The first year of Hailey's life was a little bumpy. It was something new to adjust to. We had a daughter that needed open heart surgery and had many appointments. We had precautionary appointments to attend...ears/nose/throat (ENT) doctor and ophthalmologist. We had the wait and see appointments with the cardiologist to check her weight and see if her medication needed changed. We had standard well checks with her pediatrician. Every other week, we had early intervention at our house working with Hailey and her development. It added up to a busy schedule...not to mention, we had just added a 3rd child into our household. That alone is an adjustment!
I remember sitting with Hailey in her room the morning of her first birthday. I remember the tears streaming and then it turning into an ugly cry. I was so happy that day, but those tears were a mixture of sadness, but also relief. We had made it. Not only was Hailey healthier than ever, but she survived open heart surgery. Without surgery, there is a chance she wouldn't have seem that milestone. As a family we had survived that first year...I felt like we needed an award of some sort.
Parents of older children with Ds always told me that first year is the hardest. There are so many appointments and it is emotionally draining. You can only handle listening to so many people tell you how delayed your child is before you want to punch someone....or take up drinking. I think I might have rolled my eyes at a couple of them because once again, I didn't believe them! Shhhh...don't tell them, but they were right!
We still had early intervention for the next two years, but once every two weeks was manageable. All other appointments suddenly went to once a year or once every 6 months. I finally felt like we could breathe. I felt like we could start living our lives.
Fast forward to now...Hailey is 4 1/2. She attends preschool 4 days a week. She loves riding the bus and absolutely loves school! She goes to her brother's sporting events (each season it is something different) and practices. Sometimes she runs errands with mom or dad. We go out to eat and love riding rides at Kings Island. We battle bedtime with 3 children and there is plenty of sibling rivalry.
I somehow thought life would look so different with Hailey having Ds, but honestly for the most part, I don't think it does. I still think we look like a family with 3 very active children...okay...maybe we sometimes resemble a 3 ring circus, but I like it!