I've been thinking a lot lately about the day Tera was born and when we received her diagnosis. I'm not really sure why this keeps popping in my head; I have about a 35 minute drive to and from work and I seem to be thinking a bit too much during those drives as of late.
Once or twice I thought about the day after when Tom had to share the news with our family and friends, but mostly I think about right after she was born. We now have three digital frames in our house and not surprisingly, we have tons of pictures of Tera on them. Every time one of her first pictures comes up, I'm sent right back to that day. While those pictures are a constant reminder of the pain and grief we felt that day, I wouldn't trade those memories for anything in the world. I never once forget how lucky I am to have her and no matter what stress I'm feeling, I always know how much better I am with her than without her.
I recently read a blog post from a mom of a special needs child who wrote about seven things people don't know about special needs parents. One of the items she lists is things she wishes people would stop saying and one of them is how people regularly say how they just hope their baby is healthy when they are expecting. She does state that she obviously understands and wishes the same thing for every baby. But she admits what she really wants to ask is, "What if it isn't healthy? What then?" And that her response would be to tell them that it will be ok and that their child will still have a great life.
This kind of stuck with me because it's one of those things many people, myself included, may not really think about during their pregnancy. I definitely experienced some paranoia at different times, but I never really considered how I would react if I received that kind of news. And then I received that kind of news.
At the beginning I felt like it would never get any better and I would always be mourning the loss of the child I thought I would have. I thought I would always be sad about her being different, but now I embrace it. There are many days when even though I think about DS, I don't think about Tera having it. I just think about that little face and how she's so much like her dad and how every single day her personality grows just a little bit more. No matter how much hurt I felt at the beginning, and how unprepared I was for it, life is pretty good now (that sounds kind of after-school-specialish I know).