Thursday, December 6, 2007

Thursday Thirteen: T21 Mom

I love reading Thursday Thirteens, so I've decided to start my own. This week it is about Down syndrome (what else would I choose for my first topic?) Lately I have really struggled as the gap between Antalya and other kids her age is slowly widening. The hardest part about it, is that it will only continue to get bigger and bigger the older she gets. Every week for the past six months or so, we have gone to playgroup with several other little girls about her same age. It seems like it happened just over night, that they all past her up, even the younger ones. While Antalya is still working on learning to crawl and recognizing and responding to her own name, the other girls are walking and learning to say words. Am I complaining? No! But I do have to be honest with myself that it is hard to deal with my emotions in such circumstances. Do I think these feelings will ever go away? No, although I do think with time it will not affect me as strongly. I hope when the day comes that all her "normal" friends are going away to college, getting married, and starting families and careers of their own I can handle it without getting so emotional.

So this weeks list is thirteen reasons why I love being a T21 (Trisomy 21/Down syndrome) Mom.

1. Before the hospital would let us take her home for the first time my husband and I had to pass off several requirements that ensured the staff we were competent in diaper changing, bottle feeding, burping, infant CPR, giving baths, taking her temperature, washing her hair, etc. This was great training for first time parents!

2. Even though Antalya will be 14 months old next month, she is still happy to let me carry her around in a sling all day.

3. Our local T21 support group that puts on the funnest activities for the kids throughout the entire year.

4. Visits from our occupational therapists, physical therapists, and speech therapists every month. They come to our home, and are such a resource with games and activities that I will also use with our other children. Not to mention the fun Early Intervention playgroup that Antalya has just started attending.

5. Big slobbery tongue kisses.

6. Feeling an instant connection and bond with other people. For example, while we were in Chile, we went to the market one day. It just so happened that I ended up standing right next to two ladies who where discussing a Ds event they had just attended. I quickly jumped in to introduce my daughter and find out who they knew that had Ds. We chatted like old friends for several minutes, then parted.

7. My baby doesn't grow up as quickly as other babies.

8. Antalya is the sweetest, happiest, most easy-going baby I have ever known (except when she's not!)

9. Antalya's cute little face. This past year has taught me that babies with Ds are the cutest babies out there.

10. I am more grateful for good health. Not only did Antalya have a rocky start in this world, but having Ds makes her more susceptible to other illnesses and diseases. Each day that I get to hold my healthy baby girl is a miracle to me.

11. I appreciate western medicine more than I ever thought I would. I know realize it a blessing when used properly. If it wasn't for skilled doctors and nurses during my pregnancy, and during Antalya's hospital stay, she might not be with us.

12. Learning to let go of my expectations and trust in the Lord that His plan for me and my family is greater than I could ever have imagined.

13. I get to be Antalya's mom! And that to me is one of the greatest blessings in the world!


Sonja said...

This is the best T13 list I have ever read.

Tara Marie said...

Antalya is just beautiful and your list is 'awe'some!

I will tell you, the gap will not get as wide as you think it is going to get.

and just a little note, my oldest left for college this past fall, and her friends from preschool on up are all heading in unique and various when it is time for Antalya to venture off into the next phase of life, I believe she will have every option available for her to choose make her own path, wehater it be college, trade school, work, marriage.....I believe that with all my heart and soul.

Thank you for sharing this was wonderful to read.


Nicole said...

You are blessed! Antalya is absolutely stunning. I have 4 little girls and my daughter who has T21 is the second born. While I still "notice" her delays, they really don't bother me anymore, they are just part of the beautiful package of Tarenne. It does lessen I promise, and at times it does disappear. Many hugs, Nicole

Deanne said...

What a cutie!

My youngest, Megan, is 3 yrs with DS. My wife and I both have had similar thoughts. But as she gets older and more interactive, this is no longer in my mind. She is very caring and so much fun to play and laugh with that I can't imagine her any other way.

She recently learned to count to 20 and today I asked her how many toes she had... she looked at them, counted 1,2 3, mumbled a bit, then declared "20!" :-)

Thanks for sharing the your list.

mum2brady said...

Love your Thursday Thirteen Sunny! Antalya is darling - I'm glad I've had the chance to see her IRL :)

Thanks for sharing all your joys of T21!!!

Sandra said...

Great Blog and I want to tell you that my son is 14, after she starts walking, (then running away from you) you won't 'see' the delays as much...the motor differences catch up more than you can believe now.

ALSO in 4 years my son will be applying to UCLA's Pathway's 2 year COLLEGE program!

There are MANY colleges with programs for our kids around the country, so you had better be saving for her college education!

Also MANY MORE young adults with Down syndrome are getting married, so don't think you'll get out of that bill too! My son talks about getting married ALL of the TIME!
And I have no doubth he will find 'the one' and it will happen.

So, your list is great and a great reminder to live for today, because the future IS there and will be HERE before you know it!

Taralee said...

Sunny, Just wanted you to know that I think you are a fabulous mom!

Seeing, holding, and hugging Antalya always makes my day!

(Also that picture of her is beautiful! I love it.)

Brad & Jessica said...

Sunny! So I just checked my email and got your blog link... I love it! Antalya is beautiful and I'm so glad that you have so many awesome resources and people around you. What a blessing! I'm also so jealous that you've already gotten to go back to Chile. Someday :) We also have a blog so check us out when you get a chance. Do you mind if I put a link to you on my page? Leave me a comment and let me know. Keep in touch and keep loving that beautiful little girl!! :)
Jessica (Hna Summers)

Becky & Joseph said...

That was beautiful, Sunny. You are so lucky to have Antalya and to have so many resources for her. It makes me envious what you girls get to go do sometimes. Isn't it funny what you end up envying? Not that you'd change what you have, but sometimes the grass is just greener.... Thanks for letting her come play with Sophie. Antalya is a doll and we love her! (Oh, and Sophie gives us big slobbery tongue kisses, too, b/c she won't learn to shut her mouth! But they're the best!)

Debbie said...

You are so inspirational to me! I love reading about your family adventures and your the sweet blessings you recount. Thank you for sharing such a great list! (Oh and I'm SOOO happy you found my blog! I tried to email everyone my new link but I don't think I have yours.)

Meridith said...

Sunny, I love reading your blog because I feel like I get to know just how you are feeling. Thanks for sharing that wonderful list about Antalya. She is such a precious little girl and is so blessed to have you and Jason as her parents. Thanks for giving me such insight to your life.

Love, Meridith

Jen said...

What a sweet post. You have a beautiful daughter.