Meet Kendall

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No one told us that she was going to be the most beautiful little person we have ever seen. Kendall has a smile that will melt your heart and an infectious laugh.

Kendall is currently a little over 4 1/2 years old. We cannot believe our little peanut (4 lbs 9oz to be exact) will soon be 5 years old!! This girl rocks her extra chromosome and we want to show the world how awesome she is! We had a birth diagnosis. This is our crazy beautiful journey.

On February 26, 2014, we met our first born; our baby girl. Kendall was born at 35 weeks via emergency C-section due to repeated episodes of decreased heart rate. That morning, I went to my OB/GYN because I didn’t feel any movement, which was nothing new. I NEVER felt Kendall move. My husband and I always had to push all around on my stomach to make her squirm. We didn’t exactly plan on meeting her so early, but thankfully everything worked out.

Here is a little background information on my pregnancy – I passed the first-trimester screening and there were no red flags at the 20-week anatomy screening. Kendall did measure small the entire pregnancy, but the specialists thought it was because of a marginal cord insertion. I was also told that Kendall was IUGR and I couldn’t carry her full term or I would have a stillbirth. I scheduled a C-section 2 weeks prior to her delivery date of March 25th, 2014. I was also going in for stress tests 3 times a week at our local Maternal-Fetal Medicine facility and put on bed rest. It was not a fun first pregnancy.

Kendall was our first child and we both had new parent anxiety. All we wanted was to hear our baby cry and see her little face to assure us that everything was okay. Immediately after the C-section, my husband brought Kendall over so I could see her. I looked at her eyes and my heart dropped. I immediately knew she had Down syndrome. We took a quick picture and away everyone went. I was wheeled back to recovery where I had to sit and wait for my husband to return. He finally came back and I told him I thought Kendall had Down syndrome. He agreed. This wasn’t how we had planned the birth of our first child and we definitely were not prepared for a Down syndrome diagnosis. Talk about completely UNPREPARED. We thought our dreams for Kendall were GONE. CRUSHED. Never going to come true. Little did we know…we were totally wrong!

We have been told by many that Kendall will be delayed and that she will be behind her typical peers, etc. etc. I usually just let it all go in one ear and out the other. Only Kendall knows what Kendall will do and only Kendall can show the world what she can do. No one can predict or tell me what she will do in the future. We live one day at a time and push her to be all that she can be! She loves her brother, her family, books, games, coloring, dancing, and modeling. She knows all the letters of the alphabet, can read 30 + words on index cards, she knows her colors and her shapes, she can count to 10 and identify all of her numbers from 1-10 and some.

I’m going to be honest. It took me almost to her 2nd Birthday until I finally came to terms with her diagnosis and knew everything was going to be fine. Actually, more than fine, pretty stinking awesome! It was a rough 2 years with specialist after specialist, appointment after appointment, therapy session after therapy session, feeding issues, crying and the list could go on and on. I would give anything to go back and “do over” her first 2 years of life, knowing what I know now. No one ever told us that my daughter with Down syndrome was going to be absolutely amazing. No one told us that she was going to be the most beautiful little person we have ever seen. Kendall has a smile that will melt your heart and an infectious laugh. We never expected our lives to better because of her. Everything she does and everything she says makes us smile. The littlest of things are the biggest celebrations at our house and we no longer worry about the small stuff. She makes our world a better place and she makes me a better person. She makes our lives fun! Every day I wonder what she is going to do or say and what surprise she has up her sleeve.

We hope that Kendall’s smile will light up your life as much as it does ours. As I said above, this girl rocks her extra chromosome and we want to educate, advocate, and share with the world how amazing children and adults with Down syndrome can be. Thank you for taking the time to read and share our story.

April Henry

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