This past week I had the honor of photographing such a sweet boy - Mason! Beth contacted me when I posted about doing this blog series willing to share their story! Come to find out, I had met Mason and his grandma in Chick-Fil-A (go figure) a few years ago - what a small world!
We found out we were pregnant in the Spring of 2010. My due date was Feb. 13, 2011. I had blood work taken at my 18 week OB apt. and the blood work came back increased risk for Trisomy 21- Down Syndrome. My OB sent me to EVMS which has a Maternal- Fetal Medicine Department that specializes in high risk pregnancies. I then had a 20 week ultrasound at EVMS. The director of the Maternal - Fetal Medicine department told me I had a 25% chance of having a child with Down Syndrome. I could have found out by amniocentesis if Mason had Down syndrome at 20 weeks gestation, but we decided to just wait until he was born. At 28 weeks, EVMS diagnosed me with reverse diastolic flow in the umbilical cord. Mason wasn't getting enough oxygen, but yet he was still growing. Thankfully, we were able to keep him in my belly for 6 more weeks. January 7, 2011 Mason was born via emergency c-section. What is so cool about his birth date and time of birth is that my husband's birthday is the 7th of December and I was supposed to have a c-section at like 4 in the afternoon but Mason wasn't born until 6:53 at night and that was the exact time I was born! :)
Mason was born at Riverside Regional Medical Center but was then transferred to CHKD where he stayed for 3 1/2 weeks in the CHKD NICU. February 2011 we finally brought Mason home.
Mason's first year was rough. He had to have a nuclear medicine test at 3 months to rule out biliary atresia. Thankfully he didn't have biliary atresia. When Mason was 8 months old he was diagnosed with pneumonia. He spent a week and half in the hospital and came home on oxygen and needed oxygen for the next month. With all the tests, appointments and hospital stays it was a very hectic and scary year but once we survived the first year it started to get a little easier. I call Mason my delicate flower. When he gets a cold I have to really watch him to make sure he is not getting really sick, his colds have previously turned into pneumonia and croup. His body just can't fight some infections like our bodies can. Down Syndrome puts you at higher risk for all types of medical issues compared to the average person.
Mason just turned 6 last month. He is non-verbal right now due to apraxia. Mason is not potty trained yet, we are working hard on potty training him but he has bouts of constipation that make it hard.
Mason had early intervention services since he was 2 months old. When Mason turned 2 1/2 we enrolled him into Bright Beginnings preschool. Bright Beginnings is a preschool here in James City County for developmental delays. September 2016 Mason started Kindergarten and loves it. His Kindergarten teacher is the best!
Mason is a fun loving, sweet soul. He likes to give hugs, smile and laugh. He loves to eat veggie sticks and most any cracker or chip. He loves to drink apple juice and milk, he loves a good vanilla Chick-Fil-Amilkshake too! He likes to eat fruit, chicken nuggets and French fries. Mason loves to play on the playground, especially the swings - he loves to swing. He also loves stuffed animals. He likes to watch Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and Peg + Cat on TV. Mason also likes to take Selfies on my phone. Mason is easy going and happy all the time. He loves to go to school and learn. He finally plays with his little brother who is 2 1/2. It is so sweet to see them play together!