Recently I was asked to participate in a blog hop for October- which is Down syndrome awareness month. I feel so honored to be a part of something bigger than myself and proud to be Eli’s parents. Hope you enjoy!
(Visit the original posting at: Ty’s Adventures)
Being a parent was the only thing I wanted for the last three years. My husband and I would stare at other people’s children and imagine what it was like. I would go weak in the knees when I would catch him playing with someone’s child. Together, we day-dreamed about what our children would look like. It was fun at first…but after a few years and a pregnancy loss, we stopped having fun.
Our path was not like we had imagined. We were caught off-guard by the struggles we would face and the many twists that awaited us down our path. I would do things I never thought I was capable of and my marriage would grow stronger with each challenge.
Injections. Surgery. IVF. PREGNANCY! C-section. Love.
Finally we are parents!
Sounds simple written out like that. I could write an entire post dedicated to just our journey through infertility and pregnancy…but I left one word out of our story. It’s what I want to talk about today.
The word I left out is a big part of our journey, but when I look at my family today it just isn’t what I see. On Jan 3, 2011 we were informed that our son would come to us with down syndrome. Our doctor confirmed the results using the new MaterniT21 test. We were about 20 weeks pregnant.
“Devastated” doesn’t even begin to describe the utter crushing pain, fear and heartache that came with that diagnosis. I grieved for months. I worried. I was afraid and I didn’t know how on earth I would raise this child.
But God had a plan for us. He worked on my heart for the next 5 months. After the diagnosis, I knew immediately I wanted to get connected. I dove in head-first: I called the Down Syndrome Association of Houston, I joined a local support group and “googled” like crazy. I would search “down syndrome blog” and then comment on every blog I could find in hopes that someone would contact me back. That someone would tell me it would be ok and that my son would be amazing. I bought books, I told family and friends, I searched for groups on Facebook…I overwhelmed myself many times. But we had come so far…been through so much already. Nothing was going to stop us now. Even though our son wasn’t in our arms yet- we were still his parents. It was our responsibility to be ready for him. To prepare and educate ourselves. I’m not entirely sure why I felt the need to research as much as I did, but it was the best thing I could have done. The scariest, but the best. It gave me comfort and helped me to focus on the end goal: parenthood. That’s what you do when you are a parent. Your focus becomes your child, and Eli is our world.
The down syndrome community embraced us, encouraged us and lifted us up. They shared their personal stories, their pictures and resources. They told us how amazing Eli would be, how precious he is, how beautiful he looked, how smart and strong he is- all of it true.
Today, looking back, that was one of the most difficult things our family has gone through. But the day Eli was born, erased all the fear, guilt and doubt. He is the very perfect gift that we waited and prayed for. Being a parent has been incredible and having a child with down syndrome hasn’t changed how wonderful we imagined it would be.