Saturday, October 30, 2010

List for "Past Deanna"

I've been wanting to do a post like this ever since 31 for 21 started...a month ago. You can tell how quickly I jump on my ideas.(-:

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...(-: )
11. Don't judge yourself if you still have hard days even after you have accepted your baby's diagnosis. There are ups and downs to every mom's journey.

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.


  1. Wouldn't it be great to go back and share all of those things with our "past selves"....but just think how much you have grown as a person though by living through all of those emotions and situations! You are an amazing mom and Addison is so lucky to have you on her side!!!!

  2. This was SO, so, so beautiful! I just loved it! Every word, every picture, was just so incredibly perfect!!

  3. So great, Deanna! I hope there's another pregnant mom out there who will find your blog and this wonderful post!

  4. I agree with Kristen!!

    And I love all the pictures of you!! You're usually the one behind the camera and we don't get to see how much Addison looks like her beautiful mama:)

    P.S. Didn't know there was a different version of "Don't Stop Believing" ?! I like it!! Did you happen to stop by my Notes From Home blog the other day and get inspired my sons?? LOL!!!!

    I love the photo of Addison smiling so big when you're kissing her:)

  5. I totally agree with Kristen, too! The entire time I was reading it, I was trying to figure out a way that this kind of testimony could be out there for other pregnant moms who are fighting the same fears and anxieties that you did, Deanna. They would be so INCREDIBLY encouraged by your transparency and complete honesty during that time! Because, as you said, no one can empathize lest they've been through it. And, besides the Lord, there's no better comfort than knowing you're not alone.

    Great blog!

  6. oh I just thought of something I meant to say on your last post- I often leave your blog up JUST so i can listen to your playlist!! We consider ourselves pretty conservative Christians- we don't even have a tv in the house. So to say that I can leave your playlist up without fear of any of my kids hearing something they shouldn't...well, you should be proud. rock on, Deanna;)

  7. This is fantastic, and SO encouraging! I love it.

  8. I love this post and your list! I worried a bit about names too. We didn't know Claire's sex, but if she'd been a boy, we had planned on using Darren's grandpa's name as a middle name. I was very concerned that his family would be upset that his name was used for a baby that had Ds. Now I realize this is a silly fear, but it really consumed me at the time.

  9. Deanna, God has so richly blessed you! Not only with a gorgeous baby -- but also with very wise eyes to see that He has drawn the boundary lines in beautiful places for you. I wish I were as wise as you.

  10. I came upon your blog through LIfe as a Mom. This post is beautiful. I am not the mom of a special needs baby but I am a mom, of 3, and I am a teacher of kids who have Ds, and Autism. I can never imagine what it is like to live your life, or what you went through when you were preparing for your beautiful little girl, but she is so lucky to have you. Your words were ones I wish I could impart on the parents I work with each day. Thank you for sharing.

  11. oh how things change as you go along in raising a child with DS. I wish i had known the future and calmed the fears i felt then.. nobody can "tell" you though, it's a process..
    when i was in it, i had people tell me how great everything was & that i was lucky to have such a precious angel.. a gift.. (always trying to make me feel better) yes, most definitely i feel that now.. but at the time what i really needed was to be given the permission to feel all these thoughts you mention here, without feeling the guilt and burden on myself for feeling them.. it is all part of the process...
    thank you for letting fresh DS moms know that it's OKAY to think these thoughts as well as your view on how it changes in just a years time... it does change.. and we are stronger women, better mothers and have more compassion for the next person that may need a shoulder to lean on.. we've been there..
    well done :)

  12. Love it! Now I need to follow your lead and write one for me.

  13. Just read this tonight, and wow, was it gorgeous.


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