My friend Nic is dedicating her "Get it Down" posts for October to sharing her story of how she came to find out Tarenne would be born with Trisomy 21, and the days that followed that...
I think she's a bit of an over-achiever, because while the rest of us have taken on the challenge of posting once a day, and sometimes finding it difficult to do that, Nic is sometimes posting several times a day, lol. Show-off! :)
In her post titled, "I Wanted To Learn", Nic says two things that really struck me. The first was, "I wanted to learn, but any true knowledge would not come until after Tarenne was born." How true is that! Honestly, how can we possible think that a chromosomal analysis on a piece of paper can do anything more than well, tell us how many chromosomes our baby has.
There is just one way to answer all of the questions that will come to you if you are given the prenatal diagnosis of Trisomy 21. And that way is to continue your pregnancy, and have your baby. You cannot know your baby unless you hold him or her in your arms. You cannot know how they will soar unless you are willing to offer them wings to fly.
You cannot know what you yourself are capable of until you allow the challenge into your life.
Unfortunately, many babies with Trisomy 21 who are prenatally diagnosed are terminated before birth. I've met people who have aborted, and certainly read many stories about people who chose abortion.
Very consistently, these women will extol stories of how their unborn child had "severe" Down syndrome, or horrible physical problems incompatible with life. They will speak with a wisdom they cannot have - and tell people that although some babies with Trisomy 21 do well, the one they aborted certainly would not have.
I've read accounts that say that we, the parents of children with T21, only share the "good stuff" and the people with T21 that we read about are the exception, not the rule for people with T21.
I am highly insulted by that, as I feel like I share a very honest account of Paige's life. I don't sugar coat anything, and she certainly isn't excelling over and above every child ever born with T21.
In fact, I could easily be one of those mothers who comfort themselves with believing I would give birth to a child incompatible with life...because I was told that was the case, and I carried Paige for the last three months of my pregnancy believing that.
But more than believing that, I believed in us - her and I as a team. And I knew we could get through whatever the good Lord handed us. I knew I would be grateful for every single moment with her.
Today, my "incompatible with life" little girl is 1o years old - and is pretty darn full of life. Last night she and her daddy laid on the floor and had a good ol' pillow fight.
As Nic also said in her post, she had to "get over herself." That's exactly what its all about - we have to get over ourselves if we are going to joyfully jump into this journey...
Tomorrow, I will write more about getting over myself...