Today is one of those days that makes one reflect upon their life. It is Mother's Day. And I got to spend mine exactly how I wanted. I had a great breakfast with Husband and Phoenix. We went on an epic walk to the duck pond. And we just hung out together. It was wonderful.
But when I step outside of myself, I realize that as normal as this looks, I am not your average mother.
That's because if I was like the between 67 to 90% of woman who get odds like mine on their prenatal testing, I wouldn't be a mother at all. Because it is around this percent of woman who decide that it is better to have no baby at all than it is to have one with Down syndrome. Which is ironic, because I used to think that given this situation, that is exactly what I would do.
Or course, if I had made that decision, I would never have known the depths to which my heart has grown. I would never have had the opportunity to raise this child with Husband, and to see his life transformed too. I would never have known how wrong my perceptions of Down syndrome were. Or that it is possible to be talented, and charming, and funny and capable and have Down syndrome. That none of these things are mutually exclusive.
And instead of celebrating the life I have created for myself, I would be mourning the loss of a child I would have given up in exchange for the hope of a better child, a child without disabilities, or challenges, a child without a lifetime of struggles.
But when I look back at my own life, it s amazing what I see. I see struggles, and challenges, and things I have had to overcome. Like my own perceptions of what qualifies as a happy and fulfilling life. Because I have a child with Down syndrome. And I have a happy and fulfilling life, for lots of reasons.
Your average mother would not squeal like a school girl about finding out that their child's language score fell in to the moderately delayed range.
You average mother would not be over the moon about the start of 2 word sentences at 3 years old.
Your average mother would not be secretly pleased that their 3 year old finally learned how to climb the change table on their own, or managed to pee in the potty once a day. However, I am not your average mother and Phoenix is not your average child.