Meet Leah. A one year old little girl who is changing the face of beauty.
Words from Leah’s Mom:
I found out I was pregnant on Father’s Day and as soon as I told the father of Leah, he broke up with me telling me he didn’t want a child. So after that I went to my camp and told my parents. They didn’t believe me till I took my mom to go with me for a sono. The 1st place we went to said I was a few weeks under what I really was because they were not suppose to do sonograms for two trimesters. The following day we went to Rome hospital and found out I was having a girl and that’s when they asked me if I wanted to get a test done for down snyrdome. I agreed to it just to cover all bases even though i never thought I would have a baby with down syndrome. So a few days later, they sent us to Syracuse to get the testing done. A few days later the genetic doctor called me and told me it was urgent for us to come in. So the day of the appointment my sister, mom and I went and they made me get a sonogram done then wait in the genetic doctor’s office. As the lady walked in, her face told it all. She hit us with “your child has down syndrome and a heart defect”. Instantly we all started crying as the lady told me I had to get an amino test done to double clarify that my child would be born with down snyrdome. We went into the other room to get the procedure done. After that we went back into her waiting area and that’s when she told me that my daughter’s genetic makeup was very rare and she’s never seen it before and it is confirmed that she does have down syndrome and that she was a girl. Then went into detail about how she has 46 chromosomes just like us but her additional 21 chromosome attached making it elongated and then proceeded to tell me that she will never become anything and that I should have abort her because Im a young mom and I don’t need to take care of a burden for the rest of my life. Then she proceeded to tell me all the dates and what hospitals to go to to abort this burden child.
I was in shocked and same with my mom and sister. We didn’t know what to think or do. That night we had a family meeting and we decided that we would give Leah a chance at life. My parents told me if I couldn’t take care of her that they would adopt her and raise her as her own. From that day on it was constant Cardiology and normal Dr appointment checking on the all the way up to her arrival. The day of birth, my mom my sister and I drove to Syracuse because I had to deliver in Crouse and it was honestly the best day of my life. I got my epidural at 11 and after that I was in the best mood ever. I only pushed for about 20 minutes and she came in at 3:28 weighing 7 pounds 1 ounce and was 21 inches long. When they placed around my chest I began to cry because that day I realized that she really did have Down syndrome and that I loved her and that she was so beautiful and that I was going to give her the best life that I possibly could. I had to wait two hours before I could go back up and see her in the NICU so my family ended up leaving and so did the the father’s mother and the father stayed with me and went up and saw her in the NICU when we could. She was so beautiful so happy and such a quiet baby. She was only in the NICU for a week and all the nurses kept complimenting on how quiet she was and how well she could suck on her binky. I spent every waking moment that I could with her. I maybe it went home once or twice during that whole week and was only there for a couple hours to sleep and then drove right back to so I could be with her. The day she came home was awesome. Everyone was so nervous to hold her and so excited to meet her. She was still having a hard time regulating her body heat so we had a space heater in the living room and it was like 90 degrees in our living room at all times during February.
As months went on, I worked and worked with Leah becoming stronger all the way up to August 31st. The day of her heart surgery. I almost lost it that day. My mom, my sister, my dad the baby’s father and I all went out to Rochester the night before surgery. We went out to dinner and we all stayed with her all the way up to the point of the nurse taking her away. That was the hardest week I’ve ever been through in my whole life…seeing her hooked up to machines helpless, hurt so bad. The day of discharge was the happiest day of my life because all the worry, bad dreams I had all from the time of birth till that day were gone.
I knew my little baby was a strong girl and she could get through anything. After surgery she acted like a brand new kid. She had so much energy. She started doing so many more activities and moving around and not being out of breath. Now, she’s army crawling, pulling up to stand, walking with assistance and doing so much. I’m so proud of her.
Oh the places you will go, Leah!
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.
To see current work, visit my Facebook page.
…Or my instagram feed.