Saturday, May 9, 2015

Not Ready to Celebrate?

Mother's Day is Sunday.  Our Mother's Day celebration will be low key this year, as we have various church and gymnastics commitments on Sunday, but I am no less excited about being mommy to Ellie and the ever-growing Caroline.

And the lateness of grandma gifts isn't because of bad feelings, either.  I thought Mother's Day was the following weekend and failed to place appropriate orders in a timely manner!  Blame pregnancy brain.

But this Mother's Day, as with many others, I'm thinking about the pregnant moms who have a recent prenatal Down syndrome diagnosis, who have not yet held their babies.

I don't think I would have been ready to celebrate.

I wasn't really ready to celebrate during most of my pregnancy with Ellie, which didn't happen to coincide with Mother's Day.  There were a few exceptions - a baby shower, some happy conversations, but fear was always in the back of my mind.

Ellie in the NICU, a few days old.

So if you're pregnant and expecting a little one with an extra chromosome and you aren't running out to brunch, you're not alone.

There will be lots of Mother's Days down the road.  Days when your little one who is four stays up all night Friday night, but shows no signs of slowing down Saturday morning.  Days when parenting a child with Down syndrome is the greatest thing you could imagine.  Days when parenting is simply torture.  Days when you laugh hysterically at your kid's wit, and wonder why you ever doubted she'd be smart and funny.  Days your four year old blends sounds to read the word "up."  Days your four year old still can't count to five consistently.  Days of exhaustion.  And grubby hands.  And early morning requests for "Cereal, water, gummies, and my meds.  And my other meds."

It gets better.  It gets good.

Water park.

Florida road trip!

Puerto Rico.

OK, this this was only good for me.  And Matt.  Ellie hated it.


And if you are holding a newborn with a surprise diagnosis, I haven't been in your shoes, but I can tell you it gets better.

Happy Mother's Day, regardless of how happy you feel.

Check out Down Syndrome Pregnancy.  Call your local Down syndrome group.

And if someone really wants to take you to brunch, enjoy it if you can.

P.S. Regular readers, For every $15 donation, Down Syndrome Pregnancy can send a practicing OB medical student a copy of From Diagnosis to Delivery.  Thanks to NIPS, more OBs are delivering a diagnosis than genetic counselors, and many don't quite know what to say.  It's a great cause.
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