Telling our family Harry has downs.

Sam and I have always had so much support when it comes to raising Harry. And we will always be beyond grateful for every single person.

Telling our families about Harry's diagnosis was hard. It wasn't something anyone had ever expected, with us being so young, and let's be honest, you don't ever think it will happen to you. 

I remember after the doctor had spoken to us about running the tests. I couldn't think. The first thing I did after getting back to my hospital room was calling my mum. 

My mum lived just over 100 miles away at the time. When we told her I was pregnant she had planned to come down for the last two weeks of my pregnancy, but I had put her off. You can't know for definite when you will go into labour and I didn't want her to get excited, book time off work and come down, for me to go 2 weeks over. So when we told her Harry was in NICU she again offered to come down and again I put her off, what could she do? She wasn't able to visit Harry for the first week or so and she would have just been sitting at mine for the whole time she was down, with me and Sam at the hospital. But at that moment, making that phone call, I just wanted her here. She didn't get to meet Harry until just after he turned a month old with having to book the time off work and everything and while she wasn't here I felt kind of alone. She had missed the majority of my pregnancy and didn't get to meet my little boy for a month.

She lived that far away until recently. The 1st of September she officially moved back here and its been fantastic. I know she feels like she has missed out on so much of Harry she's trying to make up for it. Sam and I are super lucky that my mum now has Harry one day a week and my sister has him another now so we can save so much money on our nursery bill. 

My mum was so amazing when we told her about the doctors thinking Harry had down's. Her first words were, 'So? Who cares' She has never seen why it would be a problem. And she has always been one of Harry's biggest cheerleaders.

Telling my dad was harder. We waited until we got our confirmed diagnosis before we worried him because we knew he would worry. 

I have to say, my dad really shocked me. We felt it was best to gather at my grandparents (this has always been a meeting place for my family. If we need a gathering place its always at Nan's!) with my grandparents and dad there. I remember sitting at my nan's dining table, with everyone surrounding Sam and I. I think they had all expected something about Harry being in NICU. I think my dad was convinced he was going to be there for months. And we just came out with it. 'Harry has Down's syndrome.' My dad and my nan cried. I think my mum did too, to be honest, but I wasn't there to see that. We explained that right then we were just focusing on getting him well enough to come home, and we didn't know what Down's syndrome meant for us.

I dread to think what happened when we left.

But my dad did something I never expected of him. My dad has always been a typical Cockney. An East Londoner through and through, but he was confused and concerned. Normally this would just frustrate him, but he got in contact with the local SEN school's headteacher (i think he was a friend of a friend) and he had a meeting, he learnt everything he could about downs. And then when we also got the Klinefelters syndrome diagnosis he did the same. He learnt everything he could. I don't think my dad will ever know how much I love him for that. My little boy is my dad's world, and he wouldn't have it any other way. Growing up I never imagined getting my dad to babysit my children, but now, seeing him with Harry, I couldn't imagine not asking him to look after Harry when I need a break. My dad has given up nights out, football games and events he has brought tickets for, to look after my little boy when I ask. He's always happy to give us lifts and is one of the two other people, that aren't me or Sam allowed to pick Harry up from the nursery. I think my dad is one our biggest supporters, and I know he would do absolutely anything for Harry.

I was never really involved with how Sam told his parents. I was in a state, with having had no sleep while going through my six days of pre-labour and everything going on with Harry. Sam pretty much took over telling everyone to be honest. He has always been my rock and I don't think I have ever needed him more then I did in those weeks Harry was in NICU.

Sam told his parents when they came to the hospital to visit Harry. He sat them down in the atrium while I was in with Harry, wishing I could touch him. We were never concerned about how Sam's parents would react. We knew they would look past all of that and see Harry for who he was.
We are incredibly lucky to have the support we do from Sam's parents. They have done more for us then we care to admit, and I don't think I will ever be able to thank them enough for it all, but most of all I will never be able to thank them enough for how they love Harry. I don't think I've ever told them how grateful I am to have them as my in-laws. 

Sam's mum has been one of our biggest help. Not only does she do EVERYTHING for Harry when we visit, but she was also there for us during my pregnancy whenever we needed some help. She became my support while my mum wasn't able to be here. I'll never forget the first day I was having contractions. Sam called his mum, just to update and they travelled back from their caravan that very night so his she could sit with us at the hospital if we needed anything.

Sam's mum is also a great help thanks to her experience with children with special needs. Sam's mum used to work for the Visual Impairment service and has lots of experience with children with special needs. Although she hasn't done it for a fair few years she is still our first port of call if we are concerned with anything to do with Harry. She may get sick of the many questions but she never lets on. She is always there if we need her. 

Sam's dad is one of Harry's favourite people and we know that he loves Harry just as much as Harry loves him. He lights up whenever he sees our little boy and it's amazing to see them together. I know he will teach Harry to be just as cheeky as Sam is and to tell some brilliantly terrible jokes but I honestly wouldn't have it any other way!

I will always be thankful for our family and how they are with our beautiful little boy. I feel good knowing he has all of these people to support him through everything life is going to throw at him. I know his life may be hard at times, but I also know with the family he's got he will get through anything.

2 comments:

  1. This was lovely to read. Bless your Dad! So sweet x

    ReplyDelete
  2. This is the sweetest thing ever, thank you so much for sharing! I'm so glad your family suprised you with lovely reactions!

    ReplyDelete

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