Emily & Elizabeth

From the time I was pregnant with Emily I always felt her pregnancy was different from my other three pregnancies. When we went for our first ultrasound, we were told they didn’t see Emily swallow or her stomach expand. They told us to come back in a month to have another ultrasound so they could catch it then. We show up for our second ultrasound and the tech gets up and says he needs to get the head radiologist. I looked at Jason and told him something isn’t right.
We were then told by our OB that Emily could have esophageal atresia, because they didn’t see her stomach expand on the second ultrasound. Esophageal atresia is where the esophagus is not attached to the stomach and is fixed through surgery right after birth. Our OB referred us to a specialist to look more closely at the ultra sound and her stomach. Our specialist told us that Emily’s stomach was small but not abnormally small.  He too wanted us to return in a month for another ultrasound. Another month of waiting!
After we left the specialist’s office, I broke down because I just felt something wasn’t right. I told Jason that we needed to have prayers said specifically for Emily. We returned to the specialist and this ultrasound showed that Emily’s stomach had doubled in size. Esophageal atresia was dismissed. We know with all our hearts the Lord healed Emily. On July 31, 2011 Emily was born. I knew immediately when I saw her that she had Down syndrome. Of course my husband and I were scared, this was unchartered waters for us. We grew up in a time when children with special needs like Emily’s were not included in the classrooms, unfortunately they were tucked away where we didn’t really get to interact with them on a daily basis.
I am constantly amazed at how Emily’s big sister, Elizabeth, finds ways to keep Emily included in her activities. Elizabeth loves Emily so much. She goes out of her way to make sure what she has set up to play with can include Emily. They draw and paint together and Elizabeth loves to help her with her letter and number recognition. They love to snuggle and watch a movie together too. They do fight like sisters do, so it’s not always roses. I would say it’s inclusion at it’s finest with Elizabeth treating Emily no different than any other 7 year old sister she might have. They have a beautiful sister bond.
We are blessed by Emily’s sweet and loving personality and equally blessed to have Elizabeth as her older sister to be such a good example of love and acceptance. We are the lucky few!