A collection of random musings and musical meanderings

Newborn – An Unexpected Journey

Newborn – An Unexpected Journey

I wrote Newborn about 15 years ago and recorded it with a few other tunes to be played when my wife was to give birth to our second child (my third). My son Zac was born in 2004 in May on a beautiful sunny day in Portsmouth, UK.

The birth went really well and I quickly went to call relatives of our incredible news. When I got back to my wife’s room at the hospital the midwife gave us some unexpected news that Zac had Downs Syndrome. This initially pulled the rug out from under my feet as we did not know this before he was born. I knew absolutely nothing about Downs Syndrome. Over the next few days he had all the tests, including heart tests and everything was confirmed.

The baby in the video above is my son soon after he was born.

Newborn to Teenager

At the time of writing, he is coming up to 13 years-old. It has not been an easy journey, but it is one full of surprises, full of great joy and some sadness. However, knowing what we know now, we would not change a thing. He is an amazing young man, a comedian, a mimic, kind and caring, an absolute nutter, a typical grumpy teenager and an amazing son. He is loved and supported by his two incredible sisters.

Us and ZacBefore he was born I had imagined how things would go for my new child; what we would do together and how he would fit into the family. Having a boy, for the first 20 minutes before I heard the news, I imagined taking him down the park, playing football, doing ‘boys’ stuff together. Things turned out much differently than i had imagined. He has a severe learning disability, speech problems, mobility problems… but he is definitely not a problem. My understanding of what is ‘normal’ has changed totally. He challenged my understanding of how a person should be, of how our paths in life don’t have to follow a  straight line from A to B. That is total fantasy and complete nonsense. Life really is an unexpected journey.

That newborn changed everything. I wanted to do a job that made a difference to my local community. My wife went to university and got a first class honours degree and a masters, and now is a CEO of a local charity providing respite activities for disabled children. Both my daughters have wonderful hearts and have worked to help children with physical and learning disabilities. I’m sure Zac’s birth was the catalyst for all these changes in our lives. We are better people because of him.

The Recording

This is a re-recording of the tune, played on EWI-USB using Sample Modelling’s SWAM engine and Saxophone (soprano) samples. I used Band-in-a-Box to create the backing track.

For help or to learn more about Downs Syndrome click here.

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