Natalie’s daughter Sophia is diagnosed with Rett syndrome, and facial differences.
Natalie tells us, “During the ultrasound I was in shock. I thought “there is no way i’m strong enough to handle this. I can’t do this, I felt trapped and afraid.” I had four weeks to prepare for this unknown life. I needed to get through it with the least amount of stress because my baby could feel my stress. So I decided to hold onto hope that everything was going to be okay and that’s what got me through but I was so scared.
When she was born she was born with more issues than they could see on the ultrasound and I remember asking everyone in the room “is she okay? Is she okay?” Because doctors and specialists were working on her in the corner, and no one would answer me. At that point in knew that everything wasn’t okay.
They finally lay her on my chest and she blinked and was staring right into my eyes and I was still in shock because I hadn’t seen another human being who looked like her. I just remember thinking “This is my baby I need to comfort her.” I reached out and then they took her away. I didn’t see her until later that night and honestly I was scared and I was avoiding it. I was afraid of this new life that I didn’t know anything about and it meant facing it the moment I went to see her in the NICU. There was a point where the nurse was baby talking to her before she handed her to me and I just broke down crying because in that moment the shock faded and I realized this is my baby. I held her and I cried and the nurse held me and from that moment on I said “I don’t care about anything else other than protecting her and doing whatever it takes to keep her happy and safe and loved.”
Natalie now strongly advocates for her daughter Sophia, and other people with special needs. You can visit her website Sophia’s Voice to learn more.