Wednesday, August 19, 2015

letter to my bunny

Dearest Bunny,


This is my first letter to you on your big sister's blog. I started writing letters to Lily six years ago... I had just come home from a level two ultrasound at the Maternal Fetal Medicine Center, an hour away from home.




It was a routine twenty-week ultrasound, but because of my age at the time, my doctor had suggested going down to Eugene. The ultrasound machines and the doctors there were equipped to handle women "of advanced maternal age" and to look for any anomalies in a growing fetus, much more so than our hospital here in town.


That ultrasound turned out to be a pivotal point in my tenth pregnancy; nothing else in the following seventeen weeks leading up to Lily's birth would be routine, compared to my nine previous pregnancies. Several markers for Down syndrome turned up on that anatomy scan, the major one being a possible AV canal defect on our baby's heart. We left Eugene with lots of questions and what-ifs, but because I did not want an amnio, we were told there was no way to know with certainty if our baby had Down syndrome or not. That was something we were willing to deal with - we said we would cross that bridge when the baby was born. But because of the possible heart condition, we faced a long road ahead of many ultrasounds and echo cardiograms and stress tests to make sure our baby was thriving.






I remember coming home from that appointment and feeling a heavy fog of uncertainty slowly descend upon my mind. I knew God was helping me in that fog- I felt His grace. I felt the prayers of friends and family around me as we made several phone calls asking for prayer - but it seemed there was this sea of unfamiliar waters that I had suddenly found myself floating in. At times I felt myself slipping below the surface of those uncharted waters, desperate for someone to pull me out and return me to the safe shores that I had always known during pregnancy ... the times when all we had carried home from an ultrasound was a handful of grainy black and white images of our baby, no weighty words like "enlarged kidney", "shortened femurs" and "av canal defect" to accompany those flimsy little squares of photos.


And so I turned to the thing that had always carried me back me to shores of certainty whenever I had experienced unknown waters in my past ... writing.


I don't want to make light of the grace of God or dismiss His hand in all of what we went through - His hand was the thing that pulled me up out of those waters. His grace, His love and His tangible presence in my life - I know without a doubt that it was God's hand that brought me up for air when I thought I was going to drown.

But I also know that God gives us anchors in life ... or in my case a life boat ... to carry me back to shore. He gives people tools - coping mechanisms, if you will - for handling life's crises. Some people (your Uncle Chris for instance) use humor to get them through tough times. Other people (like your Aunt Hopie) might use physical activity - say, running a marathon, or hiking a mountain - to clear their brain and bring focus. (I cannot for the life of me imagine this bringing me ANY kind of comfort, when a nice cup of tea and a blank screen before me does the trick ... but there you have it, Bunny. Different strokes for different folks.)

Anyhow ... writing carried me through. When I thought I was going to lose my mind during those seventeen weeks of my remaining pregnancy --- trip after trip to Eugene, doctor visits, and  google searches, and chance (??) encounters with parents of children with Down syndrome, and researching everything I possibly could on av canal defects, and finally that last eternal week of carrying Lily and feeling her movements frighteningly diminish --- I wrote.





I wrote and wrote and wrote, and I processed all of my emotions, all of my anxiety, all of my HOW DO I HANDLE ALL OF THIS feelings - through writing some more. It was my tool, my weapon, my coping mechanism .... it was my lifeboat.


And so, Dearest Bunny .... I'm here again.


Not because of extra chromosomes ... but because I'm floating in a sea of uncertainty again, and I need a lifeboat. I feel the grace of God - I feel His love and protection and guidance - I feel His hand in all of this. There is no mistaking that.


But I need a lifeboat.


And right now I can picture God standing on the shore  ... and He's throwing me a rope.


So if writing is my lifeboat, and God is on the shore, then faith is the rope that is going to pull me back to safety.


I'm going to write and write and write, while I am praying and pouring my heart out to God, and He is going to pull me back to safety and peace and solid ground.


But I have to hold on to that rope - that faith - that He is standing on the shore. He hasn't abandoned me, He hasn't turned His back on me, He didn't forget about me, or about you, my little bunny - He sees us, and He knows right where we are, and He is going to lead us back onto that shore of peace and safety whenever it feels like we are drowning .... we just have to hold on to faith. 


And this is where my letter to you really begins, little Bunny.


This is where your story starts to unfold, and I am honored and blessed beyond belief to begin telling it. And I know that God is really the One who is writing your story- and I'm just the story teller. I truly believe those words - before You formed me in my mother's womb, You knew me - so if God is the author, then I am just the pen in His hand.


I mentioned that there was a pivotal point in my pregnancy with your big sister's pregnancy ... a moment when everything changed.

And one little phone call on Monday afternoon, answered while I was sitting in my hot van in the Winco parking lot, while your older sister Abigail grabbed a few things from the store... one little phone call became that pivotal point in this pregnancy.

I want to share this little video first though, Bunny, before I write about that phone call.

Because I don't want any of the JOY we all felt at discovering who you are to be eclipsed by any news I received just a few hours before this scene. I don't want anyone reading this - especially you some day - to miss the absolute happiness and excitement and love we felt as we celebrated your little growing life and unwrapped the gift that God has given us.

Monday evening we held an impromptu family-only gender reveal party, and this is what we learned....











We had called out-of-state family members ahead of time (as well as your big brother Jason, who was working that night) asking them to FaceTime with us during the reveal ... so there were about five cell phones held up in the air, while Tyler took pictures and a family friend videotaped Daddy opening the box to reveal your gender.







Only Mommy knew ahead of time who you were - I'll explain why in a moment - everyone else had ribbons of pink or blue around their wrists to display whether they thought you were a boy or girl. I think the votes were pretty evenly distributed - Daddy, Josiah, Kenzie, Jonathan, Caleb, and Abigail thought you were a boy, and all the rest said girl.



Daddy had a little trouble opening the box all the way, so one solitary pink balloon made its way out first, while the remaining balloons were trapped inside. There had been a pink and blue balloon tied to a ribbon on the outside of the box ahead of time- we all had a good laugh at Mackenzie and Abigail forgetting this fact and repeatedly asking "why is there a BLUE balloon too??" after all of the balloons were floating in the air :)





We followed up the news that a new baby GIRL was going to be joining our family early next year with a giant spread of food and ice cream cake .... Daddy had picked up the cake from the bakery at Winco, asking the baker to write the words "welcome baby #12" on the top. (He told us her jaw dropped when he said the number "12" - probably her first time decorating a cake with those words !)







The night was beautiful and peaceful and lovely, and I felt such happiness knowing that we were all in this together ...



Monique, pregnant with our GRANDDAUGHTER - due six weeks before our baby girl :)


Jonathan and Josiah ...being their crazy selves ;)


So now, Bunny, for the phone call that brought me to this letter ....



All last week I spent each day checking my phone for any missed calls from my doctor. I had the NIPT blood test done two weeks ago to determine whether or not you had any chromosome issues (including but not limited to Down syndrome) and also your gender. I have blogged about it before, but I wanted the blood test this time to be prepared- because I was separated from your big sister Lily after she was born, and I did not want that to ever happen again. She had "thick blood" and had to be transported to Portland, while I remained recovering at our hospital here. I spent one night away from her, while your daddy took care of her in the NICU ... that, more than anything, was the hardest thing to go through. So I had this blood test to make sure there were not any issues that might keep me from delivering here at our smaller hospital.

As well as the issue of where to deliver - I wanted to know this time (as I did with your brother Hayden) if you had Down syndrome or not. This test was not available when I was pregnant with Lily - if it had been, I'm sure I would have opted for it. It is not threatening to the baby in any way - it tests my blood, which has traces of your placental DNA in it, and that is how everything is determined. There is a one percent chance for error, and this is only when a) a baby has Mosaic Down syndrome that goes undetected (because it is possible for triplicates of the 21st chromosome to be present in the baby but not the placental DNA) or b) for the test to come back positive, because the placental DNA has triplicates of the 21st chromosome, but not the baby itself (which would also be Mosaic Down syndrome.) This, obviously, is very rare, but the test cannot be qualified as "100% accurate" because of the margin of error.


So .... back to Monday afternoon, when I was sitting in my hot van in the Winco parking lot, waiting for Abbi to come out of the store....

I was texting my friend Kris, and for once my mind was not on the phone call I had been hoping would come all last week. In the middle of reading her text, a phone number popped up - and just as I was hitting the button to answer, it registered with me that it was my doctor's number. Time seemed to stand still ... I said hello, and Dr. Boyle greeted me with her familiar kind voice - "Hi, Patti."

I took in a small breath, and listened as she said the words I had been waiting to hear... I received the results from your NIPT test .


Bunny, I am not someone who believes in foresight. I don't believe that we as humans are capable of "knowing the future" or what have you .... but I do believe that as Christians, God prepares us for certain events.

And Bunny... in that moment, I felt like I knew what was coming next.

All the previous week I had little "nudges" in my spirit as I prayed for you ... little drops of knowledge they felt like, piling up in my mind making a distinct impression that the baby I was carrying felt very much like a baby I had carried before ....






... it started with a picture I took last week of your sister Lily, kissing your brother Hayden.  As I studied the picture one morning, a resemblance hit me. I had seen that little profile somewhere recently.

And maybe it's not obvious to anyone who hadn't studied your little profile several dozen times before. Maybe the slant of the nose and the tilt of the head, and the sweet little profile wouldn't make such a clear impression to someone other than your Mama. But when I pulled out the ultrasound photo that I carried home from the doctor's office a few weeks before - your ultrasound photo, little bunny ... I saw such a strong resemblance between you and your sister Lily, that I had the chills.

I made a side-by-side comparison collage, pictured above, and I sent it to your Aunt Hopie and several friends.

"This baby looks like Lily," I said, although I don't think they saw the same strong resemblance that I did.

That little collage began the first nudging in my spirit that things were about to change for this pregnancy.


So when Dr. Boyle finished her sentence...

"...and it does appear that this baby has Down syndrome"  ....


I did not feel surprised.


I did not feel sadness, or disbelief, or shock, or anything other than a calm reassurance that my instincts had been right.


I felt total peace.


She went on to tell me that the rest of the results on the test - the ones for other genetic "issues" - had come back negative, and that Down syndrome was the only thing we were facing.

And because I had all last week to think about what my response to such information might be, I knew immediately that I wanted to know whether you were a boy or girl.

The original plan had been for me to go to the doctor's office and pick up a sealed envelope with that information written inside - and prepare for a gender reveal party. But in that moment, I knew that I had to know who I was carrying - I had to give context to the diagnosis I had just received by knowing the person you are, and not just the condition you have.

Because if there is one thing I've learned, little Bunny it's this : you are not a diagnosis.

You are not a syndrome, or a condition, or a problem to be dealt with - you are a person.

Who you are is NOT determined by how many chromosomes you have, or what label the world of science and medicine has given you ... you are not "a Down syndrome baby" -   you are A BABY.

And while you do have Down syndrome, it does not define you. You are a baby. You are my baby.

And when my doctor answered my request - "I want to know who this baby is" - I learned that you were my baby girl.


Monique brought this little bunny to your gender reveal party :) A bunny for my bunny. 


So that's how your story begins, Dearest Bunny. All of my letters to you will begin that way, as well. ... Dearest Bunny. It's mommy's little nickname for you ... your sister was Lilybird, so it's only fitting that you have a nickname too :)


And speaking of names, Daddy and I picked one just for you.


We were going to wait to tell everyone that name until you were born - but in light of the news received on Monday, we want everyone who loves you to be praying for you by name every day.


And not because we are afraid of Down syndrome.


Not because we are 99% certain that you share the same designer genes as your beautiful big sister Lily.


We are completely, 100% at ease with who God made you to be, and that includes your diagnosis of Down syndrome.


But there are many unknowns.


If we are going to talk about percentages .... fifty percent of babies with Down syndrome are born with heart conditions. Many of those babies require open heart surgery, several months or more after birth. I have met many, many, many of the brave families (either through blogging, or Instagram, or in real life) who have faced that challenge with their children and overcome it. I have read about or known some families who have lost babies with Down syndrome - either in the womb or during or after open heart surgery - because of complications. I know the mortality rate for babies with Down syndrome, as well as babies of moms "of advanced maternal age" ... is higher than those without your condition.

But as Daddy is fond of saying - we don't live by statistics. Or odds. We put our trust in God for whatever the future holds, and we take one day at a time and we hold onto that rope called faith.


And when the flood of what-ifs threatens to overwhelm me ... what if this baby has a heart condition that requires surgery .... what if they tell me during my ultrasound next week that there are medical issues connected to my Bunny's diagnosis that we haven't dealt with before .... what if I have to travel to a hospital out of town to deliver, rather than my familiar and near-by hospital here. ... what if my Bunny has to spend more than a week in the NICU (Lily spent six days) and I have to be away from all of my children again ...what if we have a long road ahead of heart issues and doctor visits and possible open heart surgery .....

When the what-ifs start coming and I feel like I'm about to drown - I've got take take hold of that rope. I'm going to climb up into my lifeboat, and write and write and write, and I'm going to hold onto that rope with everything that is in me - that rope that is my faith - and I'm going to make it to the shore of peace. God is waiting for me there, and I have every confidence that He will pull me through. He will never leave me, nor forsake me, and although I'm sure there will be some rough waves that try to bring me under .... I've got a lifeboat. And I've got a rope.


And I've got you, Dearest Bunny.





Our little Madison Faith.


Love always,

Mama xoxo



72 comments:

EN said...

Patti! You need to issue a warning or an asterisks or something if you're going to make me cry my mascara off! Beautiful post. I cannot wait to meet your sweet little Bunny!

melanie said...

Dear Patti you have so much faith and courage!!! God bless and keep you and baby Madison safe happy and healthy. Mel

Kathy McElhaney said...

I'm overwhelmed by your beautiful post! Your little Bunny is going to come into the world with so many praying for her and an army of siblings who will love her. Praying that no other health issues will arise.

P.S. I know you're busy, but as a long time reader I would love to know what Lily is doing these days. Her speech, reading, dancing, motor skills, etc. You know, when you have some "down time."

Ashley said...

So beautiful, Patti! I can't wait to continue reading your letters to sweet, baby Maddie! I know I will love them just as much as I loved your letters to Lily. I can't wait to meet her and to see you all again someday soon <3

Susan said...

Bunny is so blessed.

viktoria said...

Beautifully written, Patti! You are such an inspiration! Praying for you and little Madison Faith.

Laura said...

I have two with Down syndrome too! Welcome to the club:)

Angel said...

Beautiful BEAUTIFUL post. One lucky little babe is heading your way. Into the family that was made just for her. Sending lots of prayers for a healthy little heart. Xoxo

Monique said...

This is such a beautiful letter to your new baby girl :-) Looking forward to following her birth journey into your amazing family. Lucky all around.

cara said...

So many tears!! You know we are so very thrilled for all of you. We will be praying for you every step of this journey. I absolutely LOVE her name and what a precious nickname! God will carry you and use you mightily for His Glory. I cannot wait to see her. Her profile does look like Lily. :)

Renee said...

God must surely love you. How richly blessed you are. Love you, dear friend.

heather rice said...

😘a kiss to little bunny Maddison

Morgan Martinez said...

Congratulations on a new baby girl! So many prayers that her birth goes smoothly and she is never apart from your arms. You don't know me, I used to be a follower on IG and missed your departure there. I went in search of a Lily dance video last night after my hubby and I had had a tough day since they're our go-to pick me up. Her sweet spirit and passion for life is so encouraging and uplifting. I am glad for you that you chose to go private on IG, but just know that while you were there the love of your family touched our lives, we will be sending lots of prayers and love from Texas. God bless you.

Liz/ said...

This post has brought me tears for your sweet baby, Madison, and the love that you have for her already! Not tears of sadness at all, tears of joy that this baby will be loved and prayed for by so many people including me! What a beautiful letter to your little bunny girl! You are a sweet mama and a beautiful soul and I just adore your family! Praying for Madison and you as you continue your pregnancy and I can't wait to "meet" her via your blog! She is one lucky little girl to have you as a mama and to have such a wonderful family! Much love to all!

Tara said...

Congratulations! I can't wait to meet sweet Madison Faith! I'll be praying, Patti. We've found Ds x 2 only doubles the fun. 😊
Much love,
Tara

The Bronson Boy's said...

Thank you for sharing your heart! I will be praying for your Madiaon!

Kelly Marin said...

I can't wait to see Madison( sadly through pictures and not in real life:( love you guys !

Casey said...

Your story is amazing!! We got our second diagnosis with my 3rd child, first daughter. My first son Jonathon was diagnosed after birth along with his sister Kylee. I never did the testing didn't see a point. I wish you and your amazing family all the best wishes. I never thought I wanted one child with Down Syndrome let along a second child w DS but I wouldn't change them for the world.

Sasha Job said...

Oh my word I just sobbed so many happy tears!! You hit the jackpot TWICE - so lucky!!! I have missed y'all on IG and definitely need to keep up with your blog!!! (This is "itsabellazoey"). Baby Madison will be in my prayers!!

ps my parents live in Canby, OR ... it sound like maybe you all are in OR too? We come up and visit about once a year and I would live to meet you some time!!

Emma said...

Oh wow- may sound strange to say this but I do believe you are lucky - blessed- to have another baby with Down's Syndrome. I'm just picturing Lily growing up with a sibling sharing her condition. What a bond they'll have! Joining with you in praying for a healthy baby and no other issues to deal with.

Blessings,
E x

Karen said...

Bunny we are waiting to welcome you with open arms. Patti congratulations on your great news. May our generous God lavish your heart and mind with his perfect peace until you hold sweet Madison in your arms. Xx

Nitasha said...

SO very beautiful!!!!! Congrats!!!!!! You're little bunny is so very special, loved and prayed for! 😍😍

Janie Fox said...

I'm so glad I pooped over here. Congrats to you all. Il be praying for you all. DS is such a gift. I can't wait to see this sweet Bunny's story unfold. Xoxo

Erin said...

Congratulations Patti! I'll be praying for you, your family, and that beautiful little girl!

melissamaren said...

Patti, HOW AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! SO excited for you and can't wait to hear about Madison's journey!!

Love, your pals Melissa & Abby from Massachusetts

Leah said...

Beautiful and perfect. Congratulations. I am so happy for your family and will keep Baby Madison in my thoughts.

Danielle said...

Loving all the comments... She is so loved already!!!! ❤️❤️❤️

Danielle said...

Ooo and you should write a book. Noes a good time.

Kimberly Easterling said...

Oh Patti! Beautiful post.
I've had two babies with Down syndrome, and neither of them I knew ahead of time. Learning the news the second time around is so different than the first, in a wonderful beautiful way.
There isn't much I can say that you don't already know or feel. But I will keep you and sweet Madison in my thoughts and prayers.
Kimberly
"drivingwithnohands"

Joy said...

This is such a beautiful post! You really should write a book! I wish I could sit down with a cup of tea with you and chat. Praying for you!

Erin Silver said...

Congratulations Patti , your strength , love and faith will see you bravely through this new journey and your prize at the end will be another beautiful baby girl , just like her beautiful big sisters . I will keep your precious Madison Faith in my thoughts and prayers Everday until she is Safely in your arms . Much love and light from Ireland to you all xxx

amy jupin said...

you know, i was just thinking about you TODAY. i truly was. and now, of course, i know why. all the love and hugs and pink balloons and heart eye emojis, and all of that goodness for you and your sweet little bunny! God sure is amazing.

Kimberly Easterling said...

Also, I know you're circle of support is wide. But if you ever need a "chat" feel free to get in touch!

suzanne Sherman said...

Congratulations on your new sweet baby girl! Praying for an easy and uneventful pregnancy and birth. Madison Faith is so blessed to have you as her Mommy. I will definitely add her to my prayer list.

Rebecca said...

Congratulations! Sending lots of love and prayers your way for the whole family, and especially little miss Madison Faith! What a beautiful name for a beautiful little girl. <3

Leigh Ann Arnold said...

Praying for health for precious Madison Faith! You are AMAZING in your testimony for our Heavenly Father!😘

Krista said...

Just beautiful. Thank you for sharing your heart Patti. We will pray you, your family and little miss Madison Faith through this. Much Love,

Autumn De Leon said...

I've followed your blog for a while but never commented. Just wanted to say that I love her name!! It means "gift from God" and she definitely is an amazing gift!! I'll be praying!!
-Autumn

Katrina said...

Congratulations. What a beautiful name. I hope to one day be able to meet your sweet little bunny. Praying for your family and your health.

Rosemary Thomas said...

Patti... you are an inspiration! Keeping you and little bunny in prayers...

Un-fancy Mama said...

Patti so much love to your family!! I can't think of a better family for your little Bunny to be born in to. She'll have so much love and an awesome big sister to teach her. I would welcome another child with down syndrome in a heartbeat!! Praying that everything goes smoothly. Can't wait to see pictures of your beautiful girl!!!

Allison xoxo said...

AMAZING post! Keeping you and Bunny in my prayers. Congratulations on adding a little girl to the brood, and I hope with advanced notice of possible diagnoses that your experience will be much less chaotic this time. What a lucky little lady to be born into your family. God bless!

Gretchen said...

A long time ago in a kingdom far away, I found your blog via a post from Courtney at the now defunct Storing Up Treasures blog. It was an adoption fundraising giveaway, I think. I am so grateful I stumbled upon that post and your blog so many years ago. While I don't often tweet and I don't have an Instagram, it has been so uplifting to follow your journey via your blog. Praying for health for you and sweet Madison Faith. <3

Cori Winslow said...

Patti- what speaks loudest to me in all of this is your heart. I aspire to have a heart like yours, not only for other people but for God! You and your sweet bunny are in my prayers, but I know that I know that the love you have for Jesus is not returned by Him but multiplied a million times over!

Anne B. said...

Madison Faith, I love you already!!! You are a very blessed little Bunny to be a part of the Rice Ranch fabulous family!! Patti and Sam, I am so thrilled for you - to be used by our big God to love and cherish this child, chosen and perfect in His sight! I am proud to know you even if it is only by blog! I will be praying, praying. praying for the safe arrival of Madison and for all of you to be together quickly once she is here!! ((((BIG HUGS)))!!!

Lisa said...

Patti, I miss you! Your little Bunny is already so loved! I am extra excited for Lily...how Bridget and Alina would love a baby sister, let alone a baby sister with Down syndrome - oh goodness, I can't even imagine! Please get in touch whenever you are able. Much love, Lisa

MamaV said...

Congratulations!!!

Nicole said...

I love your story and I loved this entry. I started following you just over two years ago when our Ruby was born with a diagnosis we did not know to expect. Stories like those you tell of Lily were such a comfort to me in those first few weeks as I was filled with fear and lack of experience. Our family has come so far since then and I'd like to think those close to us would react as you are with Madison should they find themselves in the same position one day. Thank you for loving your girls outloud and without hesitation!
- Nicole
www.maddieli.blogspot.com

Debra Bates said...

Patti, I am so excited for you and Sam and all your family. I remember when you had Lily a week before our Benjamin. I pray daily for Lily and Benjamin. Have started praying for Madison. I believe these children are blessed. But I pray for God to help them through the difficult times. Also for us to be able to handle it. They are Gods perfect children and are Loved by many. They are Precious in HIS sight. Love you guys, Debra Bates

Annie Love said...

Oh Patti, how exciting that you are going to have another beautiful girl and this is such a precious letter to your Bunny. I just shared your post over on Mummalove FB page, recalling how I used to read your beautiful letters to Lily when I was pregnant with Nicholas. Thank you for sharing your heart with us. All my love. Annie x

Nikki said...

What a blessed baby girl your little bunny is. :) Congratulations on such a PERFECT gift!!!!

Brenna said...

Congratulations on expecting your 12th sweet blessing! Beautiful post, Patti. Looking forward to watching the blessings you and your Bunny are to each other!

Team Jayten said...

Such a blessing this little bunny is!!!! I'm so excited you are still blogging as I miss you so much on Instagram. Big big prayers.

Alaina and Kyle said...

I can't wait to meet this baby girl!! She has a wonderful big sister to show her the ropes! Congrats to you all!

Patti said...

We are so blessed by all the kind words and warm wishes and prayers here for our little bunny. Thank you to each one of you who have taken time to read and comment and support us with your love - it means so very much to us . Xoxox Patti

Heidi D said...

Another baby girl, how lovely. I will keep your precious bunny, Madison, in my prayers that she will be blessed with a strong, healthy body & heart. She is already blessed with such a loving family.

Kristy Sayer @ Southern In Law said...

Patti, I am so excited for your sweet Bunny to be born - and once again I am overwhelmed by your incredible humility and faith.

I will be continuing to pray for you, Bunny and your family - but I already know God is already right there with you.

Sending so much love to you & I am so thankful for you as you are such an incredible example of a woman of Christ.

Laura Munck said...

Madison Faith...a "perfect" gift from The Creator! Prayers coming your way, may the rope be close at hand.

angie said...

Your post moves me so much Patti. What a lucky girl Madison is to be born into such a wonderful family. It will be my honor to pray for her health, and if she does look like Lily, she is going to be one cute kid and steal so many hearts! :)

one_plustwins said...

Congratulations! Patti, I'm so happy for your family!

Julie said...

Patti, I'm so excited for your family!

You made it possible for us to have a 2nd child with DS and we are forever grateful!
Peter is so so amazing❤️

lindley said...

Sweet Patti!!! I've been away from blog reading lately (and writing) and so I'm just catching up with you! So very thankful for Lily's sweet face to pop up on my phone last night and be led back here again! I've missed seeing her and hearing your words on Insta and your blog! And so here I am reading this and I'm moved to tears! Oh what a blessing that Madison Faith will be born into YOUR family! She is blessed already and I know you are all too! I'm thrilled for you!! My heart is flooded with emotions for you, but I loved SO very much how you felt peace! Know that I'm praying for you, this newest little one and your lifeline of faith! Praying it for our family as well! ❤️
❤️ from down South,
lindley

Raelyn said...

Patti....
First. I am gonna start this comment with a wholehearted "congratulations" for soon-to-be born, Beautifully Unique, fearfully and wonderfully made Madison Faith!! ;-D
Second, I love, love, love the fact that Lily will have a sister--just like her--who shares her extra chromosome!! Wow.... A sister who is different and special.... Just like her!! Wow.... As I wander this world feeling like an isolated loner who lacks community, like-minded friends and people who "get" me.... I am very, very, very close to Michael, my brother with Down syndrome!! Why? Because we were both born with deliberating, Life-threatening birth defects!! Why? Because we are both survivors.... And have surgically-created scars as living proof!! Why? Because we are both different!! ;)
Hugs and prayers!!
Love you later, Raelyn
PS. Writer to writer--whose Lifeline is her way of expressing thoughts/feelings/emotions with words--this Blog post spoke to me!! ;-D

The Magnificent Seven said...

Your bunny is so very blessed to be part of your beautiful family! I loved your post, but I needed a tissue! May God bless all of you.

Anne B. said...

Praying for you all from the east coast not knowing how the fires might be affecting you!!! (((HUGS)))!!!

Gaby y Mami de Julio said...

Patti all our love to your beautiful family! Can't wait to know Bunny! Kisses!

Jo's Corner said...

aww, Congratulations on your new daughter! I felt this news before I read the post. I don't feel sadness. Because, I know that He is Good, so Good, ALL of the time. I look forward to following this new baby girl, Precious Madison Faith, as she grows into the perfect little one that she is and will be! I'll be praying for good health and an easy remainder of the pregnancy. I'm kind of tickled to think of another little Princess who will get to learn and grow up with sweet Lily.
love, Jo

mom of three said...

Madison Faith. I love you already. What a perfect blessing for your beautiful family! We will be praying in Woodburn for your safe journey into your mama's precious arms. Lily is going to be so excited to have a new little baby sister to love, and Hayden is going to be a wonderful big brother and help mate for you!

Patti, we will be praying for your life rope to be in your right hand daily, from the moment you awaken each day, until you sleep peacefully at night next to Sam. Thank you for sharing your miracle, and for inviting us to pray endlessly for your precious, beautiful family! May God hold you close every step of this tender journey. Congratulations Rice Ranch! Love, Gretchen Gear

Courtney Smith said...

congratulations on your little girl, Madison! adorable! firstly, you look amazing. your hair. that tiny belly. love all of it! secondly, I believe our families would get along so well. that cake. that comment. too funny! we'll be praying for you and your family. and mostly, a healthy baby!

DebW said...

Congratulations! You look wonderful, and baby Madison Faith is gorgeous! <3

Katrina said...

I loved reading this. And I love her name. When you wrote that as Christians you believe God prepares us for certain events....I completely believe that. God prepared my heart for my current pregnancy, my son Aaron who has Trisomy 13. He is due in November, and when I learned of his condition at 16 weeks, I knew in my heart of hearts that this baby was meant to be mine, and that God had been preparing my heart for this baby for a few years now as he lead me to blogs such as yours, and those of other mamas who have or had a child with a trisomy. I knew that even with a diagnosis that would mean my baby might die shortly after birth (such as anencephaly, trisomy 13 or 18) that I would never end that child's life early...that I would carry him or her to term. And here I am. Doing just that. God knew. He had been preparing my heart for this journey. I am heartbroken to know my baby boy might not be with me very long here on earth, but I feel so honored to have been chosen as his mother. Honored. That is the perfect word for it.
I am so happy to learn that you are expecting again! I am looking forward to meeting your newest little blessing through your blog. She's going to be beautiful, just like all the rest of your children, and so very special. And so loved. What a lucky little girl to be born to your family. Congratulations :)

Patti said...

Katrina - I'm praying for you and Aaron every day. While I can only imagine what you are going through, I know that God gives grace beyond what we can imagine. I love your heart for life, and your beautiful positive attitude. You are an inspiration to me. xoxox Patti