Monday, October 1, 2012


I was asked once if I saw it at the hospital. The truth? Briefly.  It was our first night together. We were both in and out of sleep. I started to unwrap my little burrito to count fingers and toes. He let out a big stretch and made this face. I saw it. But just for a minute. My hands got clammy and my heart jumped a little. Not in a good way. The moment didn't last long. I didn't look for the line in his palm. I didn't examine his ear placement. I didn't let my mind go there even though I knew what to look for. I've got a freaking degree. I knew all about it. I convinced myself that it was late. That it was the morphine giving me nightmares. That Down Syndrome couldn't happen to me.

Truth be told, after that moment, I wasn't given the opportunity to see it again until pamphlet night. Ben was in the NICU, I was fighting for my life and didn't know it. I didn't really get to see my baby again and take a good look until the day they let us go home. Maybe it was God protecting me. Maybe I wasn't ready to grieve yet. Maybe I just don't remember. 
On the flip side, special needs have always held a very special place in my heart. I've been drawn to kids that nobody else is drawn to; that nobody else wants. I love different. But when different turned out to be mine, I got scared. Everything about it scared me. Everything I had learned went out the window. The pamphlets I read looked Greek. I didn't understand a single word and everything that was said in the next few weeks felt like brand new information.

Good things in life are scary sometimes. The best things in life don't come free. It's what makes those things beautiful. You have to work for them.

I can safely say now that working through finding out my Benjamin has Down Syndrome was one of the sweetest times of my life. Hard and heartbreaking, but oh so sweet.
Down Syndrome is a beautiful diagnosis. Scary and unpredictable? Absolutely.
But completely beautiful.  

We will be participating in our local Buddy Walk this year. If you'd like more info about ours or any other of the 250+ Buddy Walks taking place around the country, click HERE

October is Down syndrome awareness month. I'll hug Ben for you.

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