Thursday, April 3, 2008


I have been waiting to read this book for a couple of months, I read an article - A New Song Parenting my son with Down syndrome Isn't a Trial; it's a Joy By Jennifer Graf Gronenberg back in September in my Baby Talk magazine, it said that she was working on her book and I knew that I HAD to read that book. I think really I had been waiting for 19 months to read this book.

This book is my story, obviously a different place and time, but I think it is the story of every mother who is blessed with a child that has Down syndrome. When you find out that your baby has Down syndrome you go through such a huge range of emotions and Jennifer tells it so beautifully. The first chapter is titled "At First, It Hurts to Breath" and it is so true. I found myself taken back to those first days in the hospital, I was so devastated, I lay in bed that night, tears just falling into the book. Night after night as I read I would be shaking my head, yep, that's exactly how I felt too. This particularly came to head last night as I was reading I came upon these lines "And I wonder, too, if it's guilt. I didn't appreciate Avery quickly enough, which means I'll lose him-it's right that I should. A mother who's been given a pearl and doesn't appreciate it doesn't deserve it." I am always waiting for the proverbial other shoe to drop, I was so devastated when Ella was born that I did not want to live. I do not deserve to have this amazing child, and I am in fear that something will happen to her and she will be taken away because I was so sad when I should have realized how blessed I am. I took such comfort in her words and in the next two pages, Jennifer forgives herself and I know that I can do it too.

Everyone needs to read this book. Jennifer is an actual author and paints pictures with her words. I am a true lover of books and reading and I promise you this book will not let you down. I find myself sad tonight that I have completed it as I always am to finish a truly good book. Wonderful job Jennifer, thank you for sharing "our" story.


The Mattesons said...

When I was pregnant with Kyler (my now 2 yr. old) I was told there was a 1 in 10 chance he was down syndrome. I was sad because of the challenges he would face with this. But my parents told me something that made everything okay and made me cry in a good way. They said that children with down syndrome are Heavenly Father's most special children and he picks only the most special parents to raise them and that I should be happy that I was one of them. Kyler was born and did not have down syndrome but I think that what my parents told me is just beyond true.

Chris said...

I only got the through the first chapter, and I realized I had pretty been holding my breath a little the whole time I was reading.

As I read, the tears came as I too recalled being told that they suspected my child has Down syndrome. I didn't know the doctor. He was clinical, not at all comforting. I hadn't even held my son yet.

I am looking forward to reading the rest. Jennifer is a wonderful mother and a beautiful writer. I agree, hers is a book that needs to be read--not only by parents who have children with special needs.

Anonymous said...

Remember it wasn't by chance that you and Chris are Ella's parents, but that you were CHOSE by Him. We have seen over and over how she is this shining light in our family! Love you bunches-Aunt Tami and crew

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for reading my book, and letting my words into your heart.

Kristen said...

would this be a good book for me to read in my situation or is it mostly pertaining to DS?