Thursday, October 25, 2012

Shouldn't I Have Known - 31 for 21

Reading through last year's 31 for 21 posts for Down Syndrome Awareness month, I stumbled across one of my favorite posts.  I thought I'd share it here again, as I often think about my connection to Cora...  How I feel like I've always known her.  How she is truly perfect just as she is.  

Shouldn't I Have Known?

In the months since Cora was born I've had a few moments of reflection and wondered if maybe I should have somehow known that something was a little different during my pregnancy.  At times I've even thought that I should have known that something was "wrong."

For some reason I always expect myself to be more in tune with myself and my body than I really am.  I have learned time and time again how intertwined my mind and body are; usually after I end up making myself sick with stress and worry.  And strangely, every time I am surprised that my body reacts.  There have been times too when my body has been the barometer that something is off with me, whether it be negative recurring thoughts, fears or anxieties that I try to suppress.

I always thought that I'd instinctively know when I was pregnant.  And I think that in some way I did.  Although, after my first negative pregnancy tests I was so stubbornly convinced that I wasn't that I ignored all the obvious clues for several days. (That little joke was on me!)

Yet despite my off and on relationship with my own body, I definitely felt very connected with Cora during her months in utero.  At one point in the early months, during a few days of doubt and worry I convinced myself that something was wrong, that she had already not survived. But in the midst of my fear I suddenly felt the strong and powerful presence (distinctly female) letting me know that everything was fine.  That she was fine.  Buoyed by that knowledge I remained confident in her perfection throughout the rest of my pregnancy.

During my last few months of waiting for her I practiced self hypnosis to prepare for my natural home birth.  While it may seem "woo woo" to some, the experience was immeasurably valuable during the pregnancy, during the labor and very much so during the stressful weeks following her birth.  And although it was sometimes a struggle to quiet my anxieties, I really felt like it helped me maintain a communication with Cora before she was born.  I still do feel this.  And reflecting on that, I've asked myself the question, "Why didn't I know?"

And the answer I've come up with is that I believed everything to be perfect and fine because it was.  

The initial shock of her diagnosis immediately after birth shook that belief hard.  I thought that I was so wrong to have naively believed everything was perfect.  But now I know the truth:  that I knew her already, even in those early months inside, when the secret of her extra chromosome was still hidden, and that I innately knew that she was and is perfect just as she is.

And as nice as it is to re-discover this truth about Cora, it's also nice to discover that I knew it all along.


  1. I often wonder why or how I didn't know Hailey had Ds.

  2. Beautiful Leah...Cora is perfect and you knew it all along, I love this :)...Such a sweet picture too!


Thank you for sharing your thoughts with me!