Welcome! We're so happy you're here! We're Kalyn and Caela, two besties that can usually be found together in Walt Disney World or Target. We're here to bring you reviews, tips and tricks, funny anecdotes, and our favorite shopping finds. Our style is all about being cute, practical, and comfortable. We hope our blog brings you magic and joy!
I want to start out by saying thank you. Thank you so much for all the congratulations, the well wishes, and the words of encouragement to me and my husband as we start this new journey as parents come June. It means SO much to me. I can’t even begin to tell you how much. I’ve cried many tears over the messages and comments y’all have sent, and I am forever grateful.
Just a few days after World Down Syndrome Day, March 21st, it was confirmed via amniocentesis, that our baby girl will be one of #theluckyfew with an extra special additional chromosome. I spent so much time crying & grieving for the child I’d thought we’d have, pissed off, and just so confused the past couple months. I’ve had to tell myself 1,000 times its nothing I did, there no explanation for it – it just happens.
But through it all, I know her life will shine a light into this world. God has placed her in our life for a reason. I don’t know what that reason is yet but I look forward to the day I find out. She’s already got the best Dad who I know will be her biggest supporter and advocate and who will help me teach her to live fearlessly and do anything she puts her heart into.
I can’t wait for the day we take her Disney World and see the magic through her eyes. I want her to dream that anything is possible and to have an endless imagination. Disney has always been a place of comfort where we can recognize our differences and celebrate what makes us unique. I want her to see how special a place it truly can be.
To bring her to the place where I met my best friend nearly 10 years ago, who hugged and cried with me the day I found out she was extra special, and who will love her like her own, means the absolute world to me.
“The flower that blooms in adversity is the most rare and beautiful of all.” -Mulan
I opted in for genetic testing as it was included in my health care. I thought, might as well just draw some more blood since I am getting it drawn anyway for other things. What’s some extra tests, it can’t hurt? I knew no matter what genetic abnormalities may come our way we would love the baby with our whole heart.
I got my first phone call January 10th, the day after Caela and I ran the WDW marathon. We we’re sitting in Homecomin’ at Disney Springs eating lunch just before we were supposed to head to the airport to go home. That moment and the rest of the night was traumatic to say the least. I sat and bawled on the little dock outside the restaurant trying to take in the information being thrown at me. I was told not to worry quite yet because a QUAD screening can be quite unreliable. But I am a worrier at heart and couldn’t help myself – my mind wouldn’t stop racing. I shut my phone off the rest of the night and went straight to bed. The next morning we went to the hospital to get my blood drawn again for a NIPT (MarteniT21) test. NIPT tests have a higher reliability, being 99% accurate to detecting Down Syndrome.
It took about a week to get the results. How I made it through the week is beyond me. Caela sent me a few books to keep my mind occupied. We visited family in Louisiana for a few days and I walked the dog a lot. The days just seemed to crawl by. Unfortunately, we got the POSITIVE TRISOMY 21 test results that we were so hoping not to get. I put that in caps because that’s still all I could see in my mind as I read the lab report – bold and capitalized words just crushing me.
My mom flew down to see me the very next day. I met her at the airport and we just stood there hugging and in tears. I am crying just typing this. Without her I wouldn’t have picked myself off the couch that day. I have an amazing husband, but a hug from my mom brought me so much comfort.
I had an ultrasound scheduled a few days later. They cannot diagnose Down Syndrome from a screening test (NIPT), because in very few cases it can be a false positive. It is with a NIPT test AND a detailed ultrasound from a maternal fetal medicine office where they can further determine the prognosis. In my case there were no markers on the ultrasound. Some markers that indicate DS are dilated brain ventricles, absent or small nose bone, increased thickness of the back of the neck, an abnormal artery to the upper extremities, & bright spots in the heart indicting a heart defect.
So I left with very few answers. My blood was telling me one thing and the ultrasound was telling me she looked perfect. DS can only be detected on an ultrasound 50% of the time.
My only option remaining, if I truly wanted to know, was an amniocentesis. It is a procedure where they take some amniotic fluid for additional testing and this test is 100% accurate. I debated for about 2 months and went back and forth in my mind on whether I wanted to do it or not. It came with some high risks (I won’t get into those) but it was just a big decision. If I didn’t move forward with that then I would ultimately have to wait until birth to get a diagnosis.
After doing my own research, talking with a friend who works in this field and also with my doctors, I made the decision to finally move forward with it. I stayed completely off google when making the decision. Google is a scary place and I didn’t want to hear advice from others. I wanted to make my own decision. It was 100% the right decision for me and I would do it again. The procedure was relatively painless and only took about 5 minutes. I kept my eyes closed the entire time and left the observation up to my husband, haha. It took about 13 days to get the results back and they came back positive.
Trust me when I say, I know my life is blessed in MANY ways. But right now life just isn’t fair and it sucks. Whatever hardship you are currently going through, whether it be a situation similar to mine or something else truly difficult, please comment here on the blog or reach out to me as I’d love to pray for you. We can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel, yet, but we will get there, I promise. Surrounded by the love of my family & friends and faith that God has a plan for her extraordinary life, I know we will be okay.
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know the testing of your faith develops perseverance.” – James 1:2-3
As for what I am doing now – I can only say I’m still processing. I cannot wait for the day I get to hold her in my arms and tell her she is perfect. I know some worries will stay but I know many will fade away. Am I ready for the roller-coaster? Maybe, maybe not. But I will live day by day, making the most of each one doing my best to rise up and keep moving forward.
here’s to a new adventure and journey we hope to share with you all,
the extra lucky parents,
Kalyn & Taylor
She is going to live a beautiful life because you will make it that way for her. Congratulations and I cannot wait to see your cutie on Instagram if you decide to post her. 🙂
Thank you so much for sharing and being honest with your feelings as this is such a tough conversation and something many do not want to discuss or admit. You will be wonderful parents and I pray God blesses your growing family! God is good and never gives you more than you can handle. Xoxo
Gosh this made me so emotional. What a rollercoaster for you and your family. She will be a precious gem and already has the best family waiting to meet her! How lucky is she! You are so strong and I can’t wait to follow along on your new adventure with her. Sending so much love and hugs! <3 Laura
Thank you for your honesty and vulnerability. One of my dearest friends has Down Syndrome. She is a light to everyone who meets her. To know her is a blessing from Heaven.
Please know your Instagram family is here for you and we will be keeping your bundle of joy, your family, and you in our thoughts and prayers.
Welcome to #theluckyfew club. We are a wonderful club—and we are full of happy families,, smiles and lots of love.
Your little family will fit right in.
I’ve always said that God hand picks the strongest people to be blessed with his extra special babies. Sending prayers and positive vibes for the rest of your pregnancy and your labor. Once you see her all those worries will fade. Every child is absolutely perfect in their Mother’s eyes❤️
Thank you for being so open and vulnerable. You are touching lives. We (my husband and i) are going through some pretty intense infertility stuff and I’ve just found so much adoration for those of us going through stuff and being so open and raw. Wishing you & your family and little miss all the love 💕
Thank you for sharing your story with everyone. It’s not easy being that vulnerable. I had a difficult pregnancy up until the day my son was born. My doctor was telling me that I could have a stillborn, because of some issues I was having. It was extremely nerve wracking, and all I wanted to do was lock myself in house and cry. But my son is here and I couldn’t imagine life without him. I truly empathize with you. You and you’re husband are going to be amazing parents to your extra special little girl. I can already tell how much love you have for her. I can’t wait to see all of your Disney and Target trips with her!
Praying for you and your family. I know this won’t be easy but you got this! I don’t personally know you but I see strength, courage and love-all great things you will need for your daughter. You seem to have a great support system and that just means more people to love her!
I have two grandsons (3 year olds) who both were diagnosed with autism. It wasn’t a easy diagnoses for the parents to accept but they too are strong and are using all resources available to them.
Looking forward to seeing you and your husband as parents to this wonder blessing of yours.
My cousin has Down syndrome. He has done special Olympics, lives in a group home, and is in his 40s. I am sure my aunt went through many hardships, but I also know such great love from my cousin.
I really appreciate that you talk about grieving the future you imagined, while also having hope for what’s to come. I know it’ll be magical.
She will be beautiful. I understand all these trials you are experiencing. Last year at my autonomy scan, they found abnormalities in my daughters heart. I went through all the same testing and questions and waiting and concerns. When I got the diagnosis my daughter would have a very severe heart defect, my world shattered. She had surgery the day she was born and will have many more in life. So I understand how you are feeling. I’m here if you have any questions or need some love. I know how important that can be. I will pray for you, for your strength, and for your beautiful daughter. All my love.
Wow! What a beautifully honest and vulnerable post. I find it so meaningful that you acknowledge your feelings. All feelings are valid and important (I find we often can get caught in a cycle of positivity, but naming how we are feeling is powerful and healthy).
I was lucky enough to meet you gals at Disney Springs over Princess weekend. Just from that short encounter, I know how incredibly kind and lovely you are! Your little gal had such an amazing Mom ❤️ Cheering you on!!
Your post brought me to tears – both good and sorrowful. While I may not going through a similar situation, I absolutely empathize and sympathize with your stresses and fears right now. You and your wonderful family to be will be in my prayers, and my God bless you on your journey.
Even on the toughest days, remember, you are the perfect Mommy and parents for her. You were hand picked to give her a special life. She’s very lucky to have you. The love you’ll have for her is indescribable and unconditional.
Reading this brought tears to my eyes and while I cannot relate, my heart aches for you. I will be praying for you, your husband and your precious baby girl. I wanted to offer some of the verses that bring me comfort in times of trial in hopes that they may also bring you some comfort, peace, and strength to keep going even when you don’t understand the “why” for your current trial or circumstances.
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” Romans 8:28
“I can do all things through him who strengthens me.“ Philippians 4:13
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
How lucky is your baby girl, indeed! To have a Mom and a Dad that already care so deeply enough about this little baby. She is going to be the best and most special thing that ever happened to you, and God chose you as her Mommy. And God would never give you what you couldn’t handle. Blessings to you!
Such a honest & beautiful post. She is so very loved, I know that just reading your words.
Life is tough sometimes, especially when you’re faced with something very unexpected.
When I was diagnosed with a very aggressive breast cancer at 36 I was totally numb & confused & mad & didn’t understand how this could have happened.
I let it all go to God. Whatever I faced, I placed it at his feet & prayed for guidance to lead me to the right doctors, help me make the best decisions for me & my family. Once I truly did that, I found peace & that’s when I was able to dig deep to start the fight I needed to get through chemo, surgery, all while still working, being a wife & mom. It was rough, but we made it. I’ve been in remission since Aug. 2019 & that’s where I plan to stay.
I pray you have found that same peace & pray for the rest of your pregnancy & your sweet magical girl. 💖✨
I pregnant with twins. My genetic test came back good but they found something on one of their hearts yesterday. We won’t know much til next visit. I feel all the same ways you did and then I feel terrible for feeling that way too. My husband and I haven’t told anyone yet since we don’t even know much. Thank you for putting your story out there. I remembered reading it the day you did..