Friday, October 14, 2011

Guest Post: Meet The Smiths (Day 14)

A few nights ago I posted about a beautiful little almond eyed girl by the name of Renee. Tonight her parents are posting as my guests. They are not bloggers but I wanted them to have an opportunity to share about their experiences with a T21 rockin' toddler.
If you ever meet these guys in person, you can tell in an instant when their eyes fall upon Renee that they are desperately in love with her. They are proud of her; you can see it in every thing they do. She is their only child and so like all new parents, they are experiencing for the first time the unexpected joys of parenthood while also wading new waters with Down syndrome.

And now, without further adieu...Meet the Smiths.

In the words of Emily (aka mommy).....
A perfect representative of Down Syndrome means:  Beautiful, sweet, determined, loving, inquisitive, intelligent, teacher, shy, chatty, excited, strong, able, and just plain perfect the way she Renee!
I was scared for her future after we were told over the phone when she arrived at the NICU in Albany, GA that she might have Down Syndrome.  What does this mean for my Renee, the child that I loved even before she was conceived?  My husband and I tried for 3 years with many miscarriages, fertility treatment, and finally surgery to conceive our little girl.  After a pregnancy filled with preterm labor, partial bed rest, and a footling breach presentation, Renee was born exactly at 38 weeks.  She had problems breathing and possible "seizure like activity".  She was transported to Albany while I was still in my c-section medicated fog.  I had to stay at the hospital for 3 days without my little girl.  My husband Todge, stepped up to the plate daily as he came to see me and then drove the 1 1/2 hours to see Renee and then came back to my hospital room to show me the pictures of the day and to provide me with updates on her health.  I was left sitting in my room surrounded by my friends just lost in my thoughts and research.  Everything that you are told is so negative...she will have delays in development, she may have eating problems, etc.  I mourned the loss of the child that I thought that I was having and fell in love with Renee (she is way better than the child I thought that I would have).  This past 14 months have been a challenge filled with Renee's 12 days in the NICU, Todge's deployment to Iraq, Renee's 5 hospitalizations with reoccurring pneumonia,  changing doctors, specialist in Jacksonville, FL (120 miles away), breathing treatments 24/7 for 4 months straight, changing from daycare to a great friends home because of Renee's health, physical therapy, speech therapy, occupational therapy, and Georgia Pines for hearing impaired families, all while working full time as a United States Air Force Paralegal.  Through it all I had the continued love and support from my husband, our families, and our friends.  Todge and I are Renee's biggest advocates and will do whatever it takes for her to have the best opportunities in life!  I would do it all over again in a heart long as I have Renee in my life, I am a better woman and fulfilled mother!    

In the words of Todge (aka daddy)...
I was a little worried at first that having a child with DS; that it would end up being an almost insurmountable obstacle. I said to myself, how can you take care of this special little girl? You don't even have an typical child that you have taken care of and have not even had a decent track record with house plants or fish. But after the first time I looked into those piercing icy blue eyes, my mind was set at ease. Don't get me wrong, I still most likely can’t keep a house plant alive, but my baby girl Renee, she has blessed my life in ways I never thought possible. It is still a challenge being a new father but I don't really fear or worry about it anymore. I revel in the fact that I have a loving, healthy, rambunctious little girl. God has blessed Emily and I with Renee.  I would not change it for the world.

Make sure to come back tomorrow everyone where the linky should be up and running. I'm over the moon excited about a blog hop on the 21st to show support for all the designer gene beauties in the Miss Renee.
Happy Friday!


  1. She is just stunning with incredible parents. Nebraska? :) best of luck to them on their move

  2. She's just as beautiful as Emily and Todge say she this precious family. Jenn Jones

  3. Renee is such a beautiful little girl!! I love reading other parents stories :)

  4. They are an incredible family and inspiration to many people. I'll be sad to see them leave Valdosta, but I know they're off to bigger and better things. God Speed and best wishes always, Lisa