Tuesday, 20 March 2012

World Down Syndrome Day 2012

(First off....see that header up there? The one for WDSD? My very talented friend Beth designed it. I just supplied the pictures. Thanks Beth! <3)

Just a few minutes old.
Everleigh Ashley-Louise was born April 30, 2011. I had no idea when she was born that down syndrome was going to be anywhere on my radar. After all, that sort of thing only happens to older moms, right?
The nurses never mentioned anything that I can remember. Then again, everything was a blur. My mom was one foot out the door, on her way to a vacation with the family as Everleigh made her debut. Thank goodness Grandma stuck around just a few more minutes. 2:06am.
One month old.
Approx 24 hours after she'd arrived, the on-call pediatrician asked if her dad was Asian. I hesitantly replied no, with my heart in my throat, wondering where this was going. I don't remember words. I just remember hearing down syndrome. And being mostly in denial, but slowly feeling my world start to crumble right then and there. Blood tests were ordered. And I had to figure out how to tell my family, who were basically halfway around the world on a cruise, news which I couldn't even comprehend myself.
I know I had friends around me. Auntie Howlett was there. Erica (my mom's friend) was there. My aunt was there. But still, I felt like an island in the abyss.
Ev (1wk old) and Erica
When I got the blood test results back, I kicked into researcher mode...which was the only way I knew how to deal with what I'd been given. I was told all sorts of things she would never do....breastfeed, walk, talk, learn to dress herself, be potty trained. But for every negative thing I came across, I found blogs of parents (mostly moms) who were saying "look at what my child with down syndrome is accomplishing!". I have been welcomed into this community with open arms and open hearts.
5 Months
You know what? Everleigh didn't breastfeed. That's fine. I was told she never would, and I gave up early. But she's thriving. She rolled at 3 months, sat independently at 9.5 months and is well on her way to crawling. She feeds herself with some success, eats like a champ, and has two teeth at the moment. She was born weighing 5 pounds 12 ounces and currently weighs 16 pounds 2 ounces.
Her first birthday is coming up soon. The 2011-12 year has been a year of firsts. But I wouldn't change the people I'm on this journey with. When I stumble, they help me up. When I need a ear, they listen. I couldn't imagine a better world for Everleigh to grow up in. I have such high hopes for her.

How could I not?

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