About Those Newmans

IMG_2108In 2010, we began the journey into parenthood…but it was more difficult that we thought. After suffering a loss and struggling with fertility issues, we sought out the help of IVF. In August of 2011 we began our first IVF cycle and became pregnant.
The pregnancy was wrought with fear, complications and cautious optimism. And just when we when thought our hearts couldn’t take any more, we found out our son would be coming to us with Trisomy 21.
What a journey!! But April 28, 2012 brought our prefect miracle baby into this world and we haven’t looked back since.
After navigating parenthood for a year, adoption was put on our hearts. Shortly thereafter, we were given the amazing opportunity to adopt an unborn baby due August 2013. With excitement and a dash of “we-must-be-crazy-to-want-two-under-the-age-of-two”, we welcomed our daughter- Ruby- August 5, 2013.
Later in August, we found out we would be welcoming another Newman baby into our home- Wyatt: born March 17, 2014- our little lucky charm. Although Wyatt was a surprise, we couldn’t have been more thrilled. Our family feels complete, with three under the age of two, and we are navigating this new season of our lives.
This is our story: the joys of parenting and sharing our special family.

This blog has become increasingly important to me as I work through my feelings, write about my experiences, and grow. The posts here are very personal, emotional, brutally honest, and at times ungraceful. It’s not easy for me to share so much of our life with the world. But it is my hope that by sharing our story, God will be glorified for all He has done for us. I also pray that this blog will shine a light on infertility, adoption and reach other families who are touched by Down syndrome.

Eli Walker
The little nugget who made me a mama and just happens to have an extra chromosome! He is growing and changing everyday. Eli is sweet, shy, and curious, taking the world in around him.
Right now Eli is working hard at speech, going to school and working on independence at the playground. Eli signs around 200 signs and understands so much more with a receptive language on par with his age.
Eli is working hard on new skills he will need for school, like drawing, reading, speaking, social skills, and playing with others (he likes to roll around with Ruby and smash towers that he builds- all boy).
For us, we think less and less about Down syndrome the older he gets, and focus more on his successes. Eli has accomplished a lot and in nearly every way is typical to his peers. We are so proud of him.

64505_10200310741546671_1292323834_nRuby Lee
Sweet Ruby is our gift through adoption! She joined our family the day she was born. She also happens to have something called CAH. 🙂 Ruby is sassy, loving and loud. She’s keeping us on our toes- she is pure diva and is earning her title of “Queen Bee”. She has quickly become faster than Eli- running all over the house.

Currently Ruby just started school. She likes to copy her brothers and loves her blanket. She has a little more adventure in her than Eli, but not as much as Wyatt. She loves to be a little mama around the house and help with whatever she can. Recently she’s become quite loving and snuggly- it’s very sweet. It’s been so fun to watch how quickly she is growing, how strong she is and how she has her daddy wrapped around her finger.

photo 2 (1)Wyatt Michael
One More Monkey
The week we brought Ruby home from the hospital, we found out that we had amazingly gotten pregnant all on our own! Wyatt arrived on St. Patrick’s Day! He’s gained the nickname Mr. Lucky. He’s a sweet boy and by far our most laid back child. He’s very rough and tumble, loves nature and dirt. He is full of adventure and loves to do whatever his older siblings are doing. What can I say? Our house is busy. Wyatt is busy keeping up with his older siblings which includes walking and climbing on everything all while talking up a storm. He charms everyone he meets with his bold blue eyes.

Images by: Erin Witkowski

26 Replies to “About Those Newmans”

  1. Just wanted to Thank you for helping all of us, through your experiences. It has been a blessing to read your journey and I am so excited for your pregnancy. We chat very briefly on the MedHelp Infertility Forum, and I am very happy to see that God has blessed you and your husband with a BFP. I wish you all the best and I’ll keep reading your inspiring stories.
    Thanks a lot!
    Yanira

    1. Yanira!!! 🙂 So glad to hear from you! 🙂 Thank you for reading my story, that means so much.
      We have a long road ahead, so we are taking it a day at a time.
      How is your journey going?

      1. Hi!! I am sure it will be a long road ahead, but this time it is a very special road. You are such a caring sweet woman and I know God will take care of you, the baby and your husband.

        My journey has been quite a challenge… different things had happened, TTC – 2 yrs
        Using Clomid and other meds – failed
        3 IUIs – failed

        My husband is pretty good on his count. The doc said that I have one of those “unexplained infertility cases”… so I went for a few tests and they found out that my right fallopian tube has a blockage. I had last week a laparscopy procedure (which i’m still recuperating) and they remove the entire tube since it was in pretty bad shape.

        Now, I am looking forward to trying again… this time they are going to be a little more aggresive (Clomid + injections + IUI) and I continue praying for a miracle! Because I believe in miracles… God never fails.

        It is so nice to keep in touch through this site. I also have a FB page (Yanira Fonseca-Zamorano). Best wishes and lots of blessings!

      2. What an awesome story! Thank you for sharing. I guess we all have our different journey. I’m glad that your doctor figured out your tube was blocked and were able to remove it. That is definitely a positive. And now that your uterus is in tip-top shape, I am sure it will happen in no time!

        You are so right, God is faithful and He hears our cries. I will be praying for you and your BFP soon!
        I will add you on FB hopefully tonight! 🙂 Please keep me updated! 🙂

  2. You are a BEAUTIFUL couple and thank you for your blog comment. I am so happy that our blog can help you during this time. I cannot WAIT to “meet” your beautiful boy. Please scroll back to the beginning of our first blog. http://www.trisacharm.blogspot.com to how our little boy Joaquin came to melt our hearts! xo

    1. Jen, truly the story of your family has been one of the most inspiring ones I have read! I honestly was moved to tears. Thank you again for sharing your family so bravely and for reaching out on my blog as well.

      1. Sounds like you found some of the right people! The Sanchez family and others in their area are really amazing. I’m still sorting through information and finding excellent resources years later too, it’s an ongoing process and it’s okay to take breaks and also feel overwhelmed.

        Lots of people on Facebook that don’t blog either. Start connecting there too and I’m sure we will cross paths and learn from each other. I have a friend in Hallsville, TX if that’s near you but I can’t see how to connect to you out there. If you can email me without me posting it here please do! Especially if that is near you, her son is a teenager but she is connected to the local support groups too.

        Or start a small one, that’s how ours grew here in one section of Los Angeles, CA.

        Thanks so much for sharing your journey and taking time. We left the hospital on time with a two week early (full term) baby boy — and we are not alone. Children with medical challenges rebound and often spring ahead of their peers too. Medical science is truly astounding for the issues facing kids with DS.

      2. Thank you so much! I have found 2 local groups (I’m in the Houston area) and so much support on FB and blogs already! I don’t feel overwhelmed by info yet, so we will see 😉 hehe

  3. Hi! I saw your comment on Brooke’s page and read your blog. I have read that you are a teacher so you probably know first hand but I work with several DS children at a high school. I am not a teacher but a school resource officer and I can tell you that they are my favorite kids out of the 3,400 that go there. They are loving, have big personalities, are not afraid, and enjoy life. Before I met them, I would have aborted a DS baby but not anymore. I have very high functioning DS kids to very low and I love them all the same. They are my teenagers regardless of what they have been labeled with. I commend you for your positive blog on the subject. xo

    1. Thank you my friend! I am so glad that you found me! I feel that this is our path and the child we have been given- he is a blessing and we know how lucky we are to have him.
      I was just looking through your blog and I very much enjoyed and appreciated what you wrote. Having gone through fertility treatments and suffering a loss, I can relate. I will be following your journey to see you through!! 🙂

  4. Ashley,
    Your blog is an incredible witness of your faith. I am a Christian and, in my last pregnancy, an amnio showed my baby had DS. The baby was stillborn at 23 weeks and I didn’t handle the whole situation 1/10th as well as you have. I pray and hope and feel pretty certain that God will bless you with more children and that you will have a wonderful, happy family that is a powerful witness of God’s love. I know that sometimes trials are just a fact of living in a sinful world, but I feel in your case that God is using you specifically. I’ll pray for you and for Eli. Thanks for sharing your journey. Your are an inspiration. I can’t imagine the wisdom and compassion you will have as you grow older. It astonishes me the virtues you have at your young age. You will be an absolutely wonderful mother.

    1. Colleen-
      You are ery sweet- thank you so much! 🙂 I am very sorry for your loss- that is a very real reality of any pregnancy but especially one that involves Ds. But the amazing thing is that the bible tells us so much about our precious little ones! That heaven belongs to such as these, that we will all have perfect spiritual bodies, which I believe will be free of all disease, illness and abnormalities.
      Thank you for your prayers, they are felt. I do hope you will follow along as watch how God uses his precious life! 🙂 I can’t wait!

  5. Ashley! It was awesome to receive your comment, it had me rush to your site to meet you. Oh girl, do I wish I could sit down and have a coffee with you! As I read your blog, read about your understandable high’s and low’s, it makes me want to just hug that beautiful neck of yours. Ashley, I want you to believe one thing… KNOW that this child, this little boy growing inside you, WILL, without a doubt, be the biggest blessing in your and Barry’s life. And take it from someone who thought having a Ds child was the absolute END to any thing good and happy ever happening again, in my life. That is brutally honest, but that was my truth. But NOW? Now you couldn’t give me a billion dollars to change one little thing, or CHROMOSOME, about this angel of mine. And let me tell you, because of Eli, you will get the gift of seeing the best of people. Presley can make the grumpiest of men smile, or the snobbiest of women get over herself! Seriously, it is like watching a spell come over people when they see these little loves:) You mentioned something about ‘grieving’, I loved hearing you describe it that way. To me that is exactly how the process goes, you have to grieve the loss of the baby you thought you were going to have, but after walking thru the darkness of that, is the brightest, most amazing experience of your life! Ya know, I don’t think I have ever blogged this, but all my life, I always thought of myself as ‘special’, like I was someone God had great plans for. Perhaps we all think that from time to time, but I know I always thought that about myself and the life I would have. When I found out Presley had Ds, I felt so betrayed by the Lord, so betrayed by having gone my whole life believing that… But when Presley was about 3, I was playing with her in my bed and, out of no where, came those old feelings of knowing God had special plans for me, then I remembered those feelings of betrayal after Presley’s birth, and in that moment I felt the Lord’s presence, I felt Him right there with Presley and I, and He was telling me “See Kele, you were right all those years, I did have something special planned for you life” … and I do believe in that again. I believe that I am luckier than most, because I was chosen for Presley,
    GOD chose US, Ashley!
    If you aren’t 100% rejoicing in that right now, I understand, but do believe me when I say, one day you will be… I promise. And one thing about me Ashley, I don’t promise things lightly. Another thing about me…I’m long winded 😉

    AND I grew up in H town, I am taking a guess you guys live near there from some of the things you have said in your posts. Please email me some time, We would love to meet you guys! kelegiles@yahoo

    1. Kele- Thank you so much for visioting my site! Your words brought me to tears- I can’t say how much I need to hear that sometimes, but it makes my heart soar when I hear how much love someone else has for their child. I know God has special plans for all of us, but I can’t help feeling as if mine is a little secret right now. 😉 He will be here soon enough, though.

      I think right now I am over the “hump” of grieving. I don’t know how I will feel when he gets here (besides nervousness, excitement and overwhelming love…all new mom stuff) but I know right now in this moment I feel content.

      I am so glad to “meet” you and have a new friend!!

      Yes, we are near the Houston area- where are you are now?

  6. I just want you to know that my sister with DS is 36 years old. She reads about a middle school level, but maybe not so great at math, and has worked for many years at a fast food restaurant. She is a lot like me, but in a different way. She is basically a teenager and its oh so funny. Back then, they told my mom to put her in an institution. My mom worked and worked with her. She still lives with my dad. She is very stubborn, but she can do so many things. Thanks for this blog. I found it when considering taking the MaterniT test after abnormal blood work with my second. I didn’t end up taking it and she turned out “normal”. Don’t ever let anyone discourage you. Eli is precious, a gift, and has so much to give to the world.

  7. Hi Ashley,

    I came across your blog after googling the words “positive MaterniT21” because, as you can assume, our doctor shared these words with us just a few short days ago. We are expecting our second son in January and have been going through a roller coaster of emotions and currently hovering somewhere between grief and acceptance. We just moved to Houston from Austin and know very few people here, so our isolation coupled with this recent diagnosis is a lot to bear. I just wanted you to know that your blog has helped me cope with the wide range of feelings that accompany a prenatal diagnosis.

    Eli is absolutely beautiful and is clearly a blessing in your lives, which also brings us a sense of peace and knowledge that our son will be that for us, too. We’re now in the “what next?” phase, so should you have any advice or local resources that have helped your family, please let me know. I want so desperately to be an advocate for my son, but the sheer volume of information is overwhelming.

    All the best,

    Megan

    1. Hi Megan! Welcome and congrats on your new little one! What an exciting and anxious time for you. It feels like just yesterday we were where you and your family is.
      I’m so glad you found us. 🙂 The days when I am still raw or emotional or protective of Eli make it worth it because he erases it with a smile. Love this kid!! 🙂 even better that I get to share him with you.
      It sounds like your little one is coming to a wonderful family. We would love to meet with you personally and for you to meet Eli. I can share some resources and what we did after we got to where you are. It may surprise you. 🙂
      Email me

  8. Hey there, I was trying to find a place to email you…are you on Facebook? If so there is this awesome group for moms of kiddos born in 2012/2013. It is very active and everyone is awesome! I think you would like it. Let me know if you are interested and I will add you. Oh and Eli is just the cutest!!

  9. HI! I couldn’t find a link to email you directly so I thought I’d try to contact you through the comments!
    My name is Candace Chatman and I am a graduate student receiving my Masters in Occupational Therapy at California State University, Dominguez Hills. My colleagues and I, Haley Arnold and Cassie Duwe, are conducting a quantitative research study measuring the quality of life and stress among caregivers of individuals of Down syndrome. We are reaching out to your blog to see if you’d be willing to share our survey link with parents who are a caregiver of a family member with Down syndrome. Participants will complete our online survey that will take approximately fifteen minutes and all responses will remain confidential.

    Criteria to participate in this survey require the caregiver to be 18 years of age or older and caring for a family member with Down syndrome, have access to both a computer and the Internet, and comprehend English.

    Caregivers face the unique challenge of balancing self-care, leisure, and work occupations with the task of caring for another individual. Through this research we hope to give caregivers a louder voice, contribute to the field of occupational therapy, and add to the research that will provide support for future change.

    If so, we will need a letter of support from you to submit to our IRB board. Once we submit your letter of support, we can provide the flier and link to our survey for you. You would just need to put the following in an email with your formal letter head/logo.

    We at “Those Newmans” Blog are pleased to support the research of Haley Arnold, Candace Chatman, and Cassie Duwe in conducting their project entitled ”

    Quality of Life and Stress Among Caregivers of Individuals with Down Syndrome”. I have agreed to distribute their recruitment flyers, links to surveys, and/or any other materials that need to be distributed to assist in recruitment of possible participants.
    Thank you in advance for considering distributing our survey to your clients! Please let me know if you have any questions.

    If you’re not willing to share the link to our survey, please consider completing the survey yourself. Your spouse can also complete the survey!

    http://goo.gl/forms/HhMKaG2lOR

  10. Where are you in Alabama? My husband and I live in Alabama as well, with our 4-year-old son, Elijah Evan, who also has Down Syndrome. We would love to make new friends!

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