Anyway, I was thinking ever since my post a while back about what "present Deanna" wanted to tell "past Deanna" that it would be great to compile a list of all of those tidbits that I wish I could share with "past Deanna". I really just started this list yesterday, so I'm sure I'll think of more things and come back in and add.
Here goes.Things I wish I could share with myself 1 year ago:
1. You will fall so breathlessly, hopelessly in love with your daughter.
-When I was pregnant, I kept having a reoccurring dream that I gave birth to my baby and then I couldn't stand to look at her or be near her. I dreamed that this innocent baby was lying in one of those glass cribs at the hospital, licking her hungry lips and I mercilessly turned and walked away because I didn't want to be her mother. This dream terrified me. I was sure that I wouldn't be able to love my daughter. To my surprise, that was such a silly worry. I fell for her almost immediately. Sooooooo in love. (-:
2. Enjoy your pregnancy-Stop the worrying, fretting and feeling sorry for yourself. You are carrying a human being inside of you. This is a privilege and a miracle. Enjoy it!3. Stock up on cute baby clothes and accessories. You are going to want to show that adorable baby off!4. Don't feel guilty about using an already chosen "cute baby name" or family name.
-I have loved the name Addison simply forever, but when I found out that she was going to have Ds, my first response was that perhaps I should save the name I really love for the next baby because it was a "pretty girl" name. How wrong I was. I'm so glad that I kept with the name Addison because it fits her so well, and I can't think of a "prettier girl" to proudly wear the name!5. Don't label your worth as a mom based on a seeming "failure" to give your baby the proper number of chromosomes. This does not mean that you are going to be a bad mom. This is something that God chose for you- not something that you failed to do right.6. Don't get hung up on your baby's future. There are no guarantees with any child's future. Focus on one day at a time, enjoying your baby.
7. Don't look at other adults, children or babies with Ds and assume that your baby will be just like "them". Individuals with Ds are people first and include as much variety as "normal" people. If your child is born with blonde hair blue eyes, do you look around for adults with blonde hair, blue eyes and assume that your child will turn out just like them?8. It's OK to grieve. We've all been there. Just remember, when your tears are dried, there's an absolutely beautiful baby who desperately needs you.
9. Don't hear the medical words 'mental retardation' and just accept that your baby won't do anything in life or not be a "contributing member to society". Your baby still has great potential and will go as far as you enable her to.10. Don't fear- your baby will look like your family...although I'm guessing that this level of cuteness was never before seen in your family...(-: (somewhat biased mom's opinion...(-: )
Addison:12. Don't freak out about the medical "what ifs". Yes, babies with Ds are more likely to be born with extra health needs, but most all of them are fixable things. Just be there for your baby and commit to helping her through whatever she needs to become that healthy, happy baby that you have been dreaming about for so long.
13. Find other people who understand. Even close family and friends who try to be supportive- if they haven't been through it themselves, chances are they aren't going to completely understand. Sympathy and Empathy are two different things.
Here are some of the blogs that I have been following these past few months of people who totally understand and have helped me through some hard days:
Our Little Chili Tribe
A Perfect Lily
live, laugh, love
Dear Laura, love Sissy
A Different Kind of Perfect
Love for Colin
Sweet Ella Grace
Our Unexpected Journey
...and that is just the tip of the iceberg of help that I have received from understanding people. I never really started to truly heal until I read that other people were feeling the same things- and it was OK.
14. Don't be afraid to express yourself honestly. (this is so important)
15. Don't ever think of your baby as imperfect or flawed. Your baby was sovereignly designed by an Almighty God. Don't let others refer to your baby as a mistake. I cannot stress this strongly enough, but your baby is absolutely perfect. God never makes mistakes. He made this baby just for you. There will come a day where you look down at your bundle of joy and think that you wouldn't change a thing if you could.16. Be proud of your baby. She has worked so hard to "beat the odds" this far just to survive to birth. She is a determined, amazing individual who will continuously amaze you.17. Be excited! You're having a baby! Don't let the diagnosis color your response to the birth. You're going to be a Mommy! This is cause for celebration!18. Buckle up and enjoy the ride. Your life is about to change in so many ways....for the better.
Yep, if I could have shared these things with myself a year ago, I think a lot of heartache would have been spared.