Meet Kinley

I’d choose her in a hundred lifetimes, in a hundred worlds, in any version of reality I would find her and choose her.

Our sweet girl was born on Monday, Nov 21st, 2016. After Kinley was born and they handed her to me to do skin to skin I just stared at her in amazement and thinking to myself ‘there’s something different about her’. I told myself over and over again in my head that she was fine, she was normal, you’ve never had a child before Jenesa and you had a C-section, this is what C-section babies look like.

The delivering pediatrician had suspicions that she had Down syndrome based on some of her physical characteristics. The hospital pediatrician came in to look over her and he starts quizzing me about my pregnancy. I was so out of it from the medications, hormones, and emotions rushing over me that I didn’t think anything about it. As he’s examining her he says to us “Judging by her physical characteristics I think your daughter had Down syndrome”.

Instantly I felt more than I’ve ever felt in my entire life. I felt every bad emotion you could possibly imagine. We were panicked and scared, sad and frustrated. When I found out we were having a girl I pictured her doing dance and gymnastics, growing up with best girlfriends, joining the same sorority as me, getting married, having kids. All of this was erased from my mind as soon as that statement came out of the pediatrician’s mouth.

She was instantly taken from me and put in the level 2 nursery to be monitored. The doctors suspected something was wrong with her heart. The hospital I had her in did not have the equipment needed to run the tests. Two days after she was born she was transferred to the children’s hospital and I was left there in my hospital bed healing from an unexpected C-section and the shocking possible diagnosis of a condition I knew nothing about. Not everyone will tell you this part of their story but I think it is the most important.

 

The amount of tears I cried are uncountable. I continue to cry to this day and our little nugget will be 2 in just over a month. The difference now is my tears are happy and joyful tears, tears of amazement and satisfaction.

Hindsight really is 20/20 because if we knew then what we know now that hospital room would have been filled with joy, smiles, laughter, and celebration. I will be the first to say Down syndrome is nothing like what we thought it was before having first-hand experience. Yes, the medical issues associated with Down syndrome are scary but it’s minimal compared to what we have gained. She was a champion after her heart surgery when she was 3.5 months old weighing just over 7 lbs. We were told we would be in the hospital anywhere from 2-3 weeks; we were out in 6 days! The VSD/PFO closure did wonders for her. She did a complete 180 and bounced back like a champion. She started gaining weight, getting stronger, and completing milestones.

That day my life changed in a way I never would have imagined at that moment. Kinley has truly saved me. She is my own personal ray of sunshine. She is the calm to my storm. She is the kindness in a world of hate. She is a miracle when you are at the end of your rope. She lifts me up and makes me stronger. She brings so much joy to the world it’s unexplainable. It’s impossible not to smile when you see her. I know that she will do unimaginable things in this world. The love and affection she gives is truly unconditional. She doesn’t judge or discriminate. She just loves. She loves her family, her daycare teachers and friends, her pets, total strangers in the grocery store. It doesn’t matter who you are, all she wants to do it make you smile. I am so thankful every day that I was given Kinley. I wouldn’t change a single thing about her in a million years! I am so thankful for what Down syndrome has done to my life and I hope everyone else in the world can get to experience even just a small piece of what I have had the pleasure of experiencing.

I love that we have the opportunity to take it slow and celebrate every little thing she accomplishes!! She is such a hard worker and quick learner always keep her therapists on their feet. We have “homework” from each session and most of the time Kinley has the homework accomplished within 1-2 days. She is sooo smart and always looking to learn something new. She loves to watch and mimic and you best believe she expects you to clap for her when she’s done something well! Don’t assume a child with DS needs treated differently or separated from the rest. All they want is to fit in with society and be included. Adults with DS are now living independently and working. They are getting married, driving, and building their own businesses!

Kinley will be 2 next month and she is walking, talking, eating EVERYTHING, loves to read books, play with her toys, and chase her pets around the house. She is the strongest, happiest, most caring, and hardest working little girl I have ever come to know. I wouldn’t change a single thing about Kinley or her diagnosis. I’d choose her in a hundred lifetimes, in a hundred worlds, in any version of reality I would find her and choose her. You truly don’t know what a child with one extra chromosome can do to your life.

We are the lucky few! >>>
Kinley, Jenesa, and Andrew Klenk

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