When Jade & I first learned Ollie had a major heart defect and most likely had DS we wrote this blog
to share the facts with everyone. That way it came from our mouths and all the facts were true and laid out.
We needed the prayers of strength and support of our family and friends to help us grieve what we thought we lost and to forge forward for the daughter we had.
We received countless prayers & that was amazing & strengthening. God heard our cries. I felt at peace most of the time.
We also received pity.
Pity is probably one of the worst things. I hated it. I knew it was out of the goodness of peoples hearts, and that they didn't know what to say other than "I'm so sorry" or "God picked you because you are special and it takes a special mother to raise a child like her". But the words hurt.
Now this is fully how I felt, my opinion and other moms may disagree, but I hated it more than anything. I hated that people didn't know how to act around me so they avoided me. I hated the eyes coming sideways wondering what to say, how to approach me. I hated that people acted like my world had ended and that my baby was dead.
So what did I do?
This may sound crazy to some, but I raised my level of expectations.
I quickly adjusted to the idea of a daughter with DS and poured myself into blogs that had families with someone that had DS. It was my medicine. It was my gold. I built amazing friendships with women I have never met, but trust me one day I will meet them all!
From that point forward I knew I could do it. I dreaded open heart surgery, but I knew I could handle DS. I was still scared, but I knew I loved this baby girl unconditionally. I started telling people how I expected them to feel about my daughter. I said don't feel sorry for me, we celebrate this child. We are still in love with this baby.
I blogged about how wonderful she was going to be. I laid it out there for everyone. I never blatantly said don't pity me, but I placed the idea in their head that we viewed her as a blessing, as a gift (and honestly she is a huge gift) and eventually people learned that she was the same. They have learned that she is much more than a diagnosis on paper.
I no longer receive the I'm sorry statements. Instead I get the she's so beautiful, she's so strong, she's so tough, she is such a blessing, you are so lucky to have her. That's right, people rose to my expectations & have learned that the diagnosis of Down Syndrome isn't the end of the world. How's that for positive thinking?!? So I urge you, raise the bar - if you have a loved one with news like I recieved - give them a hug, tell them you love them, pray for them, shoot give them my email address...but don't pity them, don't tell them you are sorry because soon they will be where I am today and they will be thankful for their bundle of chub.
Ollie has educated many with her cheesy grin and chubby rolls. Now that I'm in this "club", I wish others were in it too. You see,very rarely does someone else get blessed with a baby that has Down Syndrome. God selects the lucky few! Jade & I can not create another baby with Down Syndrome - it'd be extremely impossible. 1 in over 1000. That's why she's so stinking special. She's one of a kind.
God didn't give us her because we were the perfect accepting family. That we were the perfect parents, because trust me this is the farthest from the truth - special needs used to terrify me! He in fact gave us her because WE NEEDED her. We needed to learn some life lessons.
God broke us down to build our faith up. He has showed us compassion, patience, trust, acceptance, forgiveness (yes we were a bit angry with God), and the undeniable amount of love you hold for your child no matter a chromosome count. My word - God has changed US, by giving us the most beautiful gift, a gorgeous child that society thinks is imperfect, but that is truly perfectly made by him.
Thank you God for pouring out your blessings onto my sweet family & anyone else lucky enough to kiss the cheeks of "imperfection". I now know that nothing in this world is a mistake, it's all a part of God's big plan.
I love my life with my handsome husband & 3 beautifully created kids!