With all the advances medicine has made, and with the advent of gender-reveal parties, most parents expect to find out whether they’re having a boy or girl early on.
It can certainly help a family prepare, and help the parents feel like they’re getting to meet their new little one before he or she makes a grand entrance. But some people like to keep a little mystery involved.
Amber Rojas was on baby #5 when she decided to keep the gender from everyone — including herself — until birth.
“Since this was my fifth baby,” she told Love What Matters, “I’ve literally labored every way possible, so I wanted to leave something to surprise — something different to look forward to, especially because we really were not planning to have any more. I decided to do a surprise gender and my husband and kids just went along with it.”
At first the family was a little concerned because of the size of their family and how they thought people would perceive them. Five kids? Were they crazy?!
But they were happy to find that everyone was very supportive, and they knew that this little blessing was from God and would be just right for the family — and they also decided that number 5 would be the last.
As time passed, Amber sensed that something was off or different about the pregnancy. Her husband encouraged her, saying that it just seemed that way because they were keeping the baby’s gender a secret.
But later on in pregnancy, Amber was convinced she could feel her baby “breathing” — something she definitely hadn’t experienced with her other four pregnancies. She’d been around the block, she knew what pregnancy felt like for her, and she just couldn’t shake the sense that this one was not the same as the other four.
The entire family got on board to pave the way for their new little brother or sister. They wrote encouraging messages to hang around the room where she would give birth. Amber had wanted a water birth, and she got her wish.
Labor progressed quickly, and soon Amber was cradling an infant in her arms. But one look at her child’s face and she knew why this pregnancy had been different.
“Next thing I knew, my sweet baby was in my arms and I had so many emotions; and as soon as I looked down, I saw it,” wrote Amber. “I saw it in my baby’s face. I thought to myself… my baby has Down syndrome.”
It took a little while before the midwife approached her and confirmed her motherly suspicions. After taking the baby to the hospital and running tests, they found out that their daughter did indeed have Down syndrome, along with heart issues — which had been the reason for the “breathing” Amber had sworn she’d felt.
Instead of questioning or mourning or being overcome with fear and doubt, Amber accepted her child and jumped whole-heartedly into becoming the best mother she could be to her daughter, who they’d named Amadeus.
“I wanted to know everything they knew about babies with Down syndrome so I could best care for my daughter, Amadeus,” she wrote. “We didn’t care that she had Down syndrome because we were all obsessed with her and all her chromosomes!”
Baby Amadeus is undergoing surgery Tuesday, but this family is committed to her recovery and cherishing her place in their now-completed family. They know Amadeus was the crowning touch.
“God gave us Amadeus for a reason. Our family was going a million different ways and Amadeus has brought us together. We are learning together about a whole community that we never knew anything about.”
“But at the end of the day she IS our baby and we are her FAMILY! To us she is perfect. We don’t see her diagnosis or her label — we see Amadeus Reign Rojas.”
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