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A blog about our busy family with two amazing kids, one of whom happens to have Down syndrome!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Rambling about the future

Lately I find myself consumed with an internal argument about whether or not we should have any more kids. For the most part I feel "done". But then I remember that my youngest is barely 6 months old and I certainly don't need to make any decisions yet. The lucky thing for me is that Greg is 100% supportive with whatever I want to do. Seriously, the man is a saint. (Don't tell him I said that.)

I told Greg that I wish we could adopt the kids a sibling as an adult. Isn't that terrible of me? I don't look forward to any more newborn stages. In fact, I can't wait until we can be diaper bag free! We were just getting there with Ryan when we had Lauren. We got a small taste of freedom, haha!

Part of me feels like maybe I want another one for the wrong reasons. I want the kids to have another sibling to share the burdens of life with. I want to add another person in the mix to worry about their parents as we age. I want Ryan to have a typical sibling to lean on if ever Lauren needs help and Greg and I are gone. I want Lauren to have another typical sibling that might be willing to share responsiblity to help her succeed in life. I want a full, loud and loving house. I want more chances to have grandbabies.  And this is all assuming that another baby would even be typical. When Lauren becomes a big girl instead of a baby I know my arms will ache for another baby.

I don't at all regret that Lauren has Down syndrome. It's something I can honestly say that I celebrate about her. She wouldn't be my Lauren without that extra cuteness chromosome. But I worry so much about her future. What happens when Greg and I are 83 and 80 and Lauren is 55? Will she be able to live totally independently? Probably not.  I am so terrified of her ending up in a group home with someone caring for her that doesn't know what a miracle she is. Would having another sibling in the mix prevent that from happening? I have no idea. I hate worrying about the future, especially something a half a century away. And really, nothing is a guarantee anyways. I could get hit by a bus tomorrow. (I don't want that to happen!)

While I certainly don't have baby fever right now I could certainly get it in a few years. What if I'm 40 and regret not having a third child and then it's too late? Will I mourn the child I never chose to have? The thought of having another child with a serious illness like congenital heart disease makes my whole body go numb with fear. Can I take that gamble?

If we don't have another child then there will be more money to go around for the two we do have. And while money isn't everything it certainly makes some parts of life easier. We'd love to pay for college for both kids. I would love to be able to afford to provide them with school trips and sports and pets and family vacations. Lauren's earning potential is probably not as high as Ryan's. We want to be able to supplement the rest to make sure she is always comfortable financially. We want to be able to pay for Lauren to have an apartment with a few girlfriends one day...or a husband. Lauren most likely won't have children and just because she has Down syndrome doesn't mean she won't feel like she's missing out. I'd like for her to have a dog or a cat or freakin' pony if she wants one. See the crazy things that go through the mind of a special needs parent? (Please, tell me I'm not the only one!)

But none of that compares to the love of a sibling. I have two sisters who mean the world to me. I honestly cannot imagine my life without either one of them. What if Ryan and Lauren get older and feel like someone is missing?

I know I probably sound like a lunatic. I don't care, I just need to get this out of my head and 'on paper'. We wouldn't even consider another baby until Lauren is around three so it's not like I have any pressing decisions that need to be made. I'm only 26!

I feel like so much of this post centers around what Lauren probably won't do and I hate that. But sometimes realism sneaks up on my optimism and I don't know how to reconcile the two. Any special needs parents care to weigh in on this? Even if it's just to tell me that I'm not crazy. You can lie.


And because her smiling little face reminds me that I need to calm down and enjoy every moment:
And his face reminds me that the bonds of sibling love are stronger than almost anything:

4 comments:

  1. Holy cow. You just described every single thought exactly as I have them daily! I worry about all of these things, except I'm 41, and the older I get I realize I can only handle my two, so it's getting easier to say we're done (until I look at the Reece's Rainbow site).

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  2. Too funny - I could have written the previous comment from Kristin as well as your post a couple years ago. I can barely handle the two I have and I feel too old (at 41 as well)until I look at Reeces! I think everyone has these thoughts - it is important to have high expectation but to also plan for things that could be realistic like Cate living at home as an adult.

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  3. OMG I could have written this word for word (Except changing the names of Hubby and kids) WOW. I was even 26 when we had our Lily! That urge does not go away! Infact it gets stronger! Lily will be 3 in a month and we are almost ready to commit to another! Maybe...yes...I don't know!!! AHHH

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  4. Thank you ladies! Not being alone in this means a lot. At least if I'm crazy then so are you :)

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