In honor of Down Syndrome Awareness Month, I'm posting every day in October. The idea is to bring awareness of what life is like for children with Ds and for their families.
When Cora was born and we were told she has Down syndrome, I was certain that our lives would never be the same. And of course, that was true. Like it is for any new parent.
Yes, perhaps my initiation into the world of mothering was a little different that I expected it to be with a baby who couldn't eat very well, who spent extra time in the hospital, who was in heart failure and who underwent open heart surgery before her 3 month birthday. I worried about every possible thing that could go wrong.
But it was also very typical too. I got to deal with broken erratic sleep, lactating for the first time, diapers and hormones. And once her surgery was past we were dealing with a very healthy baby.
And I have glimpsed a more accurate and more positive picture of what life can be for a person with Ds. I learned that many of my fears and worries are not likely to materialize. I learned to expect her to achieve. And best of all, I learned how amazing she really is.
She is growing and developing and impressing us daily with her accomplishments. She may not be learning to do things quite as quickly as her typical same-age peers, but she's not too far behind. Our days of several doctors' visits a week are behind us, her "therapy" consists of play time with Mom and Dad and sometimes with a therapist. She is switching up her sleep habits and keeping us up nights again. She is gaining weight like a pro.
She is sassy and funny, smart and sweet, and infinitely adorable. She is our little blessing and she brightens every day. And for now, our lives really are more alike than different.