Every mother wants the birth of her child to be perfect. No pre-natal diagnosis can strip her from the moment she lays eyes on her newborn. The recovery is worth it. The lack of sleep is worth it. All of the uncertainties about being a new mama remain, but are overshadowed by a pure love not understood until becoming a mama. A raw maternal instinct we all hope and pray is within us overtakes our being, and we are instantly transformed into Caregiver Numero Uno.
I had that. Two days of pure new mother bliss.
Then, an unexpected diagnosis.
I do not want to change any parts of Cameran's birth story. I wrote her birth story post when she was less than a year old. The emotions were more raw then they are today. But all of it is true. Remains true.
At the time I felt an urge to incorporate the "Welcome to Holland" poem that some of us have grown to know. My feelings about this poem have changed a bit, now that I am two years into the journey as I write this particular page on May 19, 2011, but it's sentiment is true. A child with Down syndrome is different. The diagnosis is unexpected. Every new parent or parent-to-be needs to go through the healing process of realizing that while their child is going to be different, ultimately that difference stems from one extra chromosome. One. Uno. Our children are "More Alike Than Different". They walk. They talk. They play. They hug. They kiss. They love. They learn. The laugh. They share. They are....just like the rest of us, but with a little something extra. And over time, that something extra is what warms hearts and transforms lives. No doubt has Cameran made me a more compassionate, tolerant, PATIENT, accepting person. She has made me a better friend, listener, mother, daughter, teacher...a better person. Her smile is contagious and her laugh is infectious. And while I am not naive in thinking there isn't a faction of people out there who look down on those with disabilities, who use the R-word not realizing that it hurts us who have loved ones with disabilities, who would rather die or abort than birth one of these children themselves, I choose to see the good in people. I choose to surround myself with those who embrace Cameran and all 47 chromosomes.
So, if you are a mama reading this who is part of "the club" or is, in nine months or less, joining "the club--THANK YOU. Our babies are so worth it. They love life. They are people. They are more alike than different.
Jen Link to Cameran Leah's Birth Story