Alfie’s Story, by his dad, Chris
We thought we were going to go to Barcelona for a long weekend. We had been there before, we knew what it was like and all the pre-flight checks were fine…but for whatever reason, our flight was diverted to Paris. An equally adored, beautiful and loved city with huge character. I am Chris, fiancé to Rachel and father to Teddy and our latest arrival Alfie. Alfie was born on 10 March 2021 at the Queens Medical Centre at just after 8pm.
Just like with Teddy, Rachel had a great pregnancy and all checks came back as low chance. We were both thrilled to find out we were expecting another boy and were so excited that Teddy would have a little brother. Rachel was unbelievable again during the birth and I watched on in admiration excited to welcome Alfie into the world.
Holding him for the first time, getting him ready and cleaned up after birth and watching him with Rachel, I had absolutely no idea that he was packing an extra chromosome. Four hours later, just after midnight, following excited video calls to our parents saying that we would soon be on our way home, our lovely midwife came in and told us that she needed to tell us something…
Well.. we have all been there in this group! I write for a living, but I do not have the words to explain how I felt at that time. I was so upset for Rachel. Having gone through 9 months and then labour to have the ‘yeah everything’s OK’ joy taken from her like that just broke my heart.
However, it will be to my eternal pride that our response was just to love Alfie more. Instantly, my life had even more purpose and Rachel looked at Alfie (and still does) with nothing but love and adoration. I am beyond proud. At just after midnight a specialist and a surgeon came in to see whether the midwifes opinion that Alfie may have a touch of down syndrome.
On entering the room she said “Well I hear you may have some questions about your baby…” Well yes…our immediate question is does he have down syndrome!! After 3 emotional days in hospital and breaking the news to friends and family…we begun to accept that we were in Paris.
But our luggage had arrived…we could speak the lingo, our family were looking forward to visiting and that we all love Croissants. The care we received in hospital was great, and we really can’t complain about any of it. They went above and beyond to support us and it was really reassuring when Dr Mader visited and told us about NDSSG.
Alfie is now 7months old. He is doing brilliantly and we are very lucky that he doesn’t have any health problems. His big brother adores him it is lovely to see them together. I think like all of us in NDSSG, it takes time to process the news. It is still new to us and, on the whole, I think we are doing well. But there are days when, well you know, you have one of those days. Who knows what the future will hold, but all I know is that I love Alfie and I am proud to be his Dad.