At 12 weeks [pregnant] we learned that we were having a son and that he likely had Down Syndrome. We were overwhelmed by fear of the unknown and sadness for what we thought would be a difficult life for our son. As we waited for additional scans to confirm whether or not he did have DS, we felt that we were living in a sort of in-between place. We didn’t know whether to hope for and expect a “normal” child, or if we should start preparing for a new normal we had never asked for. Around 20 weeks, we got that confirmation – our son, Max, had Down Syndrome.
Then, at 30 weeks, after a 3D ultrasound, we learned that he had fluid in his abdomen and severe swelling on his neck and face, a condition called hydrops. Our doctors were extremely hopeful that Max’s issues would be easily treatable after what would likely be an early birth.
Maxwell Spencer Martin was born at 4:14 pm and went home to be with Jesus moments later. Our sweet boy never took a breath on his own. I listened to the team of doctors try desperately to resuscitate my son. While deep grief and overwhelming sadness followed, my initial reaction upon realizing that my son would die, was strangely peaceful, a sweet gift from the Lord on my darkest day.
Max taught us more about love, perseverance, and acceptance in his 8 months than I had learned in my entire 27 years before him. And as difficult and painful as this road is, I am thankful for the woman I have become because of my children. I am thankful for the way my marriage has grown deep roots through these storms. I am thankful that I can stand firmly on the truth of God’s goodness despite my circumstances. And I am thankful that I get to call myself Max’s mom.