‘I feel so lucky to have Reggie’… a father’s story

Written by Chris, Reggie’s dad

Reggie was born in December 2019. He was actually due on Christmas day but arrived early by C-section due to my wife suffering from pre-eclampsia. It was all surreal the moment Reggie arrived which is all the more reason why I believe he is here to change the world.

I had recently lost my father to a short but very aggressive fight with cancer around the time Reggie was conceived. Luckily one of the last moments he had with us was sharing the good news that we were pregnant, which we kept a secret from anyone else except my father. When Reggie was born, we were still grieving the passing of my dad but knew bringing a child into the world would keep us on our toes and help take our mind off things while we gave 100% focus on being the best parents we could, and hopefully making him proud.

The surreal moment came when my wife went under the knife in the operating theatre and in the background Christmas music was playing on a radio. Georgie – not feeling a thing and loving Christmas – turned her head to me and said “Have you heard what’s playing?” It was When a child is born by Johnny Mathis. I remember thinking ‘wow, how weird is that!’ Then as we listened to the lyrics and the words ‘when a child is born’ as if by some miracle, there was a tiny squark from Reggie as he was lifted above the screen so we could take a look at him and find out he was a boy. A child had been born, Reggie had been born and what a happy surreal moment that was.

Soon I got to hold Reggie and this is when I first noticed that he could have Down’s syndrome but I wasn’t sure. Later in recovery, I told Georgie my suspicions and soon after the midwife asked us if we had noticed anything about him and we said we had been just discussing whether he had Down’s syndrome. She then told us that the paediatrician would be coming to discuss this in a while but she didn’t want us to be taken off guard by the news. She was lovely and probably a little relieved. They soon came and gave us the news of their suspicions and Dr Gibson was brilliant at explaining everything to us. After a blood test Reggie was confirmed to have Trisomy 21 a couple of days later.

Back at home and now one year on, it has been a challenging year, not only due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the difficulties we have faced with Reggie’s development and feeding issues, but we have had great support from various NHS departments and we work hard with him which is paying off. He is a wonderful little boy and is doing so well despite his difficulties and has lots of determination. There is a lot of love for Reggie amongst family and friends, especially the running community that we are a part of. People are always asking us to post pictures and videos on social media so they can stay updated on how he is doing as at the minute, we aren’t really able to be around other households.

Reggie being born was exactly what we needed, when we needed it and he is perfect. I really wouldn’t want him any other way. We try to do so much with him and he brings so much love and laughter into the house. Not only that, but he has brought so many people closer together.

Just looking down the comments on Facebook from his birthday, it just shows how much people adore him and many people have stated that he brings people together and puts a smile on people’s faces.

I hope everyone who has a child with Trisomy 21 feels as lucky as we do.