When we found out Antalya had Down syndrome I felt like my whole world had suddenly changed and that my life would never be the same from that moment on. In many respects, that's true. My world did change. I became more aware of people with different abilities. I saw them everywhere I went. And every time I would meet someone with different abilities I would think of their mother and how much love she must feel for them.
And life most definitely hasn't been the same from that moment on. But that's not all to do with Down syndrome. You see, in that moment, when I found out that my unborn child would enter the world not only with health problems, but also with a life-long disability, I suddenly became a mother. Although I had been carrying my child inside me for nearly 8 months, I had never felt connected to her, until that moment. Suddenly she was all I could think about. I wondered what she would look like, what things she would enjoy doing, what parts of me did she inherit, what parts of her dad did she inherit. I prayed constantly for her - that she would be strong enough to survive the birth, the surgery, the recovery. I prayed that I would be strong enough to be her mommy, that I would love her for who she was, and that I could help her be all she could be.
Down syndrome seemed like such a huge part of my world for a long time. In fact, it's just recently that I have noticed a change in my thoughts. I no longer think about Down syndrome, and the implications the extra chromosome will have in Antalya's life. I no longer feel separated from other moms who only have typically developing children.
I don't know why it has taken my nearly four years to realize that being a mom to any child regardless of their abilities, or disabilities, is just like being a mom! We're all in the same boat. We all have moments where we feel like our heart is so full of love it might burst, and moments when we feel like we are going to loose it, moments of pure joy, and moments where we wish we could have just five minutes all to ourselves. But that's just part of the incredibly fulfilling, exhausting, trying, rewarding job title that we as mothers hold.