My great story is about one of the bravest, toughest, and happiest people I know, my three, soon to be four, year-old daughter La`Mena Faye. I was a teen when I first discovered I was pregnant. At the time so many thoughts and emotions were going through my mind. I knew that my life was going to change with bringing a baby into this world, but I did not know how much it truly would become the best thing that had ever happened to me.
La`Mena was born November 11, 2008. I had my last ultrasound that morning but had to deliver due to my high blood pressure. I was told that she looked like a healthy baby girl but that was not the case. La`Mena was born with Down syndrome and two holes in her heart, weighing four lbs 15 ounces. We had no idea that there would be any complications with our little blessing. I remember the silence in the room when she was born and then the nurses stating her weight. As soon as I heard her weight and saw the nurses reactions when they saw her I knew something was not ok. I was barely 20 years old and realizing that I have a child with Down syndrome. Some of my family members tried to tell me that her eyes were swollen and that she did not have Down syndrome, but I knew, and I knew I had to be not only a strong adult but a strong mother for my little girl.
She was sent to a special children’s hospital because she could not eat and needed a feeding tube from her nose to her stomach to be able to eat, and then she had to learn to suck out of a bottle. She was home within two weeks, I knew then this little girl would do amazing things. A few months later she had heart surgery to repair a hole in her valve she was home in two days This little girl has been through so much and still has the biggest smile on her face.
Last year she started an ESE pre-k program that ended up with my biggest fear coming true - her teacher was fired for abusing her. My heart was so torn and hurt that someone I trusted had hurt my precious, loving little girl, but I had to do what was best for her and enrolled her in a program at a different school and that little girl goes to school smiling and laughing loving life and comes home smiling and waving bye to every single person she sees leaving her school.
La`Mena saved my life. The bond she has with people she meets is one words can't describe. I know we have a long road ahead but when I look at her smile she gives me strength and I know just by looking at my little three year old that we can get through anything.