I’ve been letting ~G take his naps in the living room lately. He and ~O’s nap times do not exactly correlate and if I bring him into the bedroom they share I risk waking ~O up prematurely. And well it’s peaceful having ~G out here with me.
I was doing a little reading as I was eating lunch and I realized that it was one year ago this month that we found out that ~G had Down syndrome. I was about 21 weeks along by the time the blood test that I took (Materny21) came back positive. I had no idea really what the results meant for our family and my life. Truly. I had never closely known anyone with Down syndrome and always admired people who worked with others who had disabilities, because as much as I desired to relate and be that sort of person, I felt like I just wasn’t.
My biggest worry however when we had my 19 week ultrasound and the announcement of our 1 in 3 odds was that our baby would be in pain. I look back at that worry now and I’m not sure why I was thinking that. His heart looked good in the ultrasound. All I can think of is that it was fear mixed with ignorance.
I cried for no more than 45 minutes after that ultrasound and then the tears were gone. It was not my miraculous courage or wonderful spirit or great outlook that brought me calm, it was my FAITH. That faith stayed with me when we got the positive results two weeks later and throughout my pregnancy.
Pope Benedict XVI initiated, in order to bring a renewal to the life of Christian faith and witness, what he has called The Year of Faith from last October 11, 2012 to this Nov. 24, 2013.
This has been my year of faith.
Trusting, that no matter what everything was going to be ok. Yes ~G is pretty healthy so far, he is not far off from “typical” babies’ milestones at this point. But if he were sick, if he didn’t make it, if we were stretched as thin as our family could go, we would be ok. God is with us. That means today, tomorrow, the day we take our last breath, and beyond.
Faith: taking steps into the darkness and believing that there will be light (no matter what nature that light may take) ahead.
I could not have told you one year ago about how ~G’s gentle smiles make my knees weak or how he and ~O have their own special smile language (they are two little peas in a pod), or how his therapy appointments are actually fun, not drudgery or scary. I know lots of little one’s with Down syndrome that have had heart surgeries their first year of life, who have some difficulty with hearing, feeding, seizures, as well as other issues, and I know babies with Down syndrome that have none of these. All of our children’s paths and our journey’s with them are different.
We’ve all got our “stuff”, but no matter how far apart the depth of life’s challenges, faith is there for every one of us to tap into. It brings us forward in hope with a steady hand leading us through our personal darkness whatever it may be.
I could have had a terrible pregnancy, I could have worried, I could have put all sorts of ideas into my head of what the future would be and driven myself crazy. I chose faith instead and I’ll choose it again and again and again. It’s more than The Year of Faith for me, I’m in it for life.