Kansas City, MO

Mom of 8 feels child with Down Syndrome is her biggest achievement: "A tiny heart still going strong"

Amy Christie

A couple from Missouri has shown gratitude, faith, and resilience after they found out that their eighth baby was diagnosed with Down Syndrome.

The eighth pregnancy came as a surprise for Cathy and Andrew Daub since they already had full-on parents' responsibilities with their six boys and a little girl. Cathy had also been through eight miscarriages, so the couple was aware that "carrying the baby to term was a long shot."

However, they managed to push through all their worries, doubts, or fears after learning that their son had Down Syndrome.

What are the details?

After Cathy gave birth to their daughter, the couple decided to do early-term testing. They were all driving in their van headed for a holiday lights display when Cathy got the call with the results for their eighth baby. The mother remembers how she instantly felt something wasn't right when they were asked to come and have a talk.

"I knew what he had to say would be hard to hear. Our amazing doctor, who has walked our childbearing journey with us, knows me well enough to understand that the unknown is one of my greatest fears, so he told me," Cathy shared with The Epoch Times.

The parents found out that they would have a baby boy and that there was a 99% chance that he would have Down Syndrome.

Cathy was shocked when she heard the news and had a hard time fighting back the tears. Everyone in the van was looking at her to know what she had been told.

"I looked at the car; several young faces looked out at me. But I couldn't tell them because I'd burst into tears, and I wasn't about to let my fear dictate a reaction to the blessing we were about to have," the mom said.

As soon as she got home, Cathy was overwhelmed by crying as she faced doubts and many unknowns.

However, not all was sadness, and she soon realized she had reasons to feel hopeful.

"I was ok with this news. We had a niece and a good friend with Down Syndrome, and my husband had a brother with Down syndrome."

She gradually understood that a great joy was about to come into their life, so she celebrated every part of the new pregnancy, starting with the reveal marked with blue balloons and so many smiles.

Cathy had a difficult pregnancy and needed treatment at one time, and both parents were worried about the baby. Everything went well, and the couple decided to call the boy "William Declan" in case there would be any need for him to be born early.

"I woke to the amazing sound of a tiny heart still going strong. That was when we knew we had a fighter on our hands," Cathy added.

After a challenging delivery, Cathy and her husband welcomed little Will into their family.

"Nine months of anxiety and fear just disappeared, and I cried like a baby. He was perfect. Simply perfect. So tiny. So fragile," the happy mom recalls.

Will's diagnosis was confirmed, and the little boy is navigating life with a will to be joyful as he undergoes feeding and hearing therapy.

All the challenges are being met with faith and determination by his family, and no one is giving up.

"Therapy is not hard; it's time-consuming. Just like with my other kids, I would do anything to set Will up for success, so we make it work. He's had this never-give-up attitude since he was a newborn, and it challenges me to try harder and do better," Cathy explained.

Everyone in the family is doing their best to help and teach Will, and his parents recognize both his capabilities and differences.

"We raise our kids to persevere and be resilient. My husband noticed right away that Will is a fighter. He strongly believes that our kids can do anything they set their hearts to, and Will is no different. He sets the standard for the way our other kids interact with Will as well," Cathy added.

And tender moments come plenty, too; there's no shortage of snuggles, hugs, and endearing playtimes.

Cathy feels thankful for each moment with her eighth son and knows that he's changed all their lives for the better.

"This made me realize that joy and happiness are not the same. You can find joy in the hard stuff or even in sadness. My gratitude and knowing I have my family and my faith get me through so much," she said.

And faith is her main source of strength as she constantly adapts and challenges herself so she can be sure her family bonds in lasting love, making memories that will last a lifetime.

"Faith reminds me I was chosen to be Will's mom. I question why God has allowed this little boy to go through so much, but I know there's a plan, so my faith allows me to find joy even in the hard stuff. I'd spend my life shouting his worth and sharing the miracle of his life with the world," Cathy concluded, pointing out that she sees Will as her biggest achievement.

Will's parents and siblings are determined to make him understand that he is "worthy, capable, and wonderfully unique" exactly the way he is.

Sources:

https://www.theepochtimes.com/mom-of-8-says-advocating-for-son-with-down-syndrome-is-her-biggest-achievement-in-pro-life-outreach_4217539.html

https://www.instagram.com/willsjourney21/

https://www.instagram.com/p/CcvjrxnJHWJ/

https://www.instagram.com/p/CcQiq0PpUGB/

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Amy Christie is a passionate writer and journalist, always striving to bring out the positive and create meaningful connections.

Dallas, TX
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