Parenthood. Life. Down syndrome. Faith.

My life changed a lot when I found out my 3rd child would be born with Down syndrome. But then again, it really hasn't changed so much.

We're still living life, trusting God, raising our kids, and loving having a baby in the house.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

He calls me Mama

Eight months ago, we took in the skinniest (and if I dare, ugliest) baby I've ever seen.  He didn't cry...ever...and slept 21 hours a day.  Since then, he's filled out, has adorable chubby cheeks, and a sparkle in his eye.

I've sat up with him at night when he's sick.  Dried his tears when he hurts.  Cuddled him as he eats.  I've looked into his eyes and told him, over and over, that I love him.  He needs to hear it, even if he's only a baby. 

I've stopped going to the free closet for clothing "in case he goes home soon".  Instead, I buy his clothes right along with the other kids' at the same stores.

I celebrate his milestones with phone calls to Grandma (my mom).  I note them in his baby book.  Probably more than his fair share of photos are on my phone.

And he calls me Mama.

People ask if we'll keep him.  Unfortunately, it doesn't really work that way.  He's not mine to keep.

Of course I love him.  How could you care for a baby for 8 months and not fall in love?  Of course I'd love to have him here forever.  But that's not my decision.  I live, I love, I reserve a ever-smaller part of my heart for the day when he'll go home. 

But for now, for the next few months, two babies call me mama.  And I love it.

Our Cade and his "twin", Baby L

Monday, November 24, 2014

Toss the lists

You've seen the new trend, I know you have.  Lists.  Lists of everything.  25 things to eat before you die.  15 things to buy a grandma.  5 funniest quotes of all time.  And so forth.  Sometimes these are hilarious, sometimes annoying.  Sometimes a little troubling.

When I first started seeing the special needs lists, I was like "Yeah!  You tell 'em!"

But got overwhelming.  I was seeing new lists almost daily.  My friends sent them to me, family tagged me.  And I started to think, what if my friends and family are reading all of these and trying desperately to remember them?  What if they're tiptoeing on eggshells trying not to break a rule or hurt my feelings?

I think the lists are good, in general.  If it makes a few people more aware, or changes a couple of minds about our kids, then that's a great thing.  But all of my friends and family are well-meaning people who support us.  What do they think of all of these lists?  What would I think if I were in their shoes?

Oh poo.  That's what I'd think.  I'd think people shouldn't be so sensitive.  I'd think that as long as I treated their kid the same as all the other kids, then saying a phrase the wrong way shouldn't be a big deal.

And so, I'm letting you off the hook, officially.  I don't care if you call Cade a Down syndrome baby or if you tell me that "they're always so sweet."  All my kids are sweet.  And frankly, sometimes Down syndrome baby is a lot faster to say than the correct baby with Down syndrome.  As long as you're not an insensitive jerk, then I'm cool. 

I just have one request.  Can you remember one thing?

Love him.  

That's it.  Just love him.  Love our kid.  Love us.  Love us by loving our son. 

No babies were harmed in the making of this video.  ;)

Friday, November 21, 2014

Thank you. Really.

It was 2 years ago today that I took a little blood test called MaterniT21.  We'd already been given high odds that our child, our son, would be born with Down syndrome.  This test, non-invasive screening, would help confirm or refute the odds.

Since then, we've come a long way.  You already know that Cade does indeed have Down syndrome.  And you probably already know that it's not a big deal...Cade's amazing and growing and adorable and mischievous. 

Today's post is to say Thank You.  

Thank you for never saying "I'm sorry."

Thank you for hugging us and telling us it would all be okay.

Thank you for loving, for really loving, our son.

Thank you for rejoicing at his birth.

Thank you for never asking "Is he walking yet?" or showing surprise that he isn't.

Thank you for telling us he's adorable.

Thank you for visiting us in the hospital, or congratulating us on Facebook.

Thank you for being excited with us at every milestone.

Thank you for everything over the past two years. 

Thank you.

18 months