My Mom said the same thing then that she had said to us when we surprised her and my Dad with news I pregnant with Madeleine (and not married or even engaged)….”Every baby is a blessing”.
The replies began to roll in…. and with them a healing balm that smothered my heart in the vision of our special little girl being a part of a family who wanted her and was waiting with arms wide open.
My sister and I are the only two girls in my family and she replied right behind my mom:
Chris and I are sending a mountain of love to you all as you adjust to this big news! Every good and perfect gift comes from Him. I know the love you have for baby girl number two will be shared by all of us, and it will cast out any and all fear. You know, two girls in a row sounds familiar… And those second borns, while strange, can be pretty awesome!!! Thank you for sending along the booklet, I’m looking forward to reading it and learning more, but especially to shower this little darling with all the love in the world!
The replies came in steadily, each with a unique stamp of love from each brother and their wives. I sent a similar message to a handful of my dearest friends far and wide, and their replies were equally affirming. As the news began to feel more public, I could feel the sense of a strong community around us, and the feeling of being alone vanished.
My sister caught up with me the next day and she had spent her night binging on YouTube vids related to Down Syndrome! She had watched all the same ones I had and she had sourced a number of local groups and organizations to support us. I could feel her saying, I may not be close in miles, but my heart is where you are and I’m here for you.
Our daughter has an amazing family to thrive in. I can’t wait to introduce her to them.