Wednesday, February 27, 2013

A Surprise Bun in the Oven

Our lil family of four.

Jesse and I were busy planning our boy's birthday party. It was a baseball theme and our big boys were turning 3 and 5. I was loading up on cracker jacks and dollar store plastic bats and sunglasses. This party was going to be epic! We love to entertain, it's one of our most favorite things in the world... Friends, family, food and good cocktails. What could be better?

Love the look on our little guy's face!

The boys blowing out the candles. 

Getting ready to hit the pinata!

Jess and I had talked about how we were "done" with having babies. Our two feisty boys were plenty. We both work full time and the boys were becoming self sufficient! They were potty trained, dressed themselves, this is getting easier! No more weekly Costco trips for diapers and formula, even daycare was cheaper and they were both going to be in school in the fall. We don't have time for a baby!

A couple months earlier I had my IUD removed because it was making me certifiably crazy. I was short tempered and even swore my hair was falling out. I talked to Jess about it and he agreed. I think he wanted his sweet loving wife back! We were practicing the "rhythm method" and he was going to get the ole' snip-snip. I gently reminded him to make his appointment and he jokingly replied "I'll do it in a year!" To which I snapped back "we will have a baby by then!!" ...

I had a dream on a Saturday night, it was the end of April. In my dream I had taken a pregnancy test and it was positive. I called my brother and sister in law to tell them they could have the baby since we didn't want a 3rd child. What? That was sort of weird. So Sunday morning I took a test for the heck of it, and I saw 2 verrrry faint lines. I was holding the test in different light, squinting... Yes I could see two lines. There's NO way this could be happening. I didn't say anything to Jess for a couple of hours. I felt like I was keeping a dirty secret from him. Finally I mustered up the courage to show him, "do you see two lines?"... Silence.

"Are you f&$&@ kidding me??" He says. I burst into tears and say I'm sorry... He doesn't think I'm pregnant and I don't either. I don't feel pregnant at all. I've been closely monitoring my fertility!! We decide wait a couple days and see what happens.. Our best friends come for dinner that night and Scott hands me a big cold beer. I politely decline... "Are you pregnant!?!?" He immediately asks. I never turn down a beer!! I have to confess that maybe I am.. but most likely not. We all laugh about the idea. Sweet Kelly assures me that she doubts I'm pregnant and says "Well if you are we will have a baby with you guys!" Those two never came through on that promise, because they didn't think I was pregnant either.

Monday came and went, I tried to block the thought of being pregnant out of my mind, no need to stress unless I have to, right? Tuesday I went and bought a digital test on my way to work. Of course I had a meeting first thingthat morning. At 10am I texted my friend Kori... "Meet me in the bathroom by the gym." I tell her what is up and she laughs at me. I went into the stall and did what I needed to do. We anxiously watch the little hourglass on the screen. It felt like an eternity watching that little screen. Hourglass.. hourglass.. blinking... blinking... PREGNANT. I screamed, loudly, and felt like a teenager in a movie. Holy moly is this really happening? I text Jess a picture of the test and he replies "am I being punked?" At this point I'm back at my desk, shaking and teary. Jesse calls me "it's ok honey, we can do this".

We can do this. Every little thing is gonna be alright. I know it will, everything happens for a reason, right?

The Lumineers - Ho Hey

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Why Blog?

When Ellie was born I spent countless hours on my phone reading everything I could about Down syndrome. Google was my best friend and my worst nightmare. I found the most comfort by reading blogs. I saw a glimpse into our future. I knew our life was going to be OK because of other parent's experiences. And not just OK, but awesome. These blogs saved me. While I was reading Kelle Hampton's blog, my husband was reading up on the medical side of Down syndrome. He taught me a lot those first few days and we realized how little we really knew about Down syndrome. Did you know that the  average height for a woman with DS is 4'9"!? I had no idea. We giggled thinking of our Ellie girl, being so small and cute. We are a big family, I mean huge tall. I have 5 older brothers and they are all tall, big viking looking dudes. My oldest brother is 6'7". My handsome hubby is 6'4", was our Ellie really not going to hit 5'? It was so interesting to me. We shared a lot of stories, statistics, laughter and tears in those first few days.

I felt like I needed to write down my feelings about having a child with DS. It was nagging at me, like I needed to let all of the emotions out somehow.  I asked Jesse what he thought about that, fully expecting to be shot down but he liked the idea! He said "if our story can help another family going through the same thing then I think you should do it" Wow! My super private Facebook loathing husband is OK with this. So here it goes... this is our story.

An Introduction

I'm a "cup is half full" kind of girl. A positive thinker if you will. I may even have been called Pollyanna a time or two... My positivity may even bug others. :-P In my defense, I grew up with a mother who practiced the principles of "The Secret" before Oprah was a household name. My mom ingrained into my brain that "thoughts become things" and I believed it. I truly believe that we choose whether we have a good day or a bad day the minute we wake up.

With the birth of our daughter with Down syndrome I can't help but seek the positive side of the diagnosis. Ellie is a miracle girl and a blessing from above. She's here for a reason and I'm beyond grateful for her. My mom is convinced that there's something special inside that extra chromosome. She thinks that people who have Down syndrome have a little extra sugar on top, are more loving, forgiving, and accepting. They have the traits that we strive our entire life to have. Even my brother Joey says... "We should call it Up Syndrome instead, there's nothing down about Ellie!" which made me giggle. He does have the same mother as me, after all.

I hope this blog can serve as a positive and sometimes funny glimpse into a regular family's life who happen to have a daughter with Down syndrome. We live in the country with two crazy boys Will and Luke, their baby sister Ellie and two cats named Lloyd and Harry who were born on July 4th (our favorite holiday!)

I am going to end each post with a song.  In my brain there is a constant soundtrack playing.  I am always humming, whistling or singing something. This particular song has been my mantra since my teenage years and has gotten me through a lot of hard times.  When I need to, I will blast it in my car and sing it at the top of my lungs. It always comes on the radio when I need it to, like someone up in heaven is turning the dial at the specific moment, just for me.  

Bob Marley - Three Little Birds