This is the third part of a series about finding out our unborn son has Down syndrome through an abnormal ultrasound and a Harmony blood test. I wrote throughout the month and have kept every piece in tact so that it may help someone going through the same thing. Read part 1 here and Part 2 here. Please note that these were my feelings at the time of receiving the news. Everyone grieves and processes life-altering news in different ways. Any hurtful or judgmental comments will be deleted.
I was trying to think of a good opening line to start this post, but I’m just going to call it like it is: 2014 has been hell. Between moving to the middle of nowhere to getting this unexpected diagnosis, it’s been an emotional pit and at certain low times it seems as if there’s no end in sight. With how heartbreaking the past few months have been, I think it’s necessary to reflect on how wonderful my life actually is; in particular, how great of a man my husband is.
Let me take you back to Andy’s High School years. I like to tease him about not only being Captain of the Football Team and Homecoming King, but also being voted “Best All Around”. He says that he “peaked early” which is far from the truth, but it makes me laugh.
Andy’s mom, Debbie, told me that once Andy was in college, she would run into kids from his high school class who weren’t part of the cool crowd and they would stop her. They would stop her just to tell her how much they appreciated Andy taking time to get to know them and how special he made them feel. When Andy and I were dating, Debbie told me a story about how some guys on Andy’s football team were making fun of a kid. He was small, different and had an odd voice. Some of Andy’s team members started calling the kid “Aflac” like the duck on the insurance commercials because of his voice. Andy wouldn’t stand for it and put a stop to it. That’s the thing about Andy, he’s as sweet as pie, but he can be absolutely fierce when he knows he’s right.
Even today, the only time I’ve ever really seen him come home angry, has been because someone at school or at work has tried to make a classmate or co-worker feel like less of a person. My husband has SO many wonderful qualities and recently I’ve been reminded of one of his best: he is a protector.
As we began breaking the news to family and friends, something odd happened. We started learning that people, who we have known for years, have siblings or close relatives with Down Syndrome. It really bothered Andy. He didn’t understand why he was just hearing about these relatives now. Why were they omitted from all of the stories he had heard? Andy got really emotional talking about it. He refused to let our son be invisible, he turned to me and said, “I want everyone to know he’s my son.”
Talk about melting and breaking your wife’s heart at the same time. I don’t know what I ever did to deserve this man, but I’m so grateful that God chose me to be his wife.
And so we have a name. We tossed it around our last pregnancy, but we were originally leaning a different direction this second time around. Our son’s name is Anderson, “son of Andrew”. It’s also the last name of Andy’s great-grandfather (another kind soul) and it’s who Andy is named after. I think it is perfect. We may call him “Sonny” for short, which if he’s anything like his Dad, will fit his happy personality. I hope he’s like his dad. I hope all of my children are. We need more Andy Benfields in this world.
To my southern lady friends, don’t go breaking out your monogramming machines just yet! Since we know he has Down Syndrome right now (he has been diagnosed and I will write about this later) as I mentioned before we are still praying for healing. We know God is capable of all things, including miracles and if he chooses to heal our son before he enters this world, we may decide to come up with a name that reflects that great miracle.