Lauren was born 6 February, 2007, our firstborn, and it would have been impossible to have been prouder parents. I cried when I went to the waiting room to tell my in-laws that they had a perfect little granddaughter. To say we got off to a rough start is a bit of an understatement. When Lauren was two months old, I left for a one year tour to Korea (gotta love the timing of the military), Rachelle sent our firstborn off to the big scary world of daycare and went back to work, AND Lauren started her physical therapy for Plagiocephaly and Torticollis. Lauren was not hitting the milestones that she should be, she was having trouble with the bottle (she never would latch on to the breast and was still using preemie nipples at four months old). Lauren continued making progress, slowly but surely. She started occupational therapy and later speech therapy.
Throughout all of this, Rachelle knew that something bigger was not right in the bigger picture. The military doctors ran a battery of tests and on a whim tested for Fragile X Syndrome. I returned from Korea in April of 2008 in May we were pregnant with our second child, Kristen (yep, we work fast!). I was on temporary duty overseas when Rachelle received the call that changed our lives forever… Fragile X Syndrome. We were devastated, not only does our 19-month-old child have this, this, whatever it is… but it is hereditary and we are pregnant. Our meeting with the geneticist did not nothing to calm our fears, nor did meeting with the developmental delay specialist, as he read the description from his medical book and had no other knowledge about it. Since then we have learned more than I ever thought possible, met some amazing people, and have had two incredible trips to the M.I.N.D. Institute. Lauren continues to make us proud of all she has achieved and she teaches us about true love every day. And if anyone needs a sign language teacher, I am sure Lauren would love to teach you some signs 🙂