Saturday, November 6, 2010

Friday, November 5, 2010

When I first found out...

The day I found out that my son was going to be born with Down syndrome is the day that I thought my life was over. I found out over the phone when I was about 17 weeks pregnant. I remember that day like it was yesterday. I remember waking up and going about my day not expecting anything to go wrong. Then I got the call that changed my life. It was August 10, 2007. The phone rang, it was the perinatologist. I remember that my kids were being exceptionally loud that day and it was hard to hear. But her words were crystal clear. "Amanda, I got the results of your amnio and unfortunately it shows that your little boy does have Down syndrome, of course you do have the option to terminate. Do you have any questions?" Immediately my world went still, I could no longer hear my children in the back round all I heard in my head were the words Down syndrome, Down syndrome, Down syndrome. The room started to spin and I felt sick. This had to be a mistake. I was only 25 years old. The only thing I could manage to mutter to the perinatoligest was "how accurate are the results?" She then said "it is 100 percent accurate." I hung up the phone and the tears came. I had never cried so hard in my life. I knew I couldn't be home alone with the kids so I called my husband at work and told him the news. I don't know how I got the words out clearly enough for him to understand me. He kept reassuring me that it would be okay and that we could handle this. No I told him, it would not be okay. I did not want a child with Down syndrome. I hung up the phone and through my tears, managed to make a few other calls. I went to my bed and cried. I cried until I had no tears left. I cried until I passed out. When I woke up a short time later, I started to research Down syndrome on the Internet. I was at least relieved to find out that people with Down syndrome can live a lot longer than I had expected. But there was a lot of scary information out there. I couldn't bear to look at all of this information. I went into survival mode.

I wish I could say that I immediately accepted it and that the rest of my pregnancy was a piece of cake. That just isn't true. Although eventually, I just couldn't cry anymore, I still hurt and I still grieved. I put on the best happy face I could manage but deep down I was hurting. I could not buy anything for this baby because I wasn't sure that I could even love him. I could not put my hand to my belly because I was sure that I was going to give birth to a monster. I briefly thought about the thought of termination but it just was not the right decision for me.

Luckily, I had an amazing doctor who put me in touch with FEDS. I don't know what I would have done without them. I also met another young pregnant mother and we quickly became friends. She was a great support for me. Everything I was going through she had also gone through. I started to realize that my feelings were normal and I started to feel a little less guilty. Before I knew it, it was time for my son to come. I had another good cry still scared about whether I really could love him.

Everyone goes through a certain amount of grieving but eventually they come to terms with the diagnosis. Everyone accepts it at their own pace. For me it was the moment I laid eyes on my beautiful son. I knew then that everything was going to be okay. I stared at that little fuzzy haired boy and instead of wondering if I could ever love him I instead wondered how it was possible to love someone so much.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Out of the mouths of babes...

I swear, I could write a book about the things that my kids say and do...

Today, I picked Ethan up from therapy and his therapist said that she had a really funny story to tell me. She had Ethan in the sensory room and she had attached clothes pins to a baby doll to work on Ethan's fine motor. After doing that for a little while she picked up the baby doll and started to feed the baby a bottle. Ethan looked at the therapist, looked at the baby and then snatched the baby out of the therapists hand, gave her a dirty look, lifted up his shirt and started to "breastfeed" his baby! Yep, that's my boy!

The other day, my daughter Emma informed me that I scared the "creep" out of her.

My son Dax is an excellent reader which isn't always a good thing. My wonderful husband had a funny picture of a penguin on his computer and the headline under it said F*** it. Today, I was finding a recipe for cookies to make with the kids. Well Dax came up behind me as I was turning the computer on and said F*** it. I looked at him and before I could tell him that it was a bad word, my daughter pipes up with "what's F*** it mean?" Lets just say that the picture is no longer there!

Emma was playing with Alex getting really close to his face when he leaned forward and started sucking on her cheek. She pipes up with "Alex, why are you sucking on my cheek? Does my face look like a boob?"

My mother in law bought some kits for the kids to tye dye t-shirts with. I was telling the kids about them and Dax was very excited. He said "mommy, I can't wait to tye dye!" My daughter Emma was looking a little worried so I asked her what was wrong. She said "mommy, I do NOT want to tye dye." I asked why not and if she knew what it meant. She responded with a very serious "yes, jump out of the airplane with a parachute." I had to laugh about that one. "no Emma, that is sky dive, not tye dye!"

A few weeks ago, I was switching the laundry and Emma was helping me. Dax came in and said "mommy, what's a wedge? Before I could respond, Emma says "oh Dax. thats when yer underware gets stuck in yer pee pee and yer butt!" Dax blinked twice and said, "no EMMA thats a WEDGIE. I just wanted to know what a WEDGE was!"

Okay, I seriously could go on and on with these stories but its getting late and I have to go to bed. So I will post a few pictures instead.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Much needed update

Things are finally starting to look up :) I have to admit it was a pretty stressful 8 weeks. In May we bought a house for our growing family. We had already sold our old place and had to be out by the end of May, but our new house would not be ready until June 22nd. So at 8 months pregnant, I had the task of packing up our old house. We had to put everything in storage and we moved into a two bedroom apartment for a month. I was sooooo excited to finally get the keys to our new house. It was 1000 square feet bigger than what we were living in. So at 9 months pregnant we moved into our new house.

I did have a lot of help getting the new house ready for the new baby to come. My mom and sister helped paint. My friends were helping us unpack. About 10 days before my scheduled c-section, I fell down the stairs of my new house and broke my tailbone and had a very small hairline fracture in my right wrist. (broken tailbones DO NOT feel good!) LOL!

On July 9, 2010 we welcomed our newest and lastest addition to our family via c-section (I had my tubes tied.) He was born healthy at 7lbs 14oz. We named him Alex. He is a sweet little guy who loves to eat and hates his carseat!

Alex is now 7 weeks old....

5 weeks after I had the baby, I started having horrible stomache pains. turns out it was my gallbladder. I had to have that removed. I will admit I was a little bit down after the surgery. It hurt to even hold Alex for about a week afterwards. Thank God, I am feeling back to normal now. Now for some updates and pictures of the kids.

Dax is getting ready to start first grade. (where did my baby go?) He is so smart and is already reading past a 3rd grade level. While I really do enjoy his company, I am very excited for him to start school!

Emma will be going to preschool this year and maybe doing a dance class or two... She is my sassy girl but I love her to pieces. Everyone keeps saying that Emma has her work cut out for her having 3 brothers. I just tell them that I feel sorry for the boys because Emma can hold her own!

Ethan is AMAZING! I don't even know what to say about that boy. He keeps me on my toes but boy is he a character. I couldn't imagine life without that kid. Since I could go on and on and on about that boy, I am just going to post some pictures instead.

And this one is my FAVORITE!!!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Feeling sorry for myself

Yes, thats right. I am starting to feel a little sorry for myself. In the last 6 weeks I have fallen down the stairs, broke my tailbone, fractured my wrist, had my 4th c-section had a tubal ligation and had my gallbladder removed. I am taking care of 4 kids, one of which has Down syndrome and one of which is a newborn. I am tired and I am sore and I am tired of being sore. 3 of my kids are too big to be picked up. Everytime I try and breastfeed, the baby presses against my stomach and its sore. I can't take a deep breath. The house is a mess and laundry is piling up. My husband is crabby with me, I just feel like crying.

Monday, July 26, 2010

I'm spinning in 12 different directions

You know its going to be a bad day when you wake up and the first thing you smell is poop.

I walk into Ethan's room and he is covered in poop, his crib is covered in poop and his crib tent is covered in poop.


I put Ethan in the tub, the baby starts screaming, my son Dax dropped a doll shoe in the toilet, the doorbell starts ringing, Emma starts to freak out because the baby is screaming.....

Welcome to my morning!

I finish the bath, change the baby, start feeding the baby.

The kids are thirsty...

(Good thing I got their drinks ready before I sat down.)

Now they are fighting over the color of cup that they want.

I tell them what color cup they are getting, I finish feeding the baby, Now where is Ethan?

He is sitting in a puddle, he spilled a cup of water, the kids start fighting over play food, Dax starts tatteling on Emma, Emma starts screaming, I am trying to clean up the puddle, the baby starts screaming again, Now Emma is yelling that she is "all done" in the bathroom. I need to go wipe her butt. I feel like crying.... The baby is still screaming.

Its now 11am and I am just now getting around to giving the kids breakfast. First they fight over what color chair they sit in. I take care of that problem. Now Dax starts crying because he dosen't want to sit newt to Emma, Emma starts crying because her feelings are hurt. I lose it and send them both to their rooms until they can get along.

Ethan dumps a bowl of cereal.

Now I REALLY feel like crying.

The kids come down, Dax starts crying about his color of bowl. I make a mental note to buy all of the same color bowls and cups....

I put in a load of laundry and load the dishwasher really quick. The kids are still in their pajamas, the baby is still screaming. I haven't showered or eaten. I have to go feed the baby again.

Its only 1130am and I am already exhausted.

But at the end of the day, when my kids look at me with those big sleepy eyes, I know it is all worth it.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

A cute story

My son Dax was reading a book and then put it down. Naturally when he put it down my daughter Emma picked it up. This of course set my son off and he said, "I had that book first and I wasn't done with it and Emma took it from me." So I said "well Dax, you did put it down, but if you really want it back maybe you could go upstairs and get Emma another book to read and she might give that one back to you."

Dax stomped upstairs and a few minutes later he comes down with the biggest book he could find (a childrens bible) He tosses it on Emma's lap and says, "here Emma, you can read the bible."

Emma, not to be outdone opens it up and says excititly "LOOK, A SHARK" (Jonah and the whale)

Dax throws his book aside and runs over to see. Emma slams the book closed in his face and says "No Dax, you have your own book"

I love my kids.