For this child I prayed; and the LORD hath given me my petition which I asked of him.
–1 Samuel 1:27
For over a decade we wished, dreamed and prayed for a child. We wanted one to call ours, for you see we already had 4 that were ‘his’ and 2 that were ‘hers’. Finally, it became a reality! But shortly after finding out we were going to add another to our family the excitement was dampened by conflict, pain and even sadness. Through early blood test we were told that there was a 99% chance that our little one would be born with Down syndrome. We were scared of the future simply because of the unknown and uncertainty. A few weeks later we were told the heart didn’t look right and they wanted a closer look. The 20 week ultrasound took a much closer look at the heart and revealed several abnormalities – Congenital Heart Defects (ASD, PDA, VSD x2, and Ebstein’s Anomaly). At that time we also did an amniocentesis to verify the Down syndrome diagnosis. Within a couple of weeks we knew that our little GIRL would be born with Down syndrome and a severe combination of heart defects. It appeared that her heart condition might dash our hopes and take her away before she even began to live!
On Tuesday, April 1st 2014 at one of our numerous doctor visits, our little girls heart was failing and her heart rate was dropping precariously low. Our doctor’s words shocked and stunned us, she simply said, ‘Today is a great day to have a baby!’. So off we went to meet our little girl. Once we were checked into labor and delivery and the monitors were in place, we began to think it was all a false alarm. Her heart rate looked normal again! Just as we were getting comfortable thinking we might be in for a regular induction and delivery, her heart rate dropped. Within 30 minutes, Dawn Isabella Willow Logan made her entrance into this world screaming and pink! This was impressive since we were told to prepare for her to be blue, quiet and potentially not breathing. Within minutes of being born she was already showing her spunk and attitude. The doctor placed the small knit cap on her head and Dawn immediately reacted by reaching up and pulling that cap off! We knew we had a fighter on our hands and that we were far from the end of this journey!
Over the next 2 ½ years, Dawn fought to survive and thrive. She stayed in the NICU for almost a month and came home with a NG feeding tube and oxygen. At 2 months old she had her 1st and 2nd open heart surgeries with a short time on life support (ECMO) between the two. She was so sick and her surgeon just wasn’t sure she would survive. But God’s knew! By His will and love, Dawn had the spunk she needed to make it through! A year later she was diagnosed with Severe Obstructive Sleep Apnea and had her first tonsil and adenoid surgery. Less than a year later her sleep apnea was worse and at 22 months she had an additional surgery to correct this problem. She battled through a terrible UTI that turned into a serious bladder infection and a week in the hospital. She contracted RSV and another virus which she could not handle on her own and she ended up back in the hospital on antibiotics and oxygen. At 2 ½ years old her heart needed additional surgery to replace her heart valve and reconstruct the right side. This surgery was a pivotal point in her life! After 12 hospital stays, 5 surgeries, 2 heart caths, so many pokes and prods she was finally in a great place healthwise!
Now at 4, she is stronger and healthier than we could have ever imagined after such a rocky start to life. She is a fun, playful, rambunctious, comical, energetic little girl that is a friend to all! She is the light of our lives keeping us on our toes and busier that ever. She has shown us that the fear of the unknown is nothing compared to all the EXTRA goodness that her extra chromosome brings. There is NOTHING that she cannot do in her own time. Strong will (stubbornness) and determination is what will propel her into the future. Everyday we share her with the world! Everyday we strive to make the world a better place for her and because of her! She has a bigger purpose in life than any of us can imagine. She will light up the darkness!
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”