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The Ballard Family

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 “I WOULDN’T CHANGE YOU FOR THE WORLD, BUT I’D CHANGE THE WORLD FOR YOU”

I came across the above quote the other day and I immediately thought of Sutton and his amazing mom Katie. Katie was only 24 years old when she found out that her unborn son possessed an extra 21st chromosome.She made the decision before she even met him that she would celebrate him each and every day of his life. For the past 11 months of Sutton’s life Katie has not only celebrated him but has also celebrated the lives of everyone who was born with Down syndrome.

She has made it her mission to change the perceptions that society has about people with Down syndrome by spreading awareness and advocating for them. Her goal is to show the world just how beautiful Down syndrome is. She specifically wants to be a light to other Moms’ and Dads’ who have received this diagnosis for their future children. Each day she shares glimpses of what life with Down syndrome really looks like through her social media pages in hopes that a mom or dad on the other side of the screen will realize that this diagnosis is not something that is scary or something to be ashamed about but in fact something to celebrate.

Although Katie had fully accepted Sutton’s diagnosis before he was born there were still fears that she struggled with before delivering him. Fast forward one year and Katie can now can look back on those fears and see how misguided she was.

FEAR #1: Katie feared that Sutton would not look like her or Caleb.

REALITY: Sutton is the perfect mixture of both of his parents. He has Katie’s blonde hair and blue eyes and his nose and facial expressions are Caleb’s made over.

FEAR #2: Katie feared that Caleb would be disappointed and resent her for not giving him a “healthy” and athletic son.

REALITY: From the beginning, Caleb has handled Sutton’s diagnosis in such a positive way. He is so proud of the child they both created and can not wait to see what all Sutton will accomplish in his life.

FEAR #3: Katie feared that Sutton and his diagnosis would stand in the way of her and Caleb being able to do the things they once loved (hiking, kayaking, traveling and all other outdoor activities). She feared that after Sutton was born her and Caleb’s adventures would soon become a thing of the past.

REALITY: Sutton is not incapable of doing adventurous things just because he has an extra 21st chromosome. Katie realizes that she had let her fears from his diagnosis mold her mind into thinking that her family would never be able to live a “normal” life because of Sutton’s diagnosis. However, in the last 11 months Katie has been pleasantly surprised with just how “normal” life with Sutton really is. Her and Caleb still enjoy all the same activities that they did before Sutton was born and look forward to the day that they can teach Sutton to enjoy them as well. Sutton has certainly proved himself to be their greatest adventure yet.

 

FEAR #4: Katie ultimately feared the unknown. She feared her and Caleb’s ability to raise a baby that multiple doctors told her would be so developmentally and physically delayed. There was so much emphasis put on all the things Sutton would NOT be able to that it was hard to picture all things Sutton would be able to do.

REALITY: Sutton is now eleven months old and has not only hit all developmental milestones for a child his age but he has also hit them on time. Although Sutton is one determined little boy who works very hard to accomplish these goals he also has the best support system which is a huge factor in the goals he has been able to accomplish. Katie and Caleb have stepped up to the plate for Sutton and work with him on a daily basis following the techniques they have been taught through Early Intervention services. Sutton is certainly proving them wrong.
(To learn more about the #provethemwrong movement please visit www.noahsdad.com)

Before Sutton was born the doctors were very wrapped up in telling Katie all the things her future son would not be able to do because he had Down syndrome. However, what they failed to mention was that the day Sutton was born would also be the day Katie saw her baby as SUTTON and not as a baby who had been diagnosed with Down syndrome. When Katie held Sutton for the first time she forgot all about the 21st chromosome he possessed, the negativity surrounding his diagnosis, and the list of things the doctors informed her that he would not be because when she looked into his big blue eyes all she saw was her and Caleb’s baby boy and he was absolutely perfect.

Follow Sutton’s journey on Instagram @sweet.on.sutton

LEAVE ME A NOTE!

  1. Daphne

    March 11th, 2018 at 3:13 am

    This sweet family continues to amaze and inspire me. May God bless them in all they do. It’s easy to see why precious Sutton is so adored.

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