Welcome to Our House - The Analogy ©

Having a baby is special. For some, it’s a lifelong dream, for others, a wonderful surprise. Either way, many of us have thought about taking this journey and whether it’s planned or a pleasant surprise, we all have preconceived ideas about what our child will look and be like. But what if it isn’t what we planned or expected? This is a short story I have written for parents who have or are expecting an exceptionally special child.

Welcome to our House – An analogy

After many months of dreaming, you finally decide it’s time. You are going to build that perfect house of your dreams. You have saved and saved, and now it’s time to put your plan into action. You find a wonderful, perfect piece of land in the city. It’s exactly what you are looking for – because it’s the plan that everyone talks about. You envision the all brick house sitting on luscious green grass, surrounded by a white picket fence. Inside is a marble foyer leading into a family room with beautiful oak hardwood floors. Granite lines the kitchen counter tops and there is an island sink in the middle. Upstairs has four perfect bedrooms and the master bedroom has an ensuite bathroom and an enormous walk-in closet, of course. It’s truly a dream come true, and it’s only a matter of time. You purchase the land and think to yourself, in nine short months, you will have it all.

But suddenly your agent calls to tell you, the land is not properly zoned, and the city has not approved it for building your perfect home. They have instead, given you land in the country, where an old country home sits. You are absolutely devastated, your dreams vanishing right before your eyes. You know you can’t back out now, you need a place to live, and despite it not being what you wanted, you know that somehow you will manage and that you can continue on.

You tell everyone what has happened, and everyone is disappointed, some even offering their condolences. You know that everyone else has a nice city home, and that was what you had planned, but you have to come to terms with the fact that you must learn to live in the country.

You go to see the property every month until closing and something funny happens. You start to fall in love with the place. The air is fresh, it’s peaceful and serene. There’s a pond on the land, and the house, though not a new all brick home, is quaint, and has lots of hidden potential. You soon realize it’s not a awful place, it’s just a different place. It’s slower paced than the city, less noisy and flamboyant, but it’s beautiful none the less. And in the process, you soon realize you may even get to meet some new and wonderful neighbours.

Its closing day and you suddenly find yourself full of anticipation, but you are still a little worried. After all, it isn’t what you had originally hoped for, and the house may need some repairs. But you are determined to accept it, and tackle everything one step at a time. You open the front door, and suddenly you are thrilled with what you see. The house is lovely, and has lots of character. The rooms are smaller but it’s decorated with beautiful attention and detail. The kitchen has marble instead of granite, and the bathroom has a soaker tub instead of a Jacuzzi. There isn’t a walk-in closet in sight, but the rooms all come with an indescribable view. Somehow, you just know that it was always meant to be and that this is now home.

This is my analogy of what it will be like for people who discover that they will be caring for a baby with Down syndrome. For us, it is not a terrible place to be, it is a journey full of surprises, milestones and discovery like any other child. And as the story suggests, sometimes it’s only a matter of ‘point of view’, and surprisingly, once you have been there, you don’t want to be anywhere else. The journey, like all others doesn’t come without some bumps in the road, but once you find your way, it’s all about the place you discovered, in most cases - quite by random chance
Author: Sandi Graham-McWade, Copyright

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Friday, February 19, 2010

My Journal - Week 26 (19Feb10)

A red herring...?  Or just a slap in the face!

Something new has come up.  Hunter has bright red cheeks.  This started (mildly) yesterday after his vaccination, so I just thought it was a low grade fever (which he sometimes gets after his shots) and I gave him Tylenol and Motrin.  The fever went away, but the cheeks have gotten rosier.  At one point around 9:30 pm it looked like Hunter had a bad sunburn.  You would have thought he was either burnt or severely frost bitten.  I was remarking how he looked like a angelic cherub with the rosy cheeks. 
I had read a few things in the past that said rosy cheeks are indicators (and super tell tale signs) of teething.  We know his teething has been going on for a while, so it is kind of odd that the cheeks would only show up now, with his teething a reoccurring event since last month.  I went online (my favourite thing to do) and some mom posted that her son suddenly got these bright red cheeks after his vaccination.  I also read that there is something called Fifth Disease - commonly branched with MMR (Mumps, Measles and Rubella) and coincidentally that was what his vaccination was for.  (Perhaps that would be a reasonable explanation.) Now, I tend to go overboard on the research, but he has been a bit more cranky today then usual, but again who wouldn't be after a double vaccination??  I thought a picture would be more beneficial for you to see, but when I took the picture, his cheeks were less red then earlier on.  It seems to come and go, and when it comes, it tends to look worse then the last time.  Anyone hear of such a thing or experience this?
[Even while sleeping you can still see some redness in his cheeks]

I will probably add some more pictures later, when he wakes up so you can see the difference.  It actually looked like he has been slapped - which is why the nick name for "Fifth Disease" is slapped cheek disease.
Please comment below the post in the blog - and let me know what you think!  (I am sure there are plenty of Moms, Dads or caregivers who may have run into this who can pass on their wisdom and experiences.)

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