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Why We Wanted Our Son With Down Syndrome to Have a Sibling

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From the moment my son, Jamison, was born, as a father I knew something was different. It wasn’t until day five that we got confirmation he had Trisomy 21. Right then, my wife and I knew deep in our hearts Jamison was going to need a sibling. We wanted to be sure Jamison would have a friend in case the world was harsh to him. We wanted someone to have his back, someone to make him laugh and someone Jamison could always count on even after my wife and I pass away.

Jamison has a half brother who is 16 years older than him who lives in New York, and although he loves Jamison, we knew Jamison needed someone close to his age to grow up alongside him. We had fears of him not being able to adapt to life without us. We were afraid of him being in a group home. As much as Down syndrome completely had taught us about love and joy, there is always fear of what the future will hold for your child when they become adults. Will they be able to live independently?

When Jamison was about 11 months old, a pregnancy test showed positive and my wife and I felt such relief. We were so excited we couldn’t wait to tell the world that our superhero was getting a side kick! I remember hearing this little baby’s heartbeat and envisioning this child and Jamison playing and laughing throughout the house together. The ultrasound tech was being pretty quiet. She told us to wait to speak to the doctor. We knew something was wrong. After getting a surprise Down syndrome diagnosis with Jamison, I questioned why God would make us go through another trial. The doctor came in and told us that the baby’s heartbeat was slow and we needed to come back in a week or two to see if it had gotten stronger. I was not prepared for this. After a week of crying and mourning, we went back and the heartbeat was so slow it barely picked up on the machine. Before we decided if we wanted a procedure done or to let the miscarriage happen naturally, we had to wait for the baby to slowly die. We decided we wanted to allow it to happen naturally. By the next visit, the baby had passed and my wife’s womb had became a tomb. We waited over two months for her to miscarry. A husband should never have to pray that his wife would expel their baby, but the wait was traumatizing.

After the miscarriage, I felt God healed us and went along with life. Two months later we were pregnant, again. Fear struck. We had a miscarriage before Jamison, then we lost another baby. Was it possible we would just keep in getting hurt? We went to our first appointment and everything looked good. My wife began to spot but we figured it was from the exam… except it didn’t stop. We went to the hospital to be sure it wasn’t a miscarriage and there we heard the baby’s heartbeat, but the spotting was still there. We followed up with our doctor and the baby’s heartbeat got stronger and he said not to worry about the spotting unless it got worse. Well a few days later, again, I just felt something was off. We went back to the hospital and the baby stopped growing and there was no heartbeat. This miscarriage came quicker though.

Two months later my wife was pregnant again. I was done with suffering, I didn’t want to try anymore but my wife was still willing to try. After nine long anxiety filled months, we finally gave birth to Jamison’s brother, Jaxon, on June 27. Of course, I see this as God having a sense of humor, because my wife gave birth while I was on a plane traveling back from New York to see my son graduate. But I believe God knew what he was doing.

Jamison might not appreciate having a baby in the house right now, but I can already picture the two of them wrestling and fooling around, filling our home with laughter. I can rest assured believing God gave Jamison a brother to protect, love and grow with!

There is life after a Down syndrome diagnosis and multiple miscarriages.

Originally published: July 30, 2019
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