My baby is one today.
A year ago I labored to bring her into the world, my husband and my doula by my side. A year ago they placed her in my arms and I took her in, every last inch of her. A year ago I became a momma and we became a family.
A year ago I heard the words that would change me forever, that my girl has Down syndrome. That night my doula told me to just open my heart to Rowenna and the rest would follow – and I am oh so glad I did. I am so glad to have this little ray of light in my life and fiercely proud to call her my own.
So after a year, where do we stand?
Rowenna is a baby with a quick smile and a heart-melting giggle. She loves to snuggle and she reaches for hugs. When hubby is at work, she looks around and says “dada…dada…dada” with a little question mark at the end, wondering where he is. She gives high fives. She puts her hand over yours and gets you to play the piano or cover your eyes for peek-a-boo. She loves to listen to music, will dance along, and especially loves to hear singing. She is also showing interest in guitars and her grandpa is overjoyed to see her tentatively reach a hand out for his guitar to try a little strum.
She sits fully independently and is working on getting into a sitting position on her own. She’s working on pulling herself up onto things. She army crawls like a little speed racer across the floor and is fast enough to ambush the cat. Jax is mostly tolerant of her sneak attacks and lovingly flops over to purr and have his tail pulled. She rolls a ball back and forth with you and likes to bang her toys together.
Slowly but surely we’re transitioning to a straw cup. Self-feeding has been a struggle but we push ahead. She’s drinking cow milk now and just a little momma milk in the morning. She enjoys a variety of pureed foods and speech therapy starts up again soon to work on eating more table foods.
But more than all the things she can do, I’m most proud of how loving Rowenna is. Truly, she is just a big ball of love. Everywhere we go we get smiles and coos. She’s like a little magnet – I am always amazed at how people want to just snuggle her or even just hold her hand. And she just soaks up this love like it’s what she’s made to do, and returns it in smiles and giggles and raspberries. What a gift to have a baby so happy, so snuggly, so willing to love.
Happy birthday to my baby girl! We love you so!
FYI: If you’re a friend on Facebook or Baby Center, you’ve already seen this video. 😀