Friday, July 16, 2010

Proud Parents

I created these shirts for John and me a couple weeks ago.

I got so much positive feedback, I decided to run with an idea and open a little online shop.

Introducing Ds Baby Shop: "Fun and unique clothing for children with Down syndrome and the families who love them!"

Here are some of the designs I have added so far. Suggestions and comments are welcome! Thanks for taking a look, and helping to spread the word!

I also created a couple designs that are featured on several items:

You can visit the shop here.

You can also become a fan on Facebook.

Many thanks to Mirabel, our beautiful muse, who turned six months old yesterday! We love you, Mirabel!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Friday, July 9, 2010

How to Survive

A good friend welcomed a beautiful, healthy baby boy a few days ago, and I didn't go to visit them at the hospital. At first, I thought it was simply because I couldn't go when John suddenly had to go in to work, but then I realized I felt relieved. I am beyond overjoyed for my friend and her family. This little baby is a miracle for them and I cannot wait to meet him. But my heart was suddenly heavy. Same hospital, same delivering midwife... but not the same outcome. She is there with her baby. In her arms. And with friends coming to see her and wish her well. She is going home with him, and they are content.

And I realized that my experience, in the same hospital, with the same midwife, was too different for me to walk in the doors again without tinges of sadness. I was alone, with no baby next to me, processing the shock of a diagnosis in fight-mode. I still think I'm in that mode - brave face, strong heart, positive outlook. I am not jealous of a healthy baby or wistful that my baby has Down syndrome and hers doesn't. Mirabel is a joyful-jolly-jubilant addition to my life and I am head over heels about her. But I do think there are some unprocessed emotions that got shoved in the nether regions of my gut the very second I heard the words "Down syndrome."

Survive. Make it through. Go. We can do this. Look at her! She's amaaaazing.

So. That day I started feeling a little blue and I couldn't shake it. I didn't join my friends when they went to meet the new little guy. Instead, the girls and I got out of the house and went down to the restaurant where their daddy was bartending. Once we got there, Luciya had to go to the bathroom, so I left Mirabel in her car seat at the table and took Luciya into the stall.

"You go first, mama - "
"Okay, " I said,
" - so I can dance."

And Luciya danced in the stall while I went pee, with her quirky little twirls and wrist rolls, her squats and flounces. When it was her turn to use the toilet she instructed me, "Now you dance, Mama." And so I did. And then we washed our hands, still bopping, and Luciya said, "Mama, dance back to the table, that will be fun." And I did.

The two of us shimmied and bobbed back to the table, sideways diner glances be damned, and when we returned to the table I felt so much lighter. And it didn't escape me that the song that was playing through the restaurant speakers was "Crazy" by Seal (which is, in my opinion, one of the best songs ever in the history of everything). The chorus of the song goes

"We're never gonna survive unless we get a little crazy."

Dance. Shimmy. Enjoy.

Here goes. I feel better already.

We all do.

{And many, many, sweet congratulations to Christina and family. We love you.}