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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Wednesday, November 3, 2010

My Journal - Week 63 (03Nov10)

National Down syndrome Awareness Week Nov 1st - 7th 2010

Starting this past Monday November 1st to November 7th is National Down syndrome Awareness Week.  This is a time where all people can advocate, educate and promote Down syndrome awareness.  Even The Toronto Globe and Mail newspaper has dedicated an entire full page advertisement for the Canadian Down syndrome Society to promote Down syndrome Awareness!

An entire page dedicated to Ds Awareness!

I even sent a message to the Globe and Mail requesting them to either publish one of my articles or to do a local story about our family.  It was a long shot and I have yet to hear back from them, but in all fairness I didn't give them a lot of time before this actual week.  So, perhaps at some point one of their many (15) personnel might contact me for a story in their paper.

Onto some other news for today, I had my first ultrasound for my pregnancy.  Because my pregnancy is so high risk, due to my own genetic mutation (MTHFR) and other health issues my Obstetrician decided to do a very early ultrasound to make sure everything is on track this time around.  While very excited to have this ultrasound, I was actually even more worried and nervous.  At this time before I had either lost the conception or had a fetal demise.  So, with all the past in my mind, staying positive and hoping for the best is a hard thing to do.  But somehow I managed to do so, along with my MIL who came with me to provide moral support.

After 32 ounces of water, and a very full bladder later, I had my ultrasound.  I literally held my breath, waiting for some news, any news that could and would be good.  The technician knew of my past history and was very understanding of my fears.  She immediately pointed out that she could see a heartbeat and then confirmed the beats per minute not once but twice to reassure me.  A healthy and strong 122 beats per minute was the number and I heaved out a huge sigh of relief.  I can't even begin to express the relief that washed over me in that moment, but it was like watching colour come back into a person who had been scared to the colour of death.  I am also so happy to report that even though the technician was not supposed to print me out a sonogram photo, she did anyway.  Something for us to keep and keep hope with.  Here is the photo of our littlest developing family member.

The tiny "bean" inside the dark circle is our fetus!
I know for most people who have not seen an ultrasound image, they are wondering what the heck they are looking at.  At this stage, our fetus is little over half an inch (0.6 inches) or about the size of a lentil.  Despite being such a tiny thing, the heart is already beating strongly and arms and legs buds are now developing and within a few days will be moving thanks to new muscle fibre connections being established!  How exciting!

Well, this is our first image of our "to be" new addition to the family.  I hope and pray that things go well this time around.  All the right medications, injections (yes daily injections in my tummy) and doctors are all lined up and being done.  So, everything that should be done is being done.  Now from here on in, it's all about hope and positivity.  I hope you all will hope and be positive for us too.

It's all about family and taking it one day at a time is all we can do.

Mommy and her boy.  Love Love Love.

Stay tuned!  More updates on the way.

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