My husband and I had been married for 7 years before deciding we were ready to have a child or at least we thought we were as ready as would ever be. We had enjoyed our time together, worked on our careers, and traveled as much as we could.
Fast forward two years later……we discover we are pregnant! We are ecstatic and joyful and giddy with excitement. We go for our first ultrasound to discover that there is not just a Baby A but a Baby B as well! To say the least we were surprised, shocked, and scared. How would we handle two babies, how would we afford two babies, would this jeopardize my well being carrying multiples. When the initial shock wore off, we then became excited to start playing the guessing game of 2 girls, 2 boys, 1 of each. Again, fast forward to 28 weeks pregnant. At this point, I started having premature labor and contractions and was put on bedrest. Ending up not being that bad…who doesn’t like to be waited on 24 hrs/day?
At 36.5 weeks, my blood pressure begin to creep up. My OB-GYN decided best to go ahead and induce labor. After a very easy delivery, we met Adeline Claire Dobbs and Solon Carter Dobbs, IV. Both appeared to be healthy and well at delivery. Both were sent to the well baby nursery for the first night. The next morning the neonatologist thought it would be best to send Solon down to NICU for closer monitoring. He was having some difficulty maintaining body temperature and blood sugars were a bit low. No need to panic…..just to be safe.
Fast forward one more week, Solon still in NICU and doctors decide to do further testing including chromosomal testing….just to rule everything out. Two days later we received news at that time what was the worst news of our life. Yes, your son does have Trisomy 21. I am sorry we missed it earlier. So now…..we have a 2 week old daughter at home and a 2 week old son with Down Syndrome in NICU. I was immediately contacted by the Central MS Down Syndrome Society, given references and resources, and instructed by our NICU case manager on our next steps. We were given information immediately regarding the Little Lighthouse. Although we had lived in Jackson for over ten years, this was our first introduction to such an amazing school. I immediately had Solon placed on the wait list and was told to expect about a two year wait. I had no idea there would be such a long wait list and was disappointed to know he would possibly be two before getting in. We prayed for God’s guidance and wisdom on what steps to take next. As we waited, at 9 months of age we got the best phone call a parent could receive. The Little Lighthouse had a spot for Solon if we were still interested. I of course said yes and begin calling and texting friends and family to tell them the good news.
Solon started the Little Lighthouse on August 11. He is not only the youngest in his class but also the youngest in the school. It was hard the first week but we know that this is truly the best place for him to grow and develop. In just 3 weeks time we have seen significant progress with attention to tasks, alertness, eye contact, engaging in purposeful play, and overall a little boy that loves school. We cannot say enough about the teachers, therapists, support staff and volunteers. This place is truly a dream come true for parents with disabled children.
And not only is this a dream come true emotionally but also financially, being tuition free. With that being said, if you are looking for a cause to support locally, look no further. I encourage all of you to go to the Little Lighthouse website and Facebook page. Your heart will melt upon seeing all these beautiful children so wonderfully made in God’s eyes. As a parent, my Solon is no different from any other child. His hugs, laughs, and smiles are just the same to me!
We ask that you give whatever you can! We all know that every penny counts.