I've been thinking for 2 days about how I want to write this fairly important post. I feel like it should be some deeply introspective piece about the closure of one year and the opening of another, but I also don't want to sound like a broken record. I could talk about how this year was nowhere near what we thought it would be, or resolutions for the new year, or even about how I'm trying to prepare myself to go back to work tomorrow. But I don't like resolutions and I'm trying not to dwell on tomorrow. That leaves me with the past year and the coming year. One of the things that I find so amazing is just how clueless I was one year ago as to what the year would bring us. When 2011 began, I knew it would be exciting because we were expecting our first daughter. I pretty much assumed that would turn our lives upside down and that we'd be sleep deprived and amazed at how much we could possibly spend on diapers. Well, I won't lie, diapers are definitely expensive. But what I didn't expect was the conversation that would take place an hour after Tera was born. I didn't expect to spend much of the first two days following her birth crying. I didn't expect to have to leave the hospital without my baby and that she would spend 6 days in the NICU. I didn't expect to spend much of my maternity leave researching what Down Syndrome actually meant and having Tera evaluated by therapists and specialists. I didn't expect to know so much about developmental milestones for babies and what to worry about and what not to worry about. And I didn't expect that 10 months later many of these things would not be nearly as sad as I thought.
I didn't know at this time last year that our best friend and his wife would also be expecting their first child. And I didn't know that my brother in law would find out he had a mass in his jaw that would require more than 20 hours of surgery, 2 weeks in the hospital, and over a month of radiation.
Currently, Tera has an adorably healthy little friend almost exactly 6 months younger than her. My brother in law is healing nicely, finished with radiation, and returning to work in 2 days. And then there's our girl. Tom and I have had so many conversations about what we think our lives will be now. We try to plan for all the possibilities. Maybe she'll live with us forever or maybe we'll have to bite the bullet and actually give her away one day to a very lucky man who will have gone through nothing less than a vetting process by her dad and uncles. Maybe she'll find a job right out of high school or maybe we'll have to figure out how to say goodbye when she leaves for college.
Tom and I are very practical people. We don't get overly optimistic nor do we believe things just work out for us. We've had lots of rough patches when it seemed everything was going wrong and we've had times when we wondered how we got so lucky. Somehow, we've felt both with Tera. But one of the most important conversations we've had is the one when we both of admitted to each other that we feel Tera will be capable of some truly amazing things. In the past 10 months she's experienced little to no delays and while we know this is not necessarily indicative of the future, we both just feel that she will continue to beat the odds in every way.
So next year I hope to share that our year was truly uneventful. In the meantime, it's back to the grind. Happy New Year to all and thank you to every one of you who has told me that you read my posts. It means the world to me and I hope to be able to continue to share with you our family progress, information about DS, and my life's lessons. Here's to a fabulous year :)