Dear Mama with the tear stained face,
I know these past couple of weeks have been the hardest weeks you have ever been through emotionally. You are exhausted from sleep deprivation and appointments while uncertainty consumes your every thought threatening to overtake you to the core. I know you are walking around in a complete state of bewilderment, a fog that penetrates into the deepest part of your soul as you process through the events of the past few weeks.
I see the tears escaping from your eyes from behind your dark sunglasses. The hesitancy that precedes every move. The fear overshadowing you. I want to reach out, grab you in my arms, hold you close and comfort you at this very moment. As you cry on my shoulder, I want to listen, and tell you softly and empathically that this all seems hard and scary, but you are going to be ok.
It seems like your world has just come crashing down, that everything you knew to be is no longer, and that your life as you once knew it will be forever changed. Change is hard, but it will be a change that will make you a better person.
Heart surgery is scary. Your tiny, precious babe will endure one of the most heart wrenching experiences either of you has ever been through. That alone is enough to make you want to hide under the covers and pray that it passes without leaving the painful memories. And then to hear that your baby has Down syndrome, something that hadn’t crossed your mind, that is enough to rock your world for a lifetime. It’s life altering. Let the tears flow, mama. Let your heart adjust. These emotions that you are feeling are normal and they are healing. But let me also tell you that you are in for the biggest surprise.
There is so much fear in the unknown. Fear of what the future will hold. Fear of the health complications for the little life being intricately knit together in your womb. When she is here, those fears will begin to melt away as your eyes first meet those little blue almond-shaped eyes that will look deep into your soul. The fear of the unknown will no longer be as you hold her in close and kiss her soft forehead. At the first look of her bright red hair and the sound of her first cry, you will immediately know that you just gave birth to a fighter, a brave and courageous little girl, a world changer with a heart of gold.
Yes, you two will endure things you never thought humanly possible, you will walk the hard, you will see the scary, and you will both come out on the other side stronger because of it.
Your bond will be like no other. You will understand her in ways that no one else will.
She will look at you with her piercing blue eyes with every confidence in you to take care of her all the days of her life.
Her laugh will bring you to tears as you think that it is not humanly possibly to love someone so much here on this earth. Her smile will brighten even the worst of days. You will want to bottle it up forever. Pure joy.
Oh sweet mama, the very thing that terrified you the most will be the very thing you come to love most about your daughter. It is what sets her apart in all the very best of ways. She is going to teach you so much with her outlook on life, with her innocence, with her grace.
You are bringing home one of the greatest of gifts you could ever want or ask for. She will be a baby, your baby, just like your other girls. She will have the very same needs your other babies did when you first brought them home and stared deeply into their eyes while their heads snuggled in close. She needs love just like you do.
You are the best mom for the job. You are the mom that God appointed for this baby. He will carry you through the hard, He will equip you and strengthen you and won’t let you go.
You, mama, together with her will break down the perceptions of Down syndrome. You will teach, you will raise awareness, you will advocate. This instant community will become your people that will stand with you linked arm in arm all fighting for their babes and shouting their worth from the rooftops. So many have gone before you and you will continue to tread through the waters and make room for your daughter.
You will find your voice as your confidence builds. Your confidence in yourself and that little baby of yours who is ready to take on the world.
Enjoy the feeling of her growing inside of you as your belly starts to grow and her kicks keep you awake at night. But also remember to allow yourself the space to have the emotions you need to have to process through the changes. In the end of the day, just know that her life is the greatest of gifts and you are the lucky one, growing her inside your belly, raising her alongside her sisters, spreading love and kindness to everyone around you.
The Mama on the other side
Bio: Trista is a warrior mama raising her girl tribe alongside her husband in sunny California. Her journey into the world of different abilities has just recently begun and while she has been a mom for a handful of years, her youngest who rocks an extra chromosome has captivated her heart from the very first moment their eyes met and is now changing her life in big ways. You can get a glimpse into her world on instagram @mrs_t_park
This letter is part of DSDN's October Down Syndrome Awareness Month campaign. We asked our members to write a letter to themselves during the time they received the diagnosis. Do you know a parent with a child under the age of 4 who needs connections and support? Let DSDN help and get started here.