When we found out we were expecting our sixth child, we were overjoyed! Throughout my pregnancy, I found it curious that I would often encounter random things related to Down syndrome. A magazine article about a mom and a surprise diagnosis. A reality show about a family with more than a few adopted kids... and they all had Down syndrome. James, my husband's "buddy" who had bagged our groceries for the past ten years. I began to feel like we were being prepared for something. It started to seem very coincidental. I looked at my husband and said, "We might have a little baby with Down syndrome." His response was, "Yeah, we'll see. I'm ok with that!" We did not want prenatal testing. I did have the ultrasound suggested by my doctor. I cannot resist a peek at my beautiful baby! At our ultrasound we discovered Braden had swelling of the kidneys, and open valves in his ureters where they should be closed. Thankfully, the next ultrasound showed a reduction in swelling. However, the doctor found an intestinal blockage. Unfortunately, it would require surgery after birth. He noticed the high amount of fluid surrounding the baby, a condition called polyhydramnios. This occurs in 1-2% of pregnancies, and can be mild, moderate, or severe. Mine was severe. I began bed rest, except for trips to the hospital for doctor visits, ultrasounds, and tests on the baby. At 34 weeks, I received steroid injections to boost lung maturity in case he arrived early. At 36 weeks we went into the hospital for more tests. He was having trouble so they admitted me for a C-section four weeks early' and to our great pleasure, Braden Christopher Sheffield arrived to bless us with a little something extra to love. Braden spent 17 days in the NICU. He had a blood platelet transfusion, bowel obstruction surgery, and an appendectomy. He was on a ventilator for a little while. He had a catheter to administer fluids and meds, and a tube to drain his stomach. After days of being front and center in the NICU, he developed persistent pulmonary hypertension, putting stress on his heart and lungs. This secured him a peaceful, dim spot in the back of the room, away from the door and heavy foot traffic. He developed jaundice and spent a few days soaking up some rays. His kidneys were still showing signs of swelling, and he had blocked tear ducts, as his eyes were constantly watering. We also discovered he has an ASD (atrial septal defect) which was not found on the prenatal ultrasounds. When Braden was born, the nurse held him up to my husband and asked, "Do you notice anything about his face," wondering if we knew the secret Braden had been keeping. My husband answered, "Yeah, it looks like he has Down syndrome. We're ok with that." Yes, we are more than ok with that' We are overjoyed!