Hands down we have a leader

  October 4th 2005 Larkin Murphy Armstrong was born and the person I was, died.  Becoming a parent is, in most situations, a beautiful process.  Chase Larkin was born August 29, 1995 and no longer would I be sleeping in, running out the door for a quick lunch, dinner or otherwise.  Self-involvement goes away and this little being encompasses all thoughts, deeds, and actions.   Loving Chase began the moment they told me I was pregnant.  The intense, all consuming, heart shattering love began the moment they laid him on me seconds after his birth and I looked deep into the eyes of love and my soul and his melded.  I always believed in God but now I KNEW Him.  I began to know His plan.  BEGAN – being the operative word. 

  Larkin’s birth was the same but different.  Looking back the signs are all there.  The pictures show the proof of her differences.  The pictures also show proof of the sameness.  Is that a word?  All consuming-heart shattering-intense love.  I looked deep into her eyes after her birth wanting that same connection that I had with Chase.  She was ANGRY when she was born.  She came out hand first.  I have found over and over in my readings the old saying that children born hands first are leaders.  After receiving the diagnosis of Trisomey 21, I questioned that old saying.  After receiving further devastating news of Infantile Spasms, I threw that saying out the window.  Then when the final crushing blow of Lennox-Gaustaut was delivered, I went outside, took gasoline with me, and burned the damn thing. 

I also burned my “What to expect when you’re expecting,” “The Toddler year’s what to expect” and the poem “Welcome to Holland“.  It was a good fire.  I am sure the neighbors considered calling someone to take me away.  Imagine fire blazing as a mother with gas can in hand, pissed, devastated, insane from grief and being so very helpless, mutters under her breath every single swear against the universe.  We were supposed to protect this child and FIX it all. 

  I have always tried to take care of Chase’s world.  Making sure he eats his veggies, brushes his teeth every 4th day and occasionally uses the soap and shampoo in the shower.  Keeping him busy with his own activities, so he does not feel as if he lives in Larkin’s shadow.  Chase has his own challenges of course.  He is a deeply sensitive child and my girlfriend Laura points out regularly all children have special needs.  My child of 10 whose response to being told that his sister had Down syndrome was “why couldn’t it have been me instead of her?”  This morning there was a picture and article in our local paper.  Team Larkin was shown from the 2007 polar plunge.  I have taken the plunge for the past 10 years.  It became a Team Larkin movement 3 years ago.  It was during the plunge last year that I heard “the Voice” and understood what He expected of me.  She IS a leader.  She is showing us the path to enlightenment.  Leading us to acceptance.  Leading us to playing.  Leading us to growth.  I now have to believe those who say the hands first births are leaders.  

 Our little girl deserves so much more then she has been handed physically but spiritually giants hold her up.  Giants made of material that is indestructible and unmovable. It was a wonderful birth and an even more wonderful death.  I do not miss the person I was and cannot wait to see what this little one brings to the rest of my life.       

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5 Responses to Hands down we have a leader

  1. Katherine says:

    Beautiful post. Insightful and eloquent.

  2. lbotp says:

    Love the new look. I forgot to tell you today that I saw the polar plunge pic from last year. Don’t forget to send me some for a lbotp post!

  3. RK says:

    Really neat perspective, Amy. I have no doubt she’s a leader and I’ve never yet had the privilege to meet her. :o)

  4. doug aldeen says:


    Let me tell you what I have learned: out of significant adversity comes incredible opportunity. I hope you will return my note.

    All the best,

    Doug Aldeen

  5. SHAN says:

    I have just stumbled upon your web site via TAP’s site.
    For everything there is a reason and his b***s**t and your simple request caused me to check out your site. I have a 6 yr and 19 month old boys who as far as we know have no health issues. I have been deeply touched by your words and read your site with tears in my eyes. I am a very blessed man with a wonderful happy family. As i said as far as we know we are all healthy and i am thankful but must also be always mindful that tomorrow is promised to no one so we must cherish all our loved ones minute by minute and never take them for granted. I loved the pictures of Larkin and no matter the health issues i hope you still feel blessed -what a beautiful child. THERE ARE BLESSINGS IN ALL THINGS.

    Your friend,

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