Spring Break!

Expecting Adam
Expecting Adam
I just finished reading this book! Our spring break began with me being sick and 3 days of rainy weather. Perfect for devouring a novel (not so good when you have plans with your family…). This one was not one that anyone recommended to me, but a friend saw it in Target and picked it up. I’m glad she did. As a whole, Expecting Adam was a real, emotional and heart-felt book that I related to on a lot of levels. I think that Martha Beck did a wonderful job portraying her emotional response to her prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome. On many levels it echoed my thoughts, actions and words exactly.
She also focused on the supernatural forces that worked in her life beginning with the conception of Adam. This was an interesting topic to me because I also feel very much as if there are powers greater than myself working in my life even prior to our diagnosis. She does not acknowledge God as this power, but I very much credit Him for the precious life he is knitting together in my body. Our journey has been a struggle in trusting God with our future family, in believing we will ever have the opportunity to become pregnant and raise a family…and now in trusting in his perfect plan for our son. Not easy at all. But there were so many times He stepped in to give me a good thomp on the head…to remind me that I am not in control. I knew before we had even gotten any results from tests that Eli had Ds.
We immediately picked his name shortly after the diagnosis, one that was never on the list we agonized over for weeks. Eli- Extra, Light, Inside. Barry’s dream about a “light bringer”, the quick, easy connections we have made with people in our community, the loving acceptance of our family and friends. All of these things and many more remind me that our son will be the biggest blessing and that God is in control. I wish for this kind of happiness and strength every day. One thing Beck talks a lot about is the fear leading up to birth. Until Adam is in her arms, she has so many fears about the unknowns of caring for him. I appreciated that because I feel that right now, I have done all I can to prepare and I have too much time to think/worry. But like myself, she was very interested in learning all she could about Ds before her son arrived.

I found her book as a whole, relatable, funny, insightful and honest.
My only criticism would be that since her son was born in 1988 and her book written in the 1990’s, she very freely and carelessly throws around the r-word. In moments of her deepest sorrow and fear she uses the word…in moments of anger, as a coping mechanism, and even jokingly. I used to use the word all the time! It’s become so much a part of our every day language that I let it seep in without even knowing! I used to tell my secondary kids, “you are smarter than that word”…yet I threw it around in casual language. But now, my perspective has changed…I find that reading or hearing the word is hurtful and upsetting. I’m working hard to remove it from my vocabulary and find “smarter” words.

The only other thing I wish the book had was more information on how her son is doing now that he is 24 years old. I just have so many dreams for Eli and in my mind, I imagine a very specific lifestyle for him. I think it’s reasonable and I’m excited about his future! But I just love to look ahead at what others are doing.
So those would be my only negative comments to make about the book. Good read- perfect for stormy sick days.

Ok, so back to spring break. Friday at 3:00 it officially began! A wonderful friend offered to take my car rider duty so I could head home early. I started feeling sick on Thursday and by Friday I was not in a good place. I really should have stayed home from school, but I just had too much to do on the last day before school let out. So I went and I was miserable. 😦 Thank goodness for awesome co-workers!! At the point I had reached, it probably wasn’t safe for me to drive home…and I don’t find it strange that I don’t remember most of my drive home except that I talked to my mom.
I got home Friday afternoon and slipped into my most comfy clothes possible. That’s when the fever hit me. I tried everything I could think of to break it but no luck. My PA said that if I wasn’t well by Saturday morning to take myself to labor and delivery. WHAT?! yeah…So I soaked in a lukewarm bath, put cool wet washcloths on my head and took some Tylenol. Ugh…I felt awful! My whole body ached and it hurt to move. I was literally a baby…I wanted to cry I felt so terrible. (It’s ok, feel bad for me…lol)
And this is from upper respiratory stuff! How on earth am I going to have a baby?!
Anyway…I recovered fine and my fever finally broke. I’m on antibiotics and I feel better after 2 days of sleeping. I still have some sinus crud but as a whole I am feeling way better. Good start to a spring break!!

Everyone keeps asking me why I get sick so often, as if my sinus surgery I had 2 years ago makes me immune to illness. I wish! Not to mention being pregnant weakens your immune system, so yay for that. It is what it is, I work around children, I am pregnant, and it’s spring time…sick is going to happen.

*sigh*
Speaking of labor and delivery! Barry and I set up our birthing classes and the hospital tour. 🙂 Very happy about that! My pregnancy books are beginning to talk about pain management options and labor signs so it’s getting pretty real up in here. This baby is going to come out and be real and I’m going to experience birth. Yikes! It’s exciting on one hand but scary on the other. Mainly I guess because I’ve never done it before and I don’t know what to expect. In my mind it will be painful but I will likely accept medical intervention with drugs and all will be well. But I’ve never broken a bone or experienced real physical pain before (ok, one time I broke my pinky finger but I don’t think that counts), so I’m a bit anxious because me and pain are not friends. I cried when I got my tattoo!!

Yeah…I’m a baby. lol 😛

Hmm…ok, new topic? I’m very excited about this week (hoping I feel better that is) because we have pediatrician appointments, day care interviews and meetings with local families who have kiddos with Ds set up. We would also like to paint the nursery and go to the museum. Tomorrow we go for a check-up with Dr. R and I am anticipating some 4D pictures. And hopefully we can make up my mom’s birthday celebration at some point this week (with my and my grandpa being sick, she wound up cancelling her birthday lunch!). So we will be busy as ever!

My sweet friend, Whitney Paul, had her baby yesterday. You can read their story here: Paul Family Journey
Please continue to pray for her precious son and their family.

I guess that is is for now. More updates to come, I am sure. 😉

Hand-knit baby blanket!
Hand-knit baby blanket!
kankles...
kankles...

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2 Replies to “Spring Break!”

  1. I also loved expecting Adam but it is not for everyone. I have or meant to mention a myths of DS essay Martha beck wrote that is in one if the NDSS books I think from early 2000. Find it and I’d love a link to it myself. One of the best summaries! The book has a lot of interesting DS essays technical in nature that are neat too.

    I seem to KNOW that her son wears suits most of the time and likes dressing fancy. I think she may talk in passing about him or something in her finding your north star book cause I can’t think of any other source. I bought that book years before DS and loved it!!! It’s phenomenal and may have an excellent summary on grief stages?? Which regardless, we grieve a bit again every time we face crazy dated people and tough developmental situations

    Interesting tidbit that is on my mind. One thing I did not like about the expecting Adam book was a reference to her child not being able to talk at three years old. But despite limited clear easy talking, your child will COMMUNICATE and get his point across. Yes, kids with language barriers are often especially good at gesturing in some way to get their point across. I have other kids and still the vision of a helpless infant at three years old was in my mind for a while. I knew ASL would help but it still haunts and saddens me.

    My son IS three and a half now and his speech is challenging but he is FAR FROM an infant in the communication spectrum!!!

    I love love love her take on academia. I’m from a family that wishes it was that prestigious but so so highly values intelligence from an IQ perspective alone. However, I have and worked in an IQ driven profession and IQ is in itself essentially a handicap and pretty much a world of people on the autism spectrum with limited SOCIAL skills. We need to blend intelligence to include social and humanitarian skills in order to properly produce humans that are effective! As a teacher you can do that. Schools do value & blend in lots more creative aspects now and I think gradually things will even out. With our help!

    I adore the coincidental and spiritual aspects of the book and suspect that every parent of a child with DS would find lots of prior connections and foreshadowing if you will in our own life stories. Driven by whatever but the forces are THERE.

    What a great update! Thanks for your honesty and such a joy & fun read

    1. I agree- great book overall. The parts that made me nervous- like the fact that her son didn’t talk at 3 years old- had to be read under the lense of perspective. Her son was born in the 1980’s and we know far more about the needs of children with Ds than we did back then. Not to mention the ECI services and such that are being offered now. I just have to remember that Eli doesn’t fit a mold and that I have a lot of tools to help him. 🙂

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