Miss Landree has arrived!

On August 6, 2012 Rick and I loaded the car and headed to the hospital for the arrival of our baby girl. I was scheduled for a C-section since I had one when my son was born. We were so excited we couldn’t stand it. We dropped Will off with my mom and dad before we left town. Everyone would meet us at the hospital a little later.

When we arrived at the hospital, Rick could no longer contain his excitement. He actually did a little dance for the nurses when we stopped at the nurse’s station for directions. They all just loved him. All I could do was laugh and shake my head.

They showed us to the room where I would be before surgery. I was so nervous. I told myself we would probably be a little late getting to the operating room. Don’t doctors always run behind? Not so much! My doctor stopped in to check on me and said she was already at the hospital so we could start just as soon as they got me ready. What? I was totally panicked.  It was an hour early. My parents were just getting there. My sister was still on her way and she was supposed to video! Luckily she made it just in time. I got to see our families before they wheeled me back. I felt much better.

The nurses took me to the operating room to give me my spinal block. Rick and my sister waited in the prep room until I was situated. I felt much better when they got in the room with me. We waited and waited because the doctor got called to deliver another baby. It was all kind of a blur, but I’m pretty sure we passed the time with immature and inappropriate comments and nervous giggles.

The doctor came in the room and got things started. They told Rick and Rebecca they had to stay seated and couldn’t take pictures until given permission. Rick, being the rule-breaker that he is couldn’t help himself and stood up to catch a peak. He had to be reminded to stay in his seat which was pretty funny. Miss Landree was finally here! She let out the most pitiful cry. It wasn’t loud at all and it sounded like a cat. The nurses held her up just for a second so I could see her. I barely got a glimpse. Rick and Rebecca waited for permission to start the picture taking. The nurses  whisked Landree over to the other side of the room and called in another doctor. They were cleaning her up and talking quietly. Rebecca and Rick watched. I found out later that they whispered to each other that she looked like she might have Down Syndrome. I still hadn’t gotten a good look at her. The doctors and nurses started talking to Rick about Landree but I couldn’t hear what they were saying. The anesthesiologist, who was also pregnant was so sweet. She said she would do her best to tell me what they said. She told me that the doctors were saying that they noticed Landree had some features they wanted the pediatrician to check out. What? I was dumbfounded. I knew exactly what that meant. I think I got to quickly see her one more time and they took her to the NICU to check her out. They told me she could be there for 6 to 24 hours. I was devastated. So many times I had imagined getting to hold my baby girl. We waited nine months for her to get here and she was taken away almost immediately. My doctor came over and comforted Rick and me and patted my arm. Rick, Rebecca and I just kept assuring each other that everything was fine. If she had Down Syndrome it was no big deal, we would handle it. I think we were all trying our best not to cry, but Rick and I both did. Rebecca headed back to the waiting room to update the family. She told them she thought Landree had Down Syndrome. I think my mom just decided the doctors had made a mistake. We were told that the diagnosis couldn’t be confirmed until genetic testing was done, but the pediatrician would be by later to talk to us.

The nurses wheeled me back to my room and gave Rick and me a minute alone. We cried and tried to tell each other it would be ok. I knew it would be ok, but I still felt this sudden rush of grief. Nothing would be like we planned. I’m sure it would still be good, but I couldn’t help but think she may never get married or try out for cheerleader or become a barrel racer. I know that’s silly, but that’s how I felt at the time. I felt like I would be cheated out of the “normal” mother/daughter milestones. Within about 30 minutes, the nurse knocked on the door and came in with Landree. She said she had somebody that wanted to see me. I was so excited. The second I held her I was happy. This was OUR baby girl and she was perfect. The nurse said they didn’t keep her in the NICU because everything checked out perfectly. It was a miracle!

It was time to see if she would breast feed. I have an aversion to breast feeding anyway but promised Rick I would give it a try. The nurse explained that sometimes babies with Down Syndrome have trouble latching on to eat. She was in shock when Landree figured it out in a minute or two. So far she was healthy and eating. We couldn’t believe it.

That afternoon was a crazy day. Both sides of the family were at the hospital to see Landree. We were glad but it was wild. The doctor we chose to be Landree’s pediatrician is wonderful. Will has been going to him for several years and we love him. The only problem is he doesn’t practice at the hospital where I delivered. We had to use the hospital pediatrican and were supposed to schedule a visit with our doctor once we were released.There were probably 15 people in the room when the hospital pediatrician came to talk to us. He stood in the middle of the room without introducing himself or asking if it was ok to talk in front of everyone. He just looked at us and said “So you know she’s Down Syndrome. Right?” I told him we knew they thought so. He said “Yeah….well she is.” Then he started explaining all of the terrible things that could be wrong with her. When he was finished sucking all of the life out of the room he just turned and walked out. We all sat with our mouths hanging open for a few seconds. Then I began to cry. I found out later that my friend followed him into the hall and told him she had seen veterinarians with a better bedside manner. That was pretty great. He was much nicer the next time we saw him.

My mom told me not to worry about what that doctor said. He was obviously an idiot and I should call our pediatrician. Our pediatrician has a daughter that has Down Syndrome. I called his office crying. The nurse said she would have him return my call. He called me back and I immediately felt better. He said there are potential things that can  be wrong but not to worry. He said we would deal with things as they come. He told me how much joy his daughter brings him and pointed out that all kids have their own set of problems. Even "typical" kids aren't perfect. They might battle addiction or have any other number of problems that are much worse than anything he's ever had to face with his daughter. Hmm…it made perfect sense! He told me the good news is that all I have to worry about at this very moment is feeding her, loving her and making sure she has a clean bottom. I felt so much better. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that our pediatrician also has a child with Down Syndrome. It all fit together perfectly.

Before leaving the hospital Landree had to pass a carseat test. They took  her to the nursery and checked her vital signs while she was in her carseat. I never heard of that before. She couldn’t be released until she passed her test. We prayed and prayed. She passed with flying colors!

The next morning, someone came in to test Landree’s hearing. Again, we prayed and prayed. Perfect! She passed her hearing test.

Before we were released from the hospital a different pediatrician came to see us. She was great. She suggested that we have an echocardiogram done on Landree before we left the hospital. She said sometimes it can be hard to get one scheduled after being released. I sent out a text message asking for prayers. Our prayers were answered! Lots of babies born with Down Syndrome have heart problems. Miss Landree got a good report. I can’t tell you how relieved we were.

I think a lot of people would be surprised to learn that Landree is the most laid back baby I’ve ever seen. She slept through the night as soon as we got home from the hospital. The only problem we had with her was that she was losing weight because she wasn’t waking up in the night to eat. We started waking her up to feed her every few hours and she started to fatten up. Our pediatrician suggested she have a sonogram done to make sure her hips weren’t out of place. He said that was common for babies with Down Syndrome and she was very flexible. He wanted to make sure we covered all the bases. Again…perfect!

It blows my mind that people worry they will be “burdened” by a child with Down Syndrome.Taking care of her was no different than it was when my son was a baby. If anything, she was easier to take care of. She just goes with the flow! My kids are the sweetest, cuddliest human beings I have ever come in contact with. I can’t imagine my life without her in it. We would love her whether she had major medical problems or not. I know things could pop up in the future, and we’ll deal with them. So far her heart, her digestive system, ears and eyes have checked out perfect. We just feel so lucky that she’s here and she’s healthy.

On Landree’s first visit to her pediatrician, he looked up her birthday on his Catholic calendar. She was born on “The Day of Transfiguration of our Lord.” I googled it to see what it meant. It was the day Jesus gave his disciples a glimpse of the glories of heaven and of the resurrected body promised to all Christians.

"And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up onto a high mountain apart, and was transfigured before them and his face did shine as the sun, and his rainment was white as the light.... While yet he spake, behold a bright cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." Matthew 17:1-5

How perfect is that?

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Billy dunn | Reply 14.02.2016 21.00

i go to Church with her Landree at Open Range Cowboy church in whitney texas and she is the Sweetest Little girl ever i love talking to Her

Sharon Strickland | Reply 06.08.2015 15.30

I have been following your page on Facebook and every single time I see Landree I think I fall more in love with her. You have a beautiful family.

Alexa | Reply 31.10.2013 13.33

Hermosa tu pag, realmente saben la gran tarea y iguamente bendicion que tienen en sus manos. Dios les conseda toda la paz, fortaleza y tiempo para disfrutarla.

Kentucky | Reply 04.10.2013 23.35

God Blesses wonderful people with Beautiful presents!!! God Bless your family and the Miss. Landree and her big brother Will

Victoria Miller | Reply 06.04.2013 12.34

Beautiful story. Thanks for sharing. God bless all of you!

Petra | Reply 06.04.2013 06.20

She is beautiful!!
Praise the Lord!

Duncan | Reply 05.04.2013 08.25

We have a boy with downs too (16 months old). Reading your story was just like ours. After the initial shock everything is absolutely wonderful

Mandy | Reply 03.04.2013 00.31

She is an angel!! She is so beautiful

Anna | Reply 01.04.2013 13.46

This brought tears to by eyes! Such a beautiful story! I wish you and your family nothing but all the wonderful blessings God has to offer. Landree is beautiful

Yans | Reply 01.04.2013 02.45

God bless your little sunshine baby!!!

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Latest comments

11.06 | 00:13

This is looking great. Thanks for sharing with us. I appreciate it.


14.02 | 21:00

i go to Church with her Landree at Open Range Cowboy church in whitney texas and she is the Sweetest Little girl ever i love talking to Her

06.08 | 15:30

I have been following your page on Facebook and every single time I see Landree I think I fall more in love with her. You have a beautiful family.

20.05 | 15:06

Shes so cute

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