Baby Rockstar arrived somewhat unexpectedly on Thursday, Dec. 4th at 12:18pm - his name is Liam Jeremiah Thiessen and he is such a joy! He weighed 7lb 8oz and was 20.5" long - a really good-sized baby considering he arrived 22 days early! (If he would have gone full term I suspect he would have come out with teeth already!) We chose these names for the following reasons:
Liam - it is a derivative of "William" which is Erin's dad's name. It means "unwavering/determined protector", "strong-willed warrior". Liam is also an Irish name as is "Erin".
Jeremiah - this is the origin of my name - "Jeremy" - and it means "God will uplift".
The whole delivery process was quite smooth - Erin did fantastic! The Lord answered our prayers and provided us with a fantastic nursing team, and we were able to enjoy the experience from beginning to end (minus the final hours of labor prior to the epidural - but even then I didn't get cursed out when I fell asleep during one contraction!).
Liam threw us a curveball on Saturday. We received confirmation that he has Down Syndrome. This was obviously hard news to hear, but in hindsight we feel like all the way through this pregnancy the Lord has been preparing us to hear this news. I have yet to come across a better description than the following written by Emily Perl Kingsley of how it feels to be told you will be raising a child with a disability. it's like this...
"When you're going to have a baby, it's like planning a fabulous vacation trip - to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It's all very exciting.
After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, 'Welcome to Holland.'
'Holland?!?' you say. 'What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I'm supposed to be in Italy. All my life I've dreamed of going to Italy.'
But there's been a change in the flight plan. They've landed in Holland and there you must stay.
The important thing is that they haven't taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It's just a different place.
So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.
It's just a different place. It's slower-paced than Italy, les flashy than Italy. But after you've been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around... and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills... and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.
But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy... and they're all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say, 'Yes, that's where I was supposed to go. That's what I had planned.'
And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away... because the loss of that dream is a very very significant loss.
But... if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things... about Holland."
To close using this analogy, Erin and I are not finished "traveling". Yes, we are currently visiting Holland, but we WILL get to Italy one day - we've always planned to take more than one "trip". So until that day comes, we would appreciate your thoughts and prayers as we learn to explore and appreciate the wonders of Holland. It is still a strange, intimidating, and scary place for us, but we know that Liam was given to us by God and therefore He will give us the grace and perseverance to press on when we don't feel like it. Liam is my son, and he is beautiful.
To view more pictures of Liam click here.