Parker’s story is one of unexpected, but immeasurable blessings. The first unexpected blessing with Parker came in the form of a surprise pregnancy.
With 3 years of marriage under our belts in June of 2009, we discussed the idea of starting a family. By Christmas we were telling our family and friends that Baby Pittman would be arriving in August 2010. With the excitement of a new little life, we began to verbalize our dreams for our child: athletics, colleges, careers, and even physique. Our Baby Pittman was already destined for greatness!
Just two short months after Christmas, Baby Pittman shared his identity of Baby BOY Pittman with us, revealing his place of honor as the first male grandchild on my husband’s side of the family. We were tickled with excitement. On this same day, we completed a blood test to screen for Down syndrome, Neural Tube Defects, and Spina Bifida, since my husband’s parents had endured the tragic loss of an infant son with Spina Bifida. Our doctor assured us that our baby looked great on the ultrasound; therefore, this test would just further confirm his perfection.
We know there’s no limit for Parker Wilson Pittman, our unexpected, immeasurable blessing.
I left the doctor’s office that day, and when I did, I left the thought of the results of that blood test there too. I didn’t think about it one bit until a phone call came to my cell phone roughly two weeks later. It was my nurse, who’s also my oldest sister. Her words struck me. That seemingly insignificant blood test came back showing that my baby had a high risk of Down syndrome. “How could this be?” I thought. “I’m only 25,” I reassured myself.
The next day we found ourselves in the office of the Prenatal Diagnostic Center, having a detailed ultrasound. And to our surprise, more unexpected news came our way. Shortened femurs. Possible esophageal atresia. Echogenic foci. All these words, combined with my blood test results, gave us a 25% chance of our baby having Down syndrome. Our doctor offered the amniocentesis, which I tearfully accepted, explaining to my husband that I couldn’t wait until August to find out for sure. The next 10 days it took to get the results seemed to lull on, feeling like 20 days instead of 10. At the end of that 10th day, the phone call came. I answered immediately and the words I heard on the other end of the phone became another unexpected, immeasurable blessing, Down syndrome.
At that moment in time, I couldn’t see this news as a blessing. I was grieving my dreams and was fearful of the future. I was bitter at the thought of the challenges and struggles my child was sure to face in his lifetime. Our pregnancy progressed and Parker’s birth came in true fashion, unexpectedly with an emergency cesarean section immediately following my 38-week check-up. The moment Parker came into the world, my grief was no more. We weren’t sad when we saw the palmar crease in his little hand or the epicanthal folds on his eyes. Truthfully, we didn’t notice those things.
We just saw Parker, our baby boy. Our future athlete, future college student, future big brother, and strong, healthy little an. Our hearts were and are still overflowing with love for our son. Andy and I decided during those early days that Down syndrome would never define or limit Parker. Today, at six years old, Parker is the light of our families, our star tee-ball player, and a caring big brother to our youngest son, Ridge. We know there’s no limit for Parker Wilson Pittman, our unexpected, immeasurable blessing.