A Path Unexpected

Our family was complete. Six kids was enough. And though I had always imagined that we would have more (eight at least), I knew that it was right to end there. Nine months of morning sickness, crabbiness, heartburn, and discomfort took it’s toll on the family. If I wanted to be a good mother to the kids that I already had, then I needed to stop having more kids. It was as simple as that. And so, after the sixth baby was born we announced that we were done! Six is enough.

And I think God must have chuckled.

When I found out that I was pregnant again, I didn’t have the same joyful reaction as I had had in times past. I even cried a little at the thought of the coming months. I felt humbled and a little afraid and a whole lot upset at the idea of being pregnant again. And then I suffered through another forty weeks of pregnancy. Only this time the sickness was worse. And this time I didn’t want another baby.

That is not to say that I wouldn’t love another baby. I just didn’t want another one. That may not make a whole lot of sense, but when do feelings ever make sense? I knew that I would love this new baby, but I was having a hard time letting go of my plan. I had my six kids. I was done. No more babies. The big kids were getting bigger and I fully intended to be the cool, fun mama. Now I was going to be the crabby, puking mama. It was hard to adjust my vision of the future from what I wanted to what I was getting.

And I didn’t even know the half of it!

On the night of The Blessings birth I finally saw how big of a change this baby would bring. When she was born I knew with one glance that she was different. In seconds I had come to the realization that she had Down Syndrome. It took days to fully believe it. In telling friends and family about it, I used phrases like “We think she has Down syndrome” and “she might have Downs”. But when the doctor made it official, I wasn’t surprised in the least.

I wasn’t devastated, either. I won’t lie and say that I was happy that my daughter came with an extra chromosome, but I honestly didn’t feel negatively about it. I was a little disappointed and very shocked. But I knew from the very beginning that this little baby was the best thing that had ever happened to us. I don’t know what the future holds for her and I am aware of the possibility of hardship and struggle, but I also see in our future a sweetness and a joy that we would not have had if I had gotten my way.

Six kids was a good plan, but seven is better. The seventh child being born with Down syndrome is best.

As I travel this new path I thought it fitting that I start a new blog. I am learning so much, forming new opinions, and my world has gotten bigger. I need a new place to organize my thoughts, assemble the facts, and collect inspiration. There are a lot of blogs out there written by parents of children with Down syndrome. I am honored to be added to the ranks. I hope that here I can encourage those who, like me, have found themselves on a new path.

A path unexpected.


2 thoughts on “A Path Unexpected

  1. Although I have not had a Downs Syndrome baby I can identify with a lot of your feelings. I did have five daughters, in close succession and two of those pregnancies were ones I didn’t want, but I went ahead ayway. I have noticed, that with the ones i didn’t intitally want to be pregnant with, I had gestational diabetes! I didn’t have it with the other two pregnancies (first two were twins). I was also very resistant to having yet another child.
    These two children have proved to be the biggest emotional challenges in my life, and brought a lot of struggle, but I have learned masses from them both. (They are now in their twenties and one is a mum herself). I think that, intuitively we already know that these babies are going to bring us to different experiences, which won’t be easy, and that is why we are so resistant. Its as if we know what we have in store.
    Your baby is so gorgeous and I can feel the love coming from the words you write. I think she is indeed a blessing to you all, as you are to her.

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