The next two were part of a blog hop. Both of them are very dear to my heart. #3 was my favorite post..."Normal Life". I wrote it in April of last year. A full year after Hailey was born...almost a year ago now. #4 was about preconceived ideas. These two posts are ones that I want all new moms to read. All moms that receive a prenatal diagnosis to read. People who don't know anyone with Down syndrome and people who have just found out that a friend or family member is having (or did have) a baby with Down syndrome.
The weight of the news that Hailey had Down syndrome made it hard to breathe...made it hard to think...made me question everything that I ever believed or thought I knew, but it was temporary. It was like fog when the air and the land are two different temperatures. You know, the thick fog that you can't see through...so thick that you feel like you are wearing the fog. The fog lifts a few hours into the day and everything is clearer. You can see and you can't feel it anymore. Just like the fog, my tears cleared, my thoughts settled, my questions subsided. I could see my daughter. Not the Down syndrome. I could see the little girl with light brown hair, blue eyes and chubby dimpled cheeks. As time passed, I saw that Down syndrome is just a part of her...it doesn't define who she is. She is determined, energetic, hard-working, loving, funny, social, mischievous, smart, sometimes sneaky, loud, chatty...some of those traits she shares with her brothers, a couple she owns all by herself.
Yes, I want all parents and families to understand that it is okay to be sad. It is okay to mourn the baby that you "dreamed of". It is okay to cry. It is okay to be angry. Let yourself feel these things. It doesn't make you a bad parent, friend or relative. You need to get those feelings out to make room for more. More pride than you've ever felt. More love (for everyone) than you've ever imagined. More laughter than you've ever heard. More joy than you've ever known possible. It is coming...give it time and let go of the other stuff so there is room for it!
I try to explain Hailey and it is difficult. People have to meet her to understand. She smiles with her entire body....she laughs with her whole body...she loves with her whole heart. I know I've said it before, but she truly completes our family. She's a perfect fit. A friend recently commented that she doesn't know how anyone can ever be mad in our house with Hailey in it. I have to be honest....it is almost impossible! Her giggles stop us in our tracks. Her smile causes a chain reaction of smiles through the house.
I'm glad that others have read the difficulties surrounding Hailey's birth, but I also want them to know the joy we have in our lives. I want them to read about how your life will be "normal" again and quite possibly better than ever!!! I hope that you will share this information, too!
These pictures are just a few of Hailey & her every day life (I don't have many of her walking yet...I am generally too busy cheering for her! She is getting there.)......
|I never knew climbing on the couch could make someone so happy!|
|Finally enjoying the giggling baby.|
|She's starting to look like such a big girl!|
|Playing peek-a-boo barn.|
|Mom took away my plate because I was throwing food...now I will just pout until she gives it back.|
|Never fails, Hailey always has at least one sleeping picture a week :-)|