Tuesday, October 4, 2011


Abbie Tale:
Today Abigail was as cute as ever, and went to school wearing her newest acquisition; a pink shirt (surprise!... not) with pink butterflies and sparkly pink heart buttons. Ever so "her". Every day when I pick her up from school she flies into my arms. I really, really love that. On the way home, Abigail sang along with one of the songs on the radio. That's a first for Abbie. She's trying to say lots of words every day, but to sing along with distinct sounds for a period of time; that's awesome! Go, chatterbox, go!

DS Back Story:
... so, a few months passed and I find myself settling into a new routine. It seems that I have to keep saying to myself over and over "my daughter has Down syndrome", like it just wasn't sinking in. We started speech therapy, and physical therapy, and occupational therapy, and had special ed consult visits... all on a daily & weekly basis. The new normal for me pretty much boiled down to "I can make it through this morning and get everyone dressed and fed; I can make it through this hour and get J, K, and C on the bus; I can make through this hour of PT before I make the next cardiologist appointment; I made it through this day and got all the kids in bed".

Sounds kind of whiny, huh? I'm not trying to be a martyr or complain. I'm just trying to share what my state of mind was at the time. I often felt like I was just sort of going through the motions, and things would just happen and I was along for the ride. I often felt like I was in a bit of a fog, and would find a week had gone by and I couldn't pick out specific days.

We both (David and I) seemed to switch into autopilot and just make it through each day, trying not to focus on Abigail's upcoming heart surgery when she was 5 1/2 months old. I spent many a night lying awake, listening in the dark to make sure I could still hear her breathing in the bassinet that was placed by our bed.

Abigail was a total rock start for her heart surgery. She came through with flying colors, her PDA was ligated, her ASD was stitched, and her VSD was patched. She was home in just 4 days and picked up therapy right where she left off. Removing the worry of looming heart surgery helped us to relax and learn to really take time to just enjoy having her.

When Abbie turned 9 months old, I awoke one morning and walked into her room and said "good morning, Sunny!" like I usually did. I started changing her diaper and burst into tears. Nope, it wasn't that the diaper was stinky ;) It's that I had just realized, that for the very first time ever, the very first time since she was diagnosed with DS, I just looked at her and thought "my baby girl! good morning! so beautiful! I love you!", instead of "She has Down syndrome... my baby girl...so beautiful... I love you!"

This, for me, was a real breakthrough moment. I carried Abigail for just over 8 months under my heart, but it took me 9 months to have my daughter.

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