My baby girl is 6 months old today.
If you would have told me 6 months ago that today I would be this happy, I would not have believed you. Those early days were rough and ugly and raw. A hundred horrible things ran through my mind as I tried to come to terms with her dual diagnosis: complete atrialventricular canal (fixable!) and Down syndrome (with us forever).
My doula, my sweet, wonderful doula, was the first to tell me to let those feelings in so I could deal with them. The first to tell me I was no less a momma to be afraid of what my life now held. Family, nurses, and doctors would follow with that same message. Just love her, just let her into your heart and the rest will fall into place. Her love for you will show you that you’re going to be ok.
In the interest of full disclosure, I have to tell you that I could still do without this Down syndrome thing. There is many a momma out there whose child has Down syndrome and thinks it’s the greatest thing ever. Well, I’m not there yet. I’m not sure I ever will be so happy about Down syndrome that I’m thankful for it. It’s hard to imagine being grateful my child has a cognitive disability, but hey – time will tell.
But what I can say 6 months into this crazy life is that I love my daughter more than anything. And I mean love. In that fierce, momma grizzly sense. In that gentle, wonderous sense. In that how could I live without her sense. I’m stuck on her, and I’m pretty sure she’s stuck on me.
At least until Daddy gets home from work.
This life is nothing I imagined as I felt her kick and swirl inside me. I wouldn’t wish watching your 4 month old go in for open heart surgery on my worst enemy. And I wouldn’t wish for any child to need physical therapy or special education, or for any parent to hear that some people think their baby doesn’t deserve to be alive.
But you know, so much of what I imagined is still possible. I dreamed of happy smiles and lots of snuggles. Check! I dreamed of her being loved and doted on by her entire family. Check! I dreamed of dressing her up in a million adorable outfits. Check! I dreamed of her having an amazing sense of humor. Check!
I am so glad to have gotten over the bulk of my fears and find this place of love. My daughter is a joy to be around and I am proud to be her momma.
May we have many more snuggles.
And may you continue to light up like a little sparkler when Daddy comes home from work.
And may we have many more months, years, a lifetime of your beautiful smiles. I look forward to celebrating with you in your triumphs and I will be here to help you through your struggles. I love you, Rowenna Anne.