Our journey through a prenatal Trisomy 21 (Down syndrome) diagnosis and beyond

I wish it were possible to recognize at the beginning of our life’s story what an incredible journey we are truly on. If so, I would have sat down years ago and begun documenting all the ordinary and extraordinary events in this amazing life I have been blessed with. Sometimes, though, it may take just one more thing to open your eyes into the beauty of the life you have led and causes you to pause and truly count the blessings that are now so many they will never be enumerated.

If you are just joining us, please go back to September 2012 to get caught up.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Holiday Card Season!

It's that time of year again--holiday card season!

I LOVE our family photos so much this year, so they are of course our holiday cards.  We may never have another family pic where everyone is looking so good at the same time, so I will milk this for all it is worth ;)

Here's a sneak peek (and major props, still, to Aubrey Kinzie Photography!)

The other reason I LOVE this is because it is an excellent way to share our family with others.  Although I don't see it day to day, our family does have something unique going on -- all those redheads! Oh, yes, and Down syndrome, too, but we ALWAYS get comments about those little gingers of ours ;)

At DSDN, we want families to include medical providers and other professionals on their holiday card list.  What a great way to remind doctors about our families and for them to see our families through the years!  I also plan to send a note to my first OB/GYN so he can see what we are up to these days.

Will you join us again this year?

Many thanks to those that have worked towards this mission too! (Thanks Campbell and Mark!)

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Welcome Totes of Hope!

Do you ever just wonder sometimes how things just really seem to work out?  Even when it doesn't seem possible?  Amazing.

DSDN is really taking off!  We are supporting over 1000 moms with children under 3 in our  8 online groups!! Recall we just launched in March, so that really is incredible to me! We also have our book and postnatal resources available for those parents and medical professionals in the diagnosis phase.

I am realizing each day how each person and moment has been placed in my life very intentionally to help achieve great things.  There are several women I have met over the past years that are doing wonderful things for families in the DS community.  Several also focus on welcoming new families- which I believe is critical.  This is a point where emotions run high. And not just one or two feelings, but often it is an incredible range.  But, since you know this is my passion, I know you know that. Read about baskets happening in Oregon, Minnesota and Kansas City here and here.  This is a project, like many families are doing, that really inspires me to do MORE.

Not too add more to my workload, but I really feel a call to get more involved locally.  I had the pleasure of sharing our DSDN work with the local GiGi's board this weekend and shared a bit about starting up a welcome basket program here. They were wonderful to meet with and have so many fantastic pieces in place to support families. I am so lucky to have an awesome team of moms who are willing to help, an organization that can support our fundraising efforts and distribution of baskets--- and we are off!!!

So coming soon to local hospitals--Welcome Totes of Hope for parents with a new baby with Down syndrome.

We are hoping this will be a tremendous support and comfort in those sometimes challenging first days.  Whether it is a prenatal or birth diagnosis, we want parents to know the local and online supports available to them.

Our goal- Raise $4000 to create at least 40 baskets for babies that will be born in our area hospitals throughout the next year.

Think we can do it? I KNOW we can!  I can't wait to support new families even further!

Ready to sponsor a tote by donating $100?
Can you share in the cost of funding a tote with others?
Go to GiGi's Des Moines and click DONATE TODAY  and please make your donation in honor of Totes of Hope.

THANK YOU for helping us make a difference for local families as they begin this journey with Down syndrome! And BIG THANKS to GiGi's for helping this become a reality!

Stay tuned!