Meet Norah

Norah is the calm in our tornado. She matters and will move any mountain placed in her way.

Norah was a surprise pregnancy. We did fertility to get pregnant with our twins. We absolutely did not think it was at all possible to get pregnant on our own. I immediately recognized the signs that I was pregnant. I was in disbelief when I saw the double red line. I had 2 friends who were also pregnant. They recently did the suggested bloodwork for woman of an advanced maternal age. They both got the results back from their blood tests and were having healthy baby boys. I was 37 when I got pregnant with Norah, almost 38 so naturally I was also going to get the blood tests done. I also wanted to know early if we were having a boy or a girl. It didn’t really cross my mind that anything would come up in the results other than gender.

I will never forget the day I got the call that our baby girl had a little something extra. I was overwhelmed with sadness and I was terrified. My first thoughts were “I can never retire and I can never die”. I told the doctor through tears, that I knew in my heart this baby girl would bring us joy, but I was trying to wrap my brain around all that this joy involved.

My pregnancy was full of prayers, love, tears, joy, research, scans, doctors’ appointments and more scans. I tried not to worry, but I am a planner and there were so many things out of my control. We had barely gotten used to the idea that we were having a third child when we received her diagnosis. 6 weeks later we found out she had a major heart defect. Never have I ever been so scared, mad and fully in mama bear mode as I was that day.

Fast forward to 16 months later and although we have been through a 21 day nicu stay, going home from the hospital without our daughter, a major heart surgery, minor ear and eye surgeries, many doctors’ appointments and therapies, I can confidently tell you that Norah is the biggest and best blessing our family could have ever received. I have a newer friend who recently held Norah for the first time and when she looked into her eyes she told me she was confident that simply looking into Norah’s eyes would cure every hurt in her heart. You see, Norah is magical. She works hard to accomplish the milestones other children take for granted. She will forever be judged first by her appearance and later by her abilities. She will however, do it all with the grace and simple beauty that she and her fellow friends with trisomy 21 possess. She will also do it with the sweetest smile you have ever seen.

Norah has a peaceful temperament and rarely cries. She is the calm in our tornado of a home filled with 3 kids, 2 dogs and 1 fish. She makes us all slow down and watch her crawl on all fours for the first time because as a family we have all been working hard on this milestone. We cheer when she pulls up on the couch and we laugh when she throws her hands in the air for cheers of accomplishment. If there is anything our family wants you to know about our Norah, it is that she matters and will move any mountain placed in her way.

From one lucky mama to another, find companionship within our community. Do not isolate yourself. Give yourself some time to mourn the child you thought you were going to have and make room for the many abilities child you are having. Take time to enjoy your pregnancy, your life and breathe. There is a plan for you and your child and your job is to be an advocate, just like you are or will be for your other children.

Norah’s Mommy, Amanda

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