My Mother's Day Surprise


I often think how much fun it is for the ladies whose babies are being born in the Facebook age. They have a vast audience to oohh and aahh at their baby’s first photos, an instant birth announcement.

I never sent out birth announcements for my children, nursing a new baby was about all I could handle, especially with my youngest child, Christina who was born in spring of 2002. I had her a month early because my gestational diabetes endangered her life. Giving birth early made my milk slow in coming in, giving her jaundice, which required an extra hospital visit. Add to that my c-section scar and the fact that Christina had Down syndrome, and you have one very frazzled mom, spending day and night trying to breastfeed a tiny five pound baby.

We eventually succeeded, Christina was an ardent nurser once my milk came in. My friends were wonderfully supportive, I didn’t cook a meal till after her Baptism, which took place in the pouring rain on Mother’s Day. Over one hundred people attended, and I felt very loved.

However, a precious opportunity, to photograph her as a newborn had passed me by. Or so I thought. Last Saturday I was speaking at the Connecticut Right to Life Convention, and Dr Brian Clowes of Human Life International was waiting his turn to present. We had met before, in 2002, when Christina was one month old. He asked my permission to take photographs of her. I was flattered because, by taking her photo, he treated Christina, the baby with Down syndrome so often rejected by society, as evidenced by the 90% abortion rate,  as a celebrity. She was sound asleep in the baby sling, and we walked over to the window to catch the afternoon sunshine.

I never got to enjoy these amazing photos, as didn’t see Dr.  Clowes for a decade. I mentioned his taking photos of Christina in my talk, and how that helped me understand that this little girl was going to be a light in this dark world, as Blessed Pope John Paul said, a sign of contradiction. To my utter shock, he said he knew where the photos were, and, true to his word, he sent them to me, on Mother’s Day.

I was thrilled to gaze upon my newborn daughter’s face again, and happy memories came flooding back. How that little pink preemie outfit was bought by mistake, and I gave it to my 8 year old to use for her dolls. When Christina was born prematurely, I asked for it back, and only fit her with the sleeves rolled up. How her sleeping smile lit up her face, and my Salvadorean in-laws said it meant she was dreaming of the Virgin Mary. How her little tongue used to protrude, and we taught her to keep it inside her mouth. How utterly delicious it is to have a newborn babe wrapped next to your heart.

I had had an amazing Mother’s Day last Sunday. My husband took the family to brunch at a local vineyard cafe, my daughters made me an exquisite card and bought me luxurious rosemary mint soap and tea spice scented candles from Old Sturbridge Village. My in-laws gave me a nectarine tree and a tiny white rosebush. I thought this was going down on record as the Mother’s Day to remember. I had no idea how right I was!

How generous God is when you give your life to Him!

Copyright 2012 Leticia Velasquez


About Author

Leticia Velasquez is a wife and mother to three girls. Christina, her youngest, has Down syndrome. She is the co-founder of KIDS Keep Infants with Down Syndrome. Leticia blogs about daily life with Christina at Cause of Our Joy, and Causa Nostrae Laetitae. is her Culture of Life blog. She reviews books and films at Catholic Media Review. Her articles have been published in Canticle, Faith and Family, and Celebrate Life  magazines, and the National Catholic Register . You can find her work online at, Catholic Exchange, and Catholic Online. The Velasquez family lives in rural Connecticut.


  1. I love that your relatives said that a smiling sleeping baby is dreaming of the Blessed Mother! When my daughter was little she used to say that she remembered what it was like in Heaven when she was waiting to be born, and Mary would rock her and put her in her crib.

  2. Leticia I was so moved by this post. Thank you for sharing precious Christina and these photos with us. I can’t imagine how happy seeing them must have made you!

  3. sarah madden on

    I too thank you for sharing your beautiful daughter’s pictures with us. What a blessing your post was for all. Thank you very much.

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