Tomorrow, our baby turns one.
One year ago today I was hoping that Max would stay put until morning so that the planned C-section would go as planned. We were finishing up getting the house ready for my parents to come and stay with Toby. We were holding Toby close, with tears in our eyes, waiting to drop him off with friends overnight so that we could be at the hospital in the wee hours of the morning.
I was worried about the unpleasantness of surgery and recovery. I wasn’t worried about the baby. I had a rough time with Toby’s birth (see necessary planned C-section, above), but Toby was fine through it all. I was planning for more of the same.
I was excited to finally meet our son. I was anticipating holding him in my arms. (I was thrilled that pregnancy would soon be over!)
This time last year, I didn’t really know anything about Down syndrome.
When I see the pictures of those last few weeks of my pregnancy I feel… I don’t know. There’s an innocence, or an ignorance, in those photos. I look at that person and I know that she has no idea how hard she’s going to get slammed in just a few weeks.
All children surprise their parents. All parents have moments when they look at their children and think, well, this is not what I expected. But most don’t have those moments in those first few newborn hours.
I’m pissed that Max’s birth and diagnosis will always be entwined. I’m pissed that I have to remember any sadness on the anniversary of his birth.
It is oh-so-possible to absolutely and totally love my son, every little bit of who he is. It is possible to accept the challenges that come with who he is, and to truly not want to change a thing about him.
And it is also possible, at the same time, to remember that there was a time when I didn’t even imagine that his particular set of challenges would be a part of my life.