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.