I had the most realistic, amazing dream about Lauren last night. I've really been wanting to dream about her for some reason lately, so I'm so glad I did!
In my dream we didn't know ahead of time that she had Down syndrome, and when they gave her to me I remember being shocked at how beautiful she was! Her presence just filled the room and she looked right at me and smiled. And then I noticed as an afterthought that she had Down syndrome and it didn't matter at all, none of the doctors or nurses mentioned it, she was just my baby and she was beautiful! It was so realistic and such a GREAT way to start my day!
It also got me thinking: Do I wish we wouldn't have gotten a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome and found out ahead of time about her heart? In all honesty, it wasn't really our choice. The 18 week ultrasound was clear enough that the decision to get an amnio was just to confirm. We knew that at the time.
Most days I am so grateful that we've had the chance to prepare. I am glad that we won't be surprised at birth. I'm glad I've had the time to work through my feelings and educate myself (I admit I was very under-educated about Down syndrome before we found out about Lauren! And I'm STILL learning every day). I'm so glad that my grieving process (pretty much every parent in our situation goes through this) is taking place now, where my baby is protected. She will only know complete joy at her birth, which is exactly what I wanted. SHE is exactly what I wanted!
But it does add an element of worry, stress and fear that a typical pregnancy does not have. Not a day goes by that I don't think about the risk of stillbirth. The thought of my baby not being able to come home with me. The thought of handing my 4 month old daughter over to surgeons to fix her heart and everything that entails. This is hard. I definitely understand why people choose to "wait it out" and forgo invasive testing prenatally. The days I struggle most are the days where I get stupid, hurtful or ignorant comments about our daughter, especially from healthcare "professionals".
My dream pretty much solidified my thoughts that I AM happy we already know about Lauren's "designer genes" and her heart condition. I really am. I've been able to get to a place of peace and acceptance. I cannot WAIT to meet her! I think the anticipation is even greater this time than with my first. Partly because I love my son so much and truly enjoy being his mom. I'm excited that I have the chance to do it again!