Sunday, October 23, 2011

My thoughts about having a Downs Syndrome Child

My thoughts the best I can remember. I loved kids and was so excited to have a child of my own. I wanted my first child to be a boy so that he could carry on the Hirschi name in my family and to take care of his sister that I was hoping we would have. Well I didnt exactly live my teenage years of my life in the manner my parents had taught me and I had become inactive in church. Sherry and I were married in a civil service and were both inactive in church. We started to become active and worked hard to beable to be sealed prior to the birth of Zach so he could be born to us sealed as a family.  We were sealed in August of 1986 prior to Zach being born.
When I found out I was going to have a disabled child I was so angry at God. How could I be punished with this child after I had done everything I could to get my life in order and straightened out. With me loving kids why did I have to have a child with a problem that I didnt even know exsisted or what it was going to take to take care of him. The only thing I had learned about Downs by the time Zach was born was that he would be mentally retarded and he would have some disfiguring features. I now know that he was going to save me many times. He has never judged me and always seems to know when I need a hug. He will come to me and wrap his arms around my neck and not let go, and then say in his little voice that everything will be ok no matter what the problem is.

Well many times in the last 25 years I have had to ask forgiveness for those feelings I had towards God. Now I wonder what I did to deserve such a special person, I have been blessed well beyond anything I could possibly ask for or deserve. Zach has more love than anybody I have ever come across in my life. He shares that love with everybody he comes in contact with.
I love Zach with every once of me. He is not only my son, but he is also my best friend and my hero.

Even today 25 years later Zach still holds my hand everywhere we go and will come in and snuggle with me and call me just because and is never afraid to say "I sure do love my dad". I know Zach feels the same about his mother and tells me that regularly. How could I ask for anything more in my life.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

The story of Zach

I have thought for a long time that I would like to share my story about my son and best friend Zach. I have thought it would be a good chance for friends to experance some of the moments of our life. I would like for others to share with me their experiances with Zach, because I am sure we will all have a good laugh. I will try to post some pictures as I go along to tell the stories. So here we go.

Zachary David Hirschi was born on August 19, 1986 to David and Sherry Hirschi. The day Zach was born was a day of so many mixed emotions that to this day I probably would never be able to describe them.
If I remember correctly about 3 to 4 weeks before he was born Sherry had been to her regular dr's. appt. and the dr. had thought that something was possibly wrong. Back in that time dr's did not do ultrasounds each visit or multiple times durning a pregnancy, so at least I had no idea what one was or what it could possibly show. Anyway we scheduled the ultrasound at McKay Dee Hospital and had it done. durning the ultrasound the dr. found something wrong that he could determine. At this point we were referred to the University of Utah Medical center to have a specialist redo the ultrasound and determine the problem. What was happening was that inside the womb as Zach would push stuff thru his belly it wasn't going anywhere. When the Dr's discovered this they came in and drew fluids from Sherry to test, and sent a lady in that was a genitics counsler. She started talking to us about the possibility that our child would be born with something called Downs Syndrome. I can't remember if Sherry knew what that was, and we didn't have Google so I just sat there and tried to figure out what I was being told and how it would impact my life.
I don't remember if it was at the same time or shortly after this meeting at the University we were also told that Zach would have to undergo surgery to repair his intestinal tract that either hadn't conected to his stomach or hadn't formed correctly. and to top it off McKay Dee Hospital where Zach was going to be born didn't have a Dr. that could do the surgery, so he would have to be flown to the University on life flight after birth for the surgery.
It was either August 17th or 18th that the test results on the fluids came back. It was confirmed that our child was going to be born into this world with something called Downs Syndrome, and I was still clueless as to what it was other than a disablity and how it would impact my life.
On the 19th of August our child was born and shortly after birth we had myself, and Granpas Hirschi and Holbrook come into the hospital room to give him a blessing and give him his name that he would be remember as on earth.
We we fortunate to have had a Dr start at Mckay Dee just before Zach was born that could do his surgery so he didn't have to go to the University for that. I remember the dr saying that it was like operating on a night crawler. Zach made it through this and spent the next 21 days in the newborn intensive care. See the pics.

More stories to come.

It has been more then 3 years since I had started this. I had stopped for some reason maybe it was life, maybe it is the emotions involved in trying to remember the stories and all we have gone thru.
My father called and had just seen the 1st of this and said it had brought a tear to his eyes so maybe I need to continue.

So Zach is still with us, so he made it thru the rough start to life. Not sure how to describe how the very early years were. Zach was slow to learn how to walk, and as young new parents we were scared this would be long term, but he finally made it. Zach was slow to talk and to this day sometimes it is hard to understand what he says, however he expresses himself very well.
   Zach started attending a Early Intervention Program when he was about 6 months old. This program was designed to help Zach with his motor skills and hand eye coordination. Watching him play Video Games I would say it worked well.
  I believe Sherry and I did well to manage raising this child we still had no idea what was wrong with. We still had no idea what Down Syndrome was and what long term effect it would have in our life. I believe this put a major stress on our young marriage, then you add the fact that this child was going to require everything we had, and would never not be in our home. I let me say from the very beginning when people would say I could put him I a home, I became determined he would never be anywhere but with me.
Sherry and I started treating him just like everybody else treated their young children. We worked with him and it was coming more and more that he was ours and the love that developed became unbreakable.
We had moved into a home in North Ogden and found friends