I contemplated not writing this post, but then I thought that it would be dishonest to anyone reading who is on the same journey as Caleb and I. I want this blog to be as honest as possible, so here it goes.
Most of the time, things go swimmingly here at the Swanberg household. We feel elated to have been blessed with the most special baby girl on the planet (okay, maybe we are biased). We laugh because we know there are many people who think to themselves, "Wow, Caleb and Melissa are being so strong, but this whole Down syndrome thing must be killing them inside! They put on such a brave face." Hahaha! This couldn't be further from the truth! In fact, there are many days that go by when we don't even think about the fact that Rosalie has Down syndrome. It's only a small part of what makes our daughter who she is.
Earlier this week, I had a bad night. I think it's the first time since Rosalie has been born that I have cried about Down syndrome. I came to the realization, that while Rosie may seem like any other baby right now, as the months go by, differences will become more and more apparent. She will look more and more different from other children, she will develop more slowly. Babies who were born after her are going to be reaching milestones like sitting, crawling, walking, etc. before her. All of a sudden, I wasn't seeing the positives anymore, I was thinking of all the what ifs. What if she can't ride a bicycle and really wants to? What if she's in diapers until she's 8? What if she gets leukemia? What will happen if/when she realizes that she is a little different from other children. Will it bother her? I don't know why I started obsessing about all of these things, but I just got overwhelmingly sad. I sobbed and sobbed until I didn't have any tears left to cry. It was a big old pity party in my bed at 11PM.
It's times like these (among others) when I am so thankful to have Caleb in my life. He listened patiently to my worries even though he had to be at the hospital early the next morning. He hugged me, he gave me Kleenex, and he cried with me. He made me feel heard. Finally, when I was all cried out, we went to sleep.
When I woke up the next morning, I was good as new. Back to my happy-go-lucky self. With Rosie in my arms, I felt so foolish for having cried so hard the night before. As foolish as it felt, though, I think it's normal. I was talking to my cousin, Sarah, about it, and she told me, "I think it's healthy for you to have those moments! It shows that you care! I would be worried if you DIDN'T have those moments because then you'd be a little too 'roll with the punches'". I really think she's right. It's those moments that will push me to be the best mom possible to Rosalie. To do everything in my power to help her reach her fullest potential.
Later that day, I was watching Ellen, and Michael J. Fox was on. For those of you who don't know, he has Parkinson's. Ellen asked him how he keeps such a positive attitude despite his illness and he spoke the following words which really resonated with me: "If you imagine the worst case scenario and it happens, then you've lived it twice."
Wow. What a great point! Why spend so much time stressing out and worrying about things that may not be? If the worst actually does happen, which it often doesn't, then you're forced to go through those emotions not once, but twice! Instead, try to embrace the possibilities that the future holds. Work your hardest to makes these possibilities realities. And always embrace hope.
|Look at those little chunky arms! Love it!|