Saturday, October 1, 2011

31 For 21 - My First Official Post

Today was Kennedy's first wedding, sadly I don't have a wealth of pictures to share.  Honestly, she slept through pretty much the whole thing.  I'll try to get some up in the coming days though.  I can honestly say that the ceremony was one of the most beautiful that I've attended, and it truly brought tears to my eyes.  We had the honor of attending the marriage ceremony of Andrea, the Midwife who was present for Kennedy's birth seven and a half months ago.  Andrea's support and encouragement has been never ending and I cannot express how happy I am for her and her family and the new journey they are about to begin. 

It's hard to believe that seven and a half months ago I gave birth to our beautiful daughter.  It was one of the best days of my life, a day I have dreamed about for years.  I finally became "mom."  With all of this joy and excitement came the shock of our lives.  Just hours after her birth we found out she had Trisomy 21.  More commonly known as Down syndrome.  Back then, it felt like my world was crashing down around me.  I didn't know how to be a mom to a child with special needs.  I didn't know how to handle the challenges that were ahead of me.  I didn't know much about Down syndrome at all.  Of course I found one or two people that I could talk to.  But reading blogs was what helped me more than anything.  While we were in the NICU a very good friend of mine sent me a link to Kelle Hampton's blog - Enjoying the Small Things.  I could relate.  That was how I felt.  I read and read and read.  And from there, I continued to search out more blogs about families who have children with Down syndrome.  The next blog I found was Life's Little Surprises.  Well, I learned the most from Shannon.  Not only did her daughter have the same heart defect Kennedy did, she had it repaired at the same hospital Kennedy would.  She was a wealth of information.  I learned a lot from reading these blogs.  I learned a lot more by seeing real people face the highs and lows (but mostly highs) of parenting a child with Trisomy 21.  It wasn't long after that I started to pick up the pieces, and I decided that I wanted to be one of those people.  I wanted to help other parents who were facing this reality.  That's exactly where I am today.  I follow a lot of blogs now.  They give me a look at what life will be like years from now.  But I also talk to parents who are just beginning their journey into the world of Down syndrome, congenital heart defects, and all of the wonderful things that come with having a child who has an extra chromosome.  Like big beautiful smiles.  Lots of snuggles.  And I'm pretty sure that the extra chromosome contains a lot of extra cuteness and sweetness.  Not to mention, the never ending love and joy that she brings with her.

In the last 7.5 months I have "met" a lot of people - in real life, on message boards, and through online groups.  Almost everyone has a blog.  And now we're taking this month to raise awareness, in hopes to spread the word about how great it is having a child with Down syndrome.  Here you can find a list of bloggers who have accepted the challenge to blog for 31 for 21.

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