It was a pretty uneventful pregnancy. All the typical blood tests came back negative. Even a 45-minute, 3-D ultra-sound, showed all was well and perfectly healthy. Well, at about 5:20pm, February 9th, 2007, as the nurses were cleaning Tyler up after a surprise C-section, our world changed. Of course it would have anyway, but changed in a way we never, in our wildest dreams, expected.

As much as I want to tell our whole birth story, and am more then happy to do it whenever asked, I want to get right to the point of why I wrote this for our website… Tyler is a wonder and a joy to behold. And we are ecstatic to have the chance to show off our beautiful pictures of our beautiful son Tyler on this wonderful website.

Twenty-eight months ago, when he was born, we were in shock. I was recovering from an unplanned C-section and making twice weekly trips to a Lactation Consultant at Torrance Memorial Medical Center. I was overwhelmed and terrified, but we were extremely fortunate at the same time. Other then difficulties with breast-feeding, Tyler had no health problems. And as an infant he kept hitting all his milestones. I was petrified of what the future might hold and at the same time I felt too guilty, that Tyler was doing so well, to attend a support group. I think we assumed it would be all surgery talk and grave medical stories about all the vast possible issues our kids can have. Afraid it would be all sadness and gloom. Boy was I naïve! And just flat out wrong!! I only started attending last fall and I am so sorry I didn’t start coming to these wonderful gatherings right away. (So join up! ~ok, that’s all the sales pitch I’m going to do). There IS support for all the tough issues you will encounter, but that’s not all. There is so much optimism and enthusiasm in this group for our kids. It really inspired me and lifted me to a place I wondered if I would ever be. But we ARE there now. With so much confidence and love for our son.

We want to strongly suggest that you do your very best to NOT make any, any assumptions at all, about what your child will or won’t be, or what they will or won’t be able to do. You should have high expectations for your child. They deserve that. The news we received that day seemed insurmountable at the moment, and for a while after. And there are still moments, few and far between, where things seem pretty scary. But what parent isn’t scared for their child in some way, or at some time or other. But the outlook for children with Down syndrome is extremely bright, and a thousand times brighter then just ten or so years ago. So there is brightness ahead. More then you know.

Tyler is the light of our lives. Tyler gets more compliments from strangers (and of course friends and family) then we can count. He is perfect and adorable, exactly as he is. He is, was and always will be, the perfect child for us, exactly as he is. Don’t get me wrong; he is a handful like every toddler. Always going off in the opposite direction from where we want him to go. He definitely has a mind of his own. He knows what he wants. And he lets us know it. He makes us laugh everyday. Even on the tough days. We lose our patience with him just as we would with a typical child, maybe more. We’re not saints! No one is perfect. But we don’t have to be perfect. We have to be PARENTS. That’s all. Our extraordinary children forgive our faults and our difficulties; I think probably, much quicker and easier then I suspect a typical child would.

We would never trade Tyler’s unique love and happiness for anything in the world. And I dare say that goes for our extended family as well. They ALL adore him.

(I am not a writer, as you may have noticed. I’m just a Mom, and speaking for a Dad, in love with their beautiful son. And I hope I was able to make someone’s journey just a little easier, and ease just a little fear about the road ahead. It won’t be anywhere near as bad as you may be thinking right now, we promise you.)

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