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, January 7, 2011

My Journal - Week 72 (07Jan11)

The AMNIO NEWS is IN... and What to do with a little one who's ill?

So as of New Years Day, Hunter was officially sick.  When I posted all the photos about New Years, I wasn't exaggerating about Hunter not being well.  Turns out he may very well have Pneumonia his Flu is so bad.  Since New Years Day Hunter has been coughing, sneezing, mousy.  This in just two short days turned into wheezing, crackling chest, mucous everywhere and fevers.  At first, I wasn't too worried - these things happen and every child/person gets the flu.  But I am afraid to say, I don't think this bad.  I called our Doctor on Thursday when after three days Hunter's fever had not broken of 100.4 F (38 C).  The fever alone was not my only reason for calling... (though it's a great one) Hunter refused to eat solids.

Luckily we do have an appointment for our Doctor on Monday.  It was the first one I could get, and able to take him since having my Amniocentesis on Thursday.  When I called to speak to the doctor yesterday morning (on the phone) to at least get an antibiotic of some sort, Hunter was coughing in the back ground and the doctor actually mentioned that it sounded like a Pneumonia.  Originally I wasn't going to call for medication (I don't believe in rushing antibiotics for every little thing since children/adults often develop tolerances for antibiotics when really needed later in life) but he was getting so bad and with the fever not breaking by the third day I knew it was time for some medical intervention.  I even called for a home doctor visit (which I just learned we have here in Ontario) which is covered by our health care system, but as life would have it, getting a visit is/seems to be as difficult as getting rid of the flu - they are fully booked each day by the crack of dawn and you can't book advance appointments.  So thankfully we can see our doctor on Monday.  I just hope his lungs don't get worse but if they do, our hospital is right down the street.  (I however don't like our ER dept there, one could nearly die waiting to see a doctor in that hospital... last time I went in by Ambulance I waited 12 hours to see the ER doctor.  That's what free health care does in our Country - Another story altogether.)  All the same while I wish Hunter did not get this Flu/Pneumonia and I am not really sure where he did get it from (My mother believes it was when I took Hunter to the doctor on the Friday of New Years Eve for his vaccinations.  I don't recall anyone being sick in the waiting room though...).

Since Hunter became sick, we have all literally caught it.  It was kind of hard to contain when the littlest member of the family has it first.  Of course we don't seem to be as bad off - or perhaps it's just that we are more worried for him then ourselves.  (We can blow our noses and hock up the phlegm unlike Hunter, who has coincidently courtesy of the length of this illness somewhat learned to blow his nose - not perfect of course mind you but it's a great effort!!  Talk about a weird way to be proud of mastering a milestone!  We now have Azithromycin (An antibiotic for Community/Viral Pneumonia) which we have given Hunter two doses of.  Time will tell but at least he seems to be showing some signs of improvement by his willingness to finally try some soft baby foods.  His chest on the other hand still seems and sounds extremely congested and full of fluids.  Hopefully on Monday when we return to the doctor we will find out if X-rays are needed and if he is getting better.

While for Hunter the news of possible Pnuemonia hasn't been the greatest, I did receive my phone call from Genetics regarding my Amniocentesis I had yesterday for this pregnancy.
I learned the following:  This baby has no Trisomy's that they were able to test for (Trisomy 13, 18 and 21 which is Down syndrome) and the sex chromosomes are typical.  So far the genetics side of things looks great.  Then the counsellor asked me if I wanted to know the gender of the baby (since Amniocentesis definitively tells you that information also) and literally if you can believe this, I was definitely more anxious and excited to hear the answer to that long looming question!  As I have mentioned before, when I was pregnant with Hunter, I seemed to "just know" he was going to be a boy.  For my pregnancy with Taylor (our little lost angel) I somehow knew that she was a girl (though I had no proof).  This time around, I just didn't know and couldn't put my finger on it but something told me that judging by the way our technician and nurse acted at our visit to Mount Sinai hospital for Special high risk pregnancies clinic, this baby would be a girl.  This observation of her actions and comments conflicted with my natural feeling (or want) for a boy.  And today while I held my breath through listening to all the news and praying that our counsellor would say "boy", she told me "GIRL!"  Now, don't get me wrong - I am certainly not unhappy about it, just completely surprised based on my own maternal feelings/wants and also the Ancient Chinese Gender predictor - which is in fact obviously NOT accurate. ** Edited later (8Jan11):  Turns out the chart I was using was not correct BUT the real Chinese Gender predictor charts were correct.  I later checked 4 charts and they all said GIRL.  The one I had originally looked at (back in November) I could not locate.  It therefore turns out so far (for all my pregnancies) the charts ARE accurate. 
It does tell me that I am a great observer of people and what they try to hide (since our nurse technician would not confirm the gender at the time she made her comments saying, "What if it is a girl?" when she asked us what we were hoping for.  Which brings me to explain why we were wishing for a boy.  For absolutely no other reason then pure convenience and the obvious reason that I know what to do with a boy, we wanted another boy.  I am often humoured by the saying or reasoning that some people naturally are comfortable (or want) the same sex that they had the first time simply because they had it the first time.  It's all about comfort.  But the flip side to that is, having/wanting one of each gender.

So there you have it, Hunter is getting a little sister!  I guess I should have known instinctively that was what was coming since if you look at my baby name book you will see I chose a mere 6 names under the male category and wrote 3 pages of girls names (some 34 or more).  If anyone has any suggestions for Girl names, please send us your thoughts!  We certainly aren't desperate for names but we are having a tough time choosing.  It's hard to come up with a name that is just as strong as Hunter (and we do want something complimentary) but that also is unique and less common.  Some ideas we have so far are:  Ryleigh, Sierra, Akira, Isis.  (Don't laugh but those names in that order might just end up being her name one less of course.)

An exciting day to say the least!


  1. Congrats on the little girl!! It will be fun. :)

  2. Girls are fun to raise. No two kids are alike so gender similarities matter little. Hope Hunter is better soon. Might the shot have made him ill??


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