Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Bad evaluation

Welp, IT happened!

Leah was evaluated for speech therapy yesterday and I was told that she is at a 3-6 month level.

I really wasn’t expecting that.

Honestly, I was trying to convince the therapist that she needed speech therapy even though she is where she is supposed to be.

I have been told by EVERYONE that Leah’s speech is incredible and that she is right on target, if not ahead of the game.

Oh well.

I am amazed by how little it has negatively affected me.

If anything, I am motivated by this news.

Motivated to follow the therapist’s recommendations.

Motivated to show the world Leah can succeed.

Motivated to help Leah learn.

Now I really can say I know how it feels to get back not-so-good results.

Now I feel a little more like I “fit in” with the other parents of kids with Down syndrome.

Now I know that those tests don’t matter too much.

I am still incredibly proud of my little peanut and we will do whatever we can to get her on track.

No excuses.

No reasoning’s.

No sadness.

Just motivation and encouragement as Leah does to me.

She makes me want to be better.

She makes me realize that what everyone else thinks means very little.

She helps me prioritize myself.

She helps me be a better me.

She is only 11 months old and she has taught me as much as, if not more than, any other person in my life.

Leah is a gift that I never knew I wanted and I am eternally grateful for her, bad evaluations and all.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Answered Prayers

In our church we have priesthood blessings.

A priesthood blessing is, “A blessing given by a Melchizedek Priesthood holder, by the laying on of hands and by inspiration, to one who is sick or otherwise in need of special counsel, comfort, or healing. If the blessing is for the sick, consecrated oil is used
(James 5:14–15).”

So of course, as soon as Leah was born, she received a priesthood blessing of health.

There are two things which stand out about this blessing, even though I wasn’t there to witness it:

1). The nurses were amazed at the calm which came over the nursery the second the blessing began and the chaos that ensued when it was done.

I know this because they continued to express their amazement and kept asking if Steven and Mark could come back when the NICU was a little ornery ;).

2). Both Mark and Steven felt as though there was nothing wrong with Leah. It was like Heavenly Father didn’t express a concern over her health or well-being; she was ok.

How could this be?

She has Down syndrome.

So my immediate reaction was, “Well maybe she doesn’t have T21. Maybe she just has some traits and when the karyotype comes back, it will be negative.”

That’s not what happened.

Then I thought, “Maybe she doesn’t have hirschsprung’s disease. The biopsy will come back with normal ganglion cells.”

Nope. Not that either.

When I was alone after Leah was born and I was able to absorb what I had been told, I prayed.

I prayed in ways which I never prayed before. I cried out to Heavenly Father with everything that I had within me.

I was lost.

I was scared.

I was alone.

He told me not to fret.

He told me that Leah would be, “as high functioning as she can be with Down syndrome.”

Those were His exact words.

Can it be?

Can Leah really have abilities and capabilities which I was told were very improbable?

Consistently, Leah has been measuring, “within normal limits.”

She has never fallen behind.

She continues to progress.

Then I think of my answered prayer and I wonder, “Did He really hear little ol’ me?”

Did He really answer me?

No logic can explain it, other then I was answering myself. But that’s not what it was. And even if I was talking to myself, how come I’m still right?

Faith is a really hard thing to have sometimes, even when your prayers are proven because…

Even with all of this, I keep waiting for the “train wreck” to happen.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Thank goodness for smore's!

Leah had her first ever camping trip this past weekend. It was filled with sun, play, water, fresh air, and really bad-for-her food!

She absolutely LOVED the pool, the marshmallows and smore’s, the turkey burgers with ketchup, playing in the grass, and of course swinging!

It’s times like this which help me truly appreciate how raising a child with Down syndrome is really not much different then raising a “typical” child.

I was able to accept comments about how stinkin’ cute she is, without wondering if they saw her disability.

I was able to enjoy having a baby, without thinking about my baby’s future.

Our getaway showed me that Leah’s disability really doesn’t define her and most surprisingly, Leah’s disability doesn’t define me as a mother.

I CAN forget about it.

I CAN enjoy her without worry.

I CAN be proud of her without wondering, “what if.”

I CAN just be her mom.

I needed this.