Story #1 – “Brenna”

We like to think that June 27, 2008 is the day our lives began. It was the day we officially became parents, and so many things were about to be brand new to us, especially our Brenna Marie. As a planner, I felt as prepared as I ever could be, especially since Brenna’s birth was a scheduled c-section due to her being breech. However, we certainly weren’t prepared to hear the words of the nurse practitioner as I laid in recovery in the middle of the hospital’s hallway…”Based on some physical characteristics I observed on your baby, I believe she has Down syndrome, are you familiar with that?” Never mind the poor bedside manner in which the news was delivered to us, but there’s no worse feeling than as if a bomb was just dropped on you! Sure, we had heard of Down syndrome, but did we have any clue what we were about to face? Absolutely not! What we did know, was that Brenna was ours, and there was no turning back, that day, or ever.

It took about a week to get the final test results back, which made Brenna’s diagnosis of Down syndrome official. I needed a day to allow everything to set in. Kevin, on the other hand, took a little more time to process everything. However, it didn’t take us long to jump head first onto “Brenna’s Bandwagon”, and begin our journey together as a family. Now, don’t get us wrong, there are days filled with frustration, anxiety, emotion, doubt, and fear, but in Brenna’s 2+ years, she has exhibited so much love, strength, determination, and possibility, that we can’t help but be filled with an overwhelming amount of joy, pride, and gratitude. We are truly blessed and so lucky to call her ours.

As parents, we have hopes, dreams, and expectations for our children, none of which have changed because of Brenna’s diagnosis, although we probably didn‘t always think that way. However, they have only become stronger because the “cans” outweigh the “cannots”, and we refuse to ever give up on Brenna or give into the misconceptions about Down syndrome. Although Down syndrome is part of our lives, it doesn’t define us or make Brenna who she is. She will face challenges, just like the rest of us, but we know and have accepted the fact that it will take her a little longer to overcome them, but we have no doubt that she will conquer many obstacles life will throw at her. Brenna is a person first, and is one who has taught us the meaning of true love, acceptance, and willpower. Those are things we never would have planned to learn, especially not in such a short amount of time, but we will embrace them today, tomorrow, and always.

~ Kevin & Natalie, Brenna’s parents


2 comments on “Story #1 – “Brenna”

  1. Lauren Kral
    March 21, 2011 at 2:38 pm #

    Your introduction to Brenna brought tears to my eyes. We have “talked” before and share a common bond. Times can be tough and people even more so, but always believe in your daughter and her abilities and never let anyone tell her or you that it can not or will not ever happen. Take charge and fight when you have to. Above all, love her for who she is and thank God everyday for the little miracle that you were blessed with.

  2. pat p.
    March 19, 2011 at 1:29 am #

    Dear Natalie & Kevin,and Brenna too!!

    What a beautiful story, and you are truly blessed. Most people would say that Brenna is lucky to have such wonderful parents, she is….but you guys are the real lucky ones, you have a beautiful daughter named Brenna, who will always show you the meaning of true love… Love to all

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