Meet Kaleb. A six year old little boy who is changing the face of beauty.
Some words from Kaleb’s Mom:
Kaleb is a little boy who rocked our world and simultaneously made it a better place from the moment he was born we just had no idea how much he would. I will start by telling you the Christmas break of 2010 was one of the saddest times of my life. I have PCOS and so conceiving was never an easy thing for me and my husband. After 2.5 years of trying I found out I was pregnant and at my first trimester screen, on December 28, 2010, I found out I had had a “missed miscarriage”. It was devastating. Parents were asked to share with the others that knew about the pregnancy, and I spent the rest of Christmas break recovering from a D&C and the emptiness I was left with. In my hope-filled cries I would remind myself of a song I used to hear as a kid…”A long December and there’s reason to believe maybe this year will be better than the last”.
Fast forward to what is exactly seven years ago, March 2011. I’m pregnant! Again! This would prove to be my most challenging pregnancy for many reasons. At our first trimester screen we found out that our baby had a thick nuchal fold and cystic hygromas (fluid) covering more than half of him. Red flags were raised and by 2pm that same day I had an appointment at Genetics and was told not to bother with blood work they knew it wouldn’t come back good. At the meeting with a genetics counselor we opted to schedule a CVS to find out what was going on with our baby. It is important for me to say results wouldn’t have changed anything, but I’m a planner. I wanted to plan; so I had my CVS procedure. It was probably a week or two later that I received the phone call and diagnosis. “The baby has trisomy 21…an extra copy of the 21st chromosome… The baby has down syndrome…do you know what you want to do?”
I don’t know that I will ever forget that day, I cried a lot. My husband and I both cried. Ultimately I believe that God has a plan, things happen exactly as they are supposed to, so my fear was not so much my own of the future but fear of how he would be treated. How would people accept him? How will I support him? To complicate things further my right kidney stopped functioning correctly so I was now on Dilaudid, bed rest, and had a nephrostomy tube procedure once a month to keep things in working order. During one of my hospital stays I heard Joel Olsteen talking about how we should “…want to be like Caleb (in the Bible)…fearless in the face of overwhelming odds.”. With all that we did know about our pregnancy, we did not know if we we’re having a boy or girl, but that would be our “Kaleb”. By the time he made his entrance into the world, on December 18, 2011, at 9lbs 7oz, he was out to show the world exactly who he is. As is common for babies with down syndrome Kaleb would spend time in the NICU at Strong, 29 days, to address his medical needs. But yet, “…this year was better than the last.”
Kaleb is fearless in the face of overwhelming odds. Sometimes the odds are unfair, and sometimes he is too fearless (Lord help me). But he is also fearfully and wonderfully made. The beauty of a rainbow is it’s path, the arch of colors, and our path led us to Kaleb and 2 more beautiful babies in 2013 and 2015. It also led us to Down Syndrome. And as I right this now it surprises me how this has come together. I don’t take a step back enough to realize how beautiful life can be, and is, even with all the challenges. A prenatal diagnosis is advanced warning of the challenges to come, because they will be there, but it’s also notice that you are about to go on a wonderful journey that you couldn’t imagine. Today Kaleb is accepted. Of course he always was but when he made his entrance into the world our friends and family welcomed him with open arms. Because of Kaleb and down syndrome we have an entire community of smart, funny and passionate families that we have had the pleasure of getting to know. Moms that I can have coffee with once a month and feel renewed; parents that I can message out of the blue and have immediate support. Even with all the challenges that arise Down Syndrome is more than a prenatal diagnosis for our family, it has truly been a gift. Kaleb is a gift.
Today Kaleb is an awesome big brother, a helper, a lover of polka music, a sports fan, a soccer player, a comedian, and a Kindergartener.
Oh the places you will go, Kaleb!
It was a pleasure to do a special photo session with some local kids who have Down syndrome. I am hoping to spread awareness locally in addition to adding my own flair to the campaign, Changing the Face of Beauty.
Our local news station aired the story on Thursday, April 26th to shine a beautiful light on these adorable kiddos and our photo shoot. You can watch the story here.
BETHANY CHASE PHOTOGRAPHY IS A TRUSTED AND EXPERIENCED PORTRAIT PHOTOGRAPHER IN ROCHESTER NY THAT CREATES CUSTOM NEWBORN PHOTOGRAPHY, MATERNITY PHOTOGRAPHY, BABY PHOTOGRAPHY, CHILD PHOTOGRAPHY AND FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY EXPERIENCES FOR CLIENTS ALL ACROSS THE AREA. BETHANY CHASE PHOTOGRAPHY CURRENTLY SERVES, BUT IS NOT LIMITED TO THE FOLLOWING NEW YORK AREAS: ROCHESTER, WEBSTER, PENFIELD, PITTSFORD, BRIGHTON, PERINTON, FAIRPORT, HENRIETTA, SPENCERPORT, GATES, CHILI, IRONDEQUOIT, GREECE, CHURCHVILLE, MENDON.
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