Pace is now 10 days old – a strong, easy baby who is already showing us a bit of his personality! He’s so active and eats like a champ. If he’s awake then he’s guaranteed to be as on the move as much as one can be while on his back. Want him to sleep? Just lay him on the chest of his mama or daddy and he’s out like a light. In some ways I’m sure these first days have been typical and in other ways, not at all. It’s been a roller coaster… we’ve had moments of pure joy and those of grief. We’ve learned that Pace has Down syndrome.
To be honest we don’t know a whole lot about what that means for him or us yet. Those first few days of waiting, wondering and then accepting this news were brutal. We instantly fell madly in love with our son but were simultaneously coming to terms with the fact that he’ll face challenges in life – that the future we saw for our son would likely be different than we’d imagined.
I’ve always been one to journal and writing down my feelings these past few days has been therapeutic. The night we got the news I sat up crying and typing, rambling on about things in my head. To read it now chokes me up but I can also tell how much I’ve healed in the few days that have passed. When Andrew and I decided to begin a blog to share our life with Pace, I was hesitant to share the first couple entries I have written. Part of me wanted to rewrite it or cut out the particularly dramatic parts. Already it feels far away and ungrateful somehow. After all, we’ve got a beautiful little boy to love and what more could I have asked for than that? However, the purpose of sharing this little piece of our greater journey is to reach out to others, to show the reality and the wonderfulness of it all – the best and the worst. You’ll see.
Our family has surrounded Pace with love and excitement and so far he’s just a happy, cuddly little thing that I could literally sit and watch all day and night. However, what I was feeling the day we got the news was real and although the feelings were brief, I was devastated. And I think maybe other moms and dads out there faced with news similar to this may go through a grieving phase like we did. One thing I felt heavily in the very beginning and still feel now is alone. We don’t know of many parents out there who have gone through something like this. So, we thought maybe we’d share the raw emotions in case it might help others not feel so alone. That maybe some mother out there, sitting up late at night with tears in her eyes for her child, would read this post and know its ok. It’s ok to cry… get it out. It’s ok to grieve and to be afraid. It will not last long.
Each morning I wake up and see his little face I care less and less about what might be down the road for him. To us he is perfection. We believe he was made for us and that we were meant to be his family. We believe we can offer him a wonderful life and all of the support he’ll need to excel in his life. Do we still worry? All the time. Is the reality of it all still sinking in and impacting us a little differently each day? Yes, very much so. We understand that there will be more sad days to come, more scary times and more tears… just as there would be for any parent!! But we consider ourselves to be extremely lucky.
We plan to use this blog to share this journey with others. If nothing else our family and friends can keep up with photos and little happenings with our newest addition. But also to reach out to other families – we want to share our celebrations and our bumps in the road. We have quickly come to understand that Pace is a gift in a million different ways. We know he has so much to teach us and that he’ll push us to do our best. Maybe even help other families as they begin similar journeys…