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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Saturday, March 19, 2011

My Journal - Week 81 (19Mar11)


The title you know... or hopefully so!  It's the title of our blog, it's the title of my upcoming newest book (that has been in the works the longest) and it's also the title of the Analogy I had written way way back when - when Hunter was just a peanut in my womb.

Back when I first started writing, or rather when I first started "really" writing I wrote the analogy that has come to be the "token" part of my blog, books and other things Down syndrome.  I had it copyrighted, I also had it published in a few places such as online in association websites and my personal works.  I had gone a few steps further (back in 2009) and reached out to a few magazines and newspapers - looking and hoping that they would like to publish the analogy as part of a story or single article submission.  Two different magazine companies eventually got back to me and told me that they would be happy to publish my analogy.  One of those magazines was "Exceptional Families".  This is a magazine that no parent who has a child with any type of need should be without.  The editor contacted me and the rigorous work of getting my story into an edition was born.  After many edits, photos and emails, my story hit the press just in time for the Spring 2011 edition - Volume 6, No.3.

I am so very proud to present, my two page spread of "Welcome to Our House - An Analogy" in print. 

Pages 30 & 31 in the magazine - Click to enlarge & then click again to magnify more

Exceptional Family magazine - Spring 2011 edition Volume 6 No3. 
You can find this magazine in any Chapters book store or any place that sells a large variety of magazines.  I do believe however, this is their last "printed" edition as they will be moving to an online edition.  I am sad to see such a wonderful magazine stop printing hard copies but I do fully understand that the future is all about the web and online subscriptions.  I have certainly gained a lot by reading this magazine, from doctor articles to very specific information on Down syndrome in particular as well as many other types of medical special needs.  Exceptional Family will still be available to order as a subscription, but as I read (on page 5) in this last printed edition, all future editions will be online. 

On other fronts, I have not been taking as many photos as I usually do of Mr. Hunter-bunny so I decided to post a few today that I had taken this past week.

Yummy Mommy!  I didn't know that peas and broccoli could taste so good!
Yes, it's true - Mommy actually made Daddy take a picture of my dinner....
Now that I am all done eating, it's time for a photo shoot of course!
And for the first time I discovered Mommy's tummy is bigger than my own!
Yes, it's true... my belly has suddenly taken over.  I do believe my belly is now larger than it was when I was 37 weeks pregnant with Hunter.  The sad reality?  I am only 26 weeks pregnant in this picture.  So when I say my belly has taken over, seriously - I mean it's taken over the whole wide world!  I can't help but think how many pounds Hayleigh will be when she's due.  They say (someone says) that if you have a small or lower weighted baby, you will likely have another.  It's genetic.  Well, I am pretty sure that will not be true in this case.  I have already gained 20 pounds this time around and for my whole pregnancy with Hunter I gained only 20 pounds.  I just hope I don't explode!  My back is already causing me to be really uncomfortable.  Having multiple serious back injuries and degenerative disk disease (to name one of the many medical issues that I suffer with relating to my back) makes pregnancy very difficult.  And while it may not appear that I am suffering (as I sit there above with a smile on my face) I am in a lot of pain but seriously happy to be pregnant after all the losses I have endured.  Make no mistake, pregnancy is hard enough on the body without all the additional medical issues I face.  I am very grateful that I have my husband and parents to help me.  Without their help, I'd physically not be able to get through the day.  This coming up Wednesday, I finally get to see an anesthesiologist at Mt. Sinai hospital to talk about getting a spinal epidural to help with my sciatic pains.  For three years prior to my pregnancy with Hunter, I used to get epidurals in my L4 - L5 every three to four weeks to help minimize the nerve pains I suffer with.  After Hunter was conceived I had to stop getting the spinal injections.  This time around, the pains I suffer with have progressed and it's nearly at a point where I can't function and I am always in pain.  Imagine a constant electric shock or electric knife stabbing from your lower back and down your legs.  That's what I deal with and the pregnancy only makes it worse.  Hopefully I can get a bit of relief with the epidural as I did in the past.  (It's not quite the same as an epidural you receive in labour in terms of complete immobility but the numbing of the nerves as a result is the same.)

Hope to keep you all posted as things progress.

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