Thursday, October 22, 2009


I have been reading the new book Gifts 2 (stories of how Down syndrome has touched people's lives) and my emotions are all over the place. Reading these stories, especially written by mother's of children with Ds, just makes me sob. Part of it is how these stories take me right back to day 1 with Ella, all the pain, sorrow, fear and anger that I felt when they told me they thought my baby had Down syndrome. The why me? The what will our lives be like now? What about Hunter? And the wishing that I could fast forward and my life go back to "normal."

Part of it, a lot of it, is the guilt for feeling that way. For at least the first couple of weeks after Ella's birth, I wished that she wasn't mine. I wished that she didn't have Down syndrome. It kills me to say that, but it was how I felt and no matter how much I tried to change those feelings the same line repeated over and over in my mind and heart "I want my old life back." Sure I still took care of Ella as best I could. I still did the feedings and held her and rocked her and bathed her, kissed her and hugged her, but I was in a complete fog and really don't remember much of my time with her. Instead I remember crying, that's pretty much my only memory.

Hunter was 2 years and 4 months old when Ella was born. The thing I was most proud of in my life was that boy. I was a good mom, Hunter was my entire world. He was (still is of course) so smart, able to speak far beyond what a 2 year old should be able to, he was polite, sweet, social and incredibly loving. I had done a great job!! But now I had been completely thrown off my game. I didn't know how to raise a child with Down syndrome, I was not equipped to do such a thing, nor did I want to.
Gradually Ella became this baby that I just had to deal with, to one of the 2 greatest blessing of my life. I don't know how the transformation in my mind and heart happened but everyday a little more acceptance crept into me. I heard so many times after Ella's birth, "God only gives special babies to special moms," and immediately I would get angry, there are a lot of special babies out there and a lot of them have horrible parents, so that being said then why on earth do I have Ella?? Well my answer today is that she is my gift. Ella has opened up an entire world to me that before I was blind to. I no longer play the "why me" game, I wouldn't dream of it. I can't imagine my life without Ella and without Down syndrome, I wouldn't want that life. I see the world through a very different perspective now. Of course I still have days where I am sad and scared, but that mostly pertains to my fear for Ella's future, how she will be accepted etc.

I guess my whole reason for writing this is this, as everyone knows (or if you don't now you do..) 90% of families that find out prenatally that their baby has Down syndrome choose to terminate their pregnancy. Wow, right? I go between anger and sympathy for these families. I can totally understand the fear and sadness that they must feel, the crushing of a dream. I know that it is not that easy to find good news as far as having a baby with Ds is concerned. I know the feeling of wanting a "redo" wanting to alter the outcome somehow. I know that had I found out prenatally that their is NO WAY I could terminate BUT I also know that the thought would have crossed my mind a lot. I feel sorry for those families that did choose to terminate, they have no idea the gift that they just passed up. I also wonder, if this many babies are terminated, how many people with Down syndrome are there supposed to be in the world?? If these babies weren't terminated and the population of individuals with Ds was much larger then would my little girl face the same obstacles that face her now?

I have been doing a lot of thinking, the only thing I know for sure is that I am blessed. I have a beautiful 5 year old son and a beautiful 3 year old daughter that has Down syndrome and I am truly blessed! Here are some pics of my little blessings....

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Posting from my mom's house...

I forgot to post before we came over to my mom's for the night (on night's that Chris works and I work the next morning we stay with my mom because there is an overlap between when Chris gets off in the morning and I have to leave for work. Plus she keeps Ella in the morning and then takes her to preschool at 12:45, thank God mom lives here or there is no way I could work!!!) Anyhow I looked in my mom's picture folder to see if there were any Ella pictures I don't have and low and behold I found some that she took on Ella's next to last day at the Guild School! So, here they are....
Putting her stool
away after circle

Bear climbing up
the slide, helps
with her upper
body strength!

Going "wee"
down the slide.
jumping on the
holding the
bumble ball
Riley decided to
come visit : )
Ella thinks he is
trying to steal her ball.
washing hands
for snack time
Eating! Her very
favorite thing to do!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

My Butterfly

Today was the monthly meeting of DS Connections in Coeur d-Alene. Being October we of course had the kiddos dress up. Ella was a butterfly, I re-used her costume from when she was one, well really just the wings. She wasn't overly found of her costume, and it didn't last long, she kept saying "owie" so we took a few pics and off it came. She sure was cute wearing it though!

coloring with her friends

the angry butterfly ; )

Here she is in

14 months old
she was so sweet

Friday, October 16, 2009

Tonights post....

is being brought to you by Ella! Too bad our computers are not compatable. Here she is blogging away on her laptop...

whatever she was writing was sure to be funny....

Here she is showing us the monitor : )

Thursday, October 15, 2009

3rd b-day

Woo-hoo, I am posting 2 days in a row!

So, it just dawned on me that I never posted about Ella's 3rd b-day, how dare I!! The kid had 3 or 4 b-day "parties" if you will, as we were in Georgia visiting family at the time.

Ella turning 3 was hard for me. I guess it just officially signals that she is no longer my baby (I know she will always be my baby but you know what I mean...) 3 means starting public school, which was SO hard for me, I no longer know what she does every second of every day! 3 is just so big, and honestly if I could I would freeze her at this age (maybe not today as she is being very naughty these past few weeks, but a month and a half ago when she was still 2 I would have!) I think she is even having a little trouble with getting older, a couple of weeks ago as we were leaving school we were walking out to the car. In the parking lot she gets in front of me and says "up." I say "no Ella. You are a big girl you can walk to the car." Ella says "NO I BABY!!!" Which I about died and even got a little teary, a) because she put 3 words together and said them out loud so that I could understand and b) because she apparently knows that being a baby is the opposite of being a big girl. That's one smart cookie I have : )

Anyhow, here are pictures of her 1st b-day bash at my grandparent's (Ella's great grandparents) house!!
putting the candle
on her toy cake!
feeding grandad some
ice cream!
cheesing it up
with grandmom
in the back
Ella with her
baby cousin
Paige. (Paige is
9 months old in this
pic and nearly as
big as Ella)
So much love
hug=choke hold
Hunter frosted his
own cup-cakes

she is saying "happy"
and doing her motion
from If You're Happy
and You Know It!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

31 for 21

Sadly and obviously I have not been able to blog everyday, I really had great intentions of doing such, but alas pneumonia kept my brain from working and therefore no posting! I finally went back to work today, after being gone 2 1/2 weeks, so I suppose that means I am well enough to blog too??
Last Wednesday Ella's school went on a field trip to Green Bluffs (a bunch of farms) to pick pumpkins and apples. Unfortunately her school was unable to provide the ability for a carseat for her to ride in the bus, I'm not sure how that all works but they said that they couldn't put a carseat in a bus seat. Whatever, I'll pick my battles. BUT, there was no way I was letting Ella ride without a carseat, I mean the kid is the size of a one year old and has low muscle tone, a crash (even a small one) could be really bad for her, not to mention I am kind of doubting that without being strapped down she would actually stay seated. Anyhow, Chris happened to be off that day anyway so I made him drive her up there and meet her class : ) I of course sent the camera with them and demanded pictures!!!
In these pictures you will notice a little girl with blonde pigtails (Ella) out on a field trip with her classmates. You will notice that this little girl has a friend (a "typical" child.) You will notice that she is being treated the same as, and acting the same as the other kids. These pictures made me cry!!!! These pictures are just what I always hoped for for Ella. It's so hard to explain (and yes I know she is only 3 and things may change) but I always wondered if Ella would have friends that are "typical." If she would be accepted by her classmates. And so far, one month into big girl school, it is a success!!! This little girl with the hat on in one of the pics with her arm behind Ella, on almost a daily basis when we walk into the classroom she runs towards us yelling "Ella, Ella!!" And everytime I see it I want to cry. The teacher said that these two have just really taken to eachother, and play together a lot! I LOVE IT!!!