The Good with the Bad

Feeling a bit discouraged today. I finished reading Gifts and while I really enjoyed it, I have been left with a sense of sadness. Most of the stories highlight my fears and thoughts, which was a comfort. But they do not put out the fire. Instead, families reflect on their infant or toddlers….not so much into the future. (Though I must say, the stories are inspirational and positive! Some of these families…just wow! Really amazing).
I need a looking glass so I can see what the future holds. (Wouldn’t that be nice?)

And I guess that’s what I’m still dealing with. I think all parents idealize motherhood. And now that my initial dreams of parenting have changed, I’ve made adjustments to what I believe life will be like.
Days of therapy, doctors and reaching milestones at Eli’s pace. I’m excited to watch him grow and develop.
But my idea is still idealized. We don’t know what he will need when he gets here. What health issues he will face. The only thing telling us that he is “different” is an amnio. Everything else is perfect.

And then BAM! Someone poops on my hopes! More stories about health problems…stories with a negative slant…pity…”I know so-and-so who is in an assisted living community…”, “They just have so many health problems.”…or so many whatever…difficulties, challenges, you name it.

To combat that, I stay in my little bubble. Barry and I went to Baby Gap to giggle over clothes and dream.  I drank some orange juice so I could rub Eli when he squirmed and kicked (my favorite!!) And I looked at noahsdad.com to get a glimpse of life with an infant.
And really I guess that is all I can do right now.

Lord, I am not skilled to understand You will. Give me grace and strength as I face the ignorance of others and attempt to shield my son and my heart from the harshness of this world.

Positive Thoughts!!!!!!!!!

In other news not related to my fears (which I don’t think will go away for a long time) I have another sinus infection. I think its mostly pregnancy congestion but its to the point where I can’t breathe. Its so thick!! When sitting or laying down, I’m a mouth-breather! And I can’t taste anything at all 😦 It recently turned infected and tried to move into my chest. So I’m on more antibiotics….again.

What else?…..we have gotten a TON of compliments on Eli’s name! We are certainly excited about it and we know everyone will like the name regardless. But it truly has everyone buzzing with excitement and us puffed up proudly. Hehe
Picking a name is hard work- big responsibility!

OH!!! The biggest and best thing that happened this week- our super duper awesome Home Group surprised us with a baby shower for Eli!! It was so sweet! 🙂 Normally everyone kind of trickles in around 7, but no one had shown up yet. Then the doorbell rings and Barry is greeted with a huge HELLO!!! from all our friends! It was so unexpected and we feel very loved. The ladies in our group are super crafty so I knew the stuff waiting for Eli was going to be awesome. Hand-made burp cloths, decorations and tasty treats! I am very spoiled and have the best friends. 🙂

So much to be thankful for! 🙂 With friends and family like this, I know we can do anything.

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18 Replies to “The Good with the Bad”

  1. Dear Ashley
    I stumbled on your blog today. I’m a mother of two boys – one with Down syndrome. His name is Luca. Having my family is the best thing ever happened to me. In the beginning, after Luca’s birth, there were fear and some sad times. Now, twenty months later, he is the one that gives us hope. We laugh a lot, we LOVE Luca so much and we are happy and – we are an entirely normal family. Maybe you want to take a look at my blog. It is written in german but you can look at the pictures…..: sunny-side-of-things.blogspot.com. I wish you a wonderful pregnancy and a lot of positive energy. ..and …Eli is a beautiful name.
    denise

    1. Thank you so much, Denise! Thank you for sharing your blog (and even more than you are German! Part of my family is originally from Germany and I have visited Germany many times for mission trips. I need to hurry up and learn German!!)
      Luca is beautiful!!! Love love love your pictures!
      I am working very hard to take on that positive attitude, and some days are better than others. But for the most part I just want him to hurry up and get here. I think once he is here, I will feel much better and much stronger.
      I will definitely be keeping up with your blog. Thank you. 🙂

  2. Thank you for allowing me to follow your journey. I remember feeling these same emotions that you are feeling. But for me, it was a LONG time ago. Our son is almost twelve. Is it a blessing? YES! Is it awesome? YES! Is it hard? YES! But you know, I wouldn’t change a thing. I am not sure what the future will hold for our son, but I know my husband and I need to be his biggest advocate.He needs us just as much as we need him. My life changed when our son was born. But, it changed me for the better. I would not want to go back to where I was before he was born.

    1. Maybe I am just scared of the hard parts! lol I know that being a parent is hard all on its own…but these unexpected difficulties do scare me. I think it will be different once Eli gets here, but until then I feel as if I am left to wonder. It even sounds selfish when I write it because I feel like it’s MY desires for him and MY expectations for his life. Does that make sense?

      1. I can totally understand about being scared of the hard parts and the changes we make when we find out our child has DS.

        Our son is actually a twin. We did not find out about the DS until we were 6 1/2 months along. With a twin pregnancy, you get monthly ultrasounds. We had an abnormal ultrasound that took a wild and crazy turn. We had a few weeks to prepare for the birth of our son, but still I was not ready.

        We were pregnant with boys. I thought, a doctor and a lawyer. Now what? A doctor or a lawyer and ? I did not know what to expect. And we still don’t. But as our son grows, I feel more confidence. I have met more adults and young adults with DS. They never cease to amaze me. I always stop and watch them. I see a person cleaning tables at a fast food restaurant. That could be my son. I see the person helping me with my groceries. That could be my son. I also have met other folk that need a lot more assistance and guidance. And yes, that could be my son.

        But as my son grows, so do I. My priorities in life have changed. My goals have changed. And my idea of perfect has changed.

        You and your husband are going to make awesome parents to Eli. He is blessed to have you. And you will be blessed and awed by him.

        Thank you again for letting me follow along.

      2. Please excuse my negative tone today…its really just where I am at in this moment. But what you said…Right there, that’s it. The list of all the things your son could be. It sounds so simple and even hopeful…yet sad at the same time. Is the sky truly not the limit for our children with Ds? Lowering our expectations for the life we envision for our child? I just don’t know. That’s the part that’s so scary.

      3. I should be a little clearer nix have never lowered my expectations, just expanded his options on what he might want to do when he grows up. Right now, he can’t decide if he wants to be a rock star or an artist and he wants to get married to a pretty girl. Pretty normal aspirations for an almost 12 year old boy.

      4. Gosh, I didn’t mean for that to sound so harsh. I apologize. I don’t believe you have lowered your expectations, but I guess a better way to say it would be that your dreams changed to be what his dreams are. 🙂 I need to get over my selfish desires, truly. *sigh* I’m just trying to better grasp what this means for my family.

    1. Thank you for sharing that. The list IS overwhelming. 😦 I think I will feel better once he gets here and it’s not just a list of all the “maybe’s” of his health and life. Your list did make me smile, though! (specifically the pass at Disney!! Those lines are awful!)

    1. I do follow Nella and thank goodness because she is such an inspiration!! I see myself slipping into self pity or sadness and all I have to do is look at sweet Nella and I feel stronger! Her family is such an inspiration and when I imagine my future, that’s what it looks like.

    1. Thank you for so openly sharing your feelings.
      It feels good to know that I’m not alone. I agreed that focusing too far into the future isn’t good…but my “one-day-at-a-time” has no baby in it. Just a list of possible health issues and fears about my ability to be a good mother to Eli.

    2. I just finished reading those entries. That is *exactly* how I’m feeling right now! *exactly* especially the part about imagining my son as an adult and what his future holds.
      Thank you for sharing so openly. It doesn’t take away my fears or worries but its nice to know I’m not alone.

  3. Hi Ashley! I sound your blog while checking up on Bennett who is my awesome grandson. His mom is Adrienne and her blog is “Our Unexpected Journey”. You are almost exactly where Adrienne was three years ago while expecting Bennett. I can totally relate to how you are feeling about now. What an awesome journey you are on! Your son will be one of the greatest blessing that you will ever receive. Having Bennett in our family has changed all of us forever–for the better! We have learned so much and are so grateful that God has allowed us to be his family. By the way, you are just adorable and you and your husband will be the perfect parents for Eli. You’ll be in my thoughts and prayers as you wait for your son to be born.

    1. That just made my whole day! Thank you so much! 🙂 It is scary on some days and other days it’s just me waiting for our son!
      I have enjoyed following Bennett and I can’t wait for my blog to fill up with pictures like her’s. 🙂

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