The first time I held our newborn daughter, Julia, her beautiful little eyes stared back at me and said "Please just love me. I'm not what you expected, but please just love me". It was such a powerfully defining moment for me. I locked eyes with her and sobbed...tears of pure joy and tears of fear… fear of the unknown. Julia's whole life flashed before me. I was overwhelmed with worry that I would not be strong enough to be the mother that she needed. Having had a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome midway through my pregnancy, my husband and I had months to prepare for the arrival of our baby. It was one of the most challenging times of our lives. We spent that time on what we simply describe as an "emotional roller coaster". As the due date approached, we decided to put down all the books with the hope that our new little love would be our best guide. Julia has been just that. After falling deeply in love with our new daughter, we followed her lead. She took on a pace that was unique to her. She quickly taught us that slowing down would allow us to savor each amazing milestone. Today, Julia is an adorably energetic and spirited 6 year old who is active in our community and is surrounded by loving family and friends. She's a proud big sister to her brother Oliver and new baby sister Violet. We have daily challenges but are surrounded by such love and support. We began this journey wondering "Why us?" but soon found ourselves saying "Lucky us". So, going back to day one, Julia’s not at all what we expected….she’s so much more than anything we ever could have dreamed! We’re the lucky ones…

Here is an article from the Boston Globe written about Courtney and her family's prenatal diagnosis experience.

http://bostonglobe.com/metro/2013/03/24/new-prenatal-genetic-tests-hold-promise-worries/ZpcrofKjlcQSWsa9kxo1KK/story.html