Tuesday, April 04, 2006

A Different Life

I was thinking the other day about where my life is now: two kids, and thinking about one more before my body shuts down the baby-making function. What if Owen had been a typical child? Would we have stopped with him? Would he have been 'enough'? I think about this because sometimes I look at Tess, and how round her eyes are, and I wonder, 'would Owen have had eyes as round and big as hers if he didn't have Down Syndrome?' I know that is impossible thinking, but I do it occasionally, so I don't think there is any harm done. I was reading over an old journal the other day from when I was pregnant with Owen, and I talked about the possibility that we would probably just have this one child. That was before we had him and knew he had Down Syndrome. Was this God's way of making sure we had another child? If each child is meant to be (to some extent, because we know that we can control getting pregnant or even continuing a pregnancy), then could God have been gently telling me that one wasn't enough for us? I mean, I am so glad that I have both my children and I love each of them, but if Owen had been a typical child, would my mindset be what it is now? Would I have gone about my business, returned to work, continued with our lives the way they were? Owen was such a huge adjustment for us, especially with the news of Down Syndrome. It literally changed the way I saw things, including my job, my career, my life, my relationships. It both discouraged and encouraged me. It made me who I am today, and I am not the same person I was three years ago.

On the other hand, I have friends who are all having their second child, and, of course, everyone's child is fine. In fact, a woman who used to be a friend of mine, who kind of went off the deep end and stopped talking to me, just had her second child, and he is a perfect little boy. I told my husband the other day that it seems the worse off you (a nod to all those crack-smoking teenagers) then the healthier your baby is, right? I mean come on, I've played by the rules all my life, I've done everything right, I've been nice to other people, and out of 800 babies born, my child had Down Syndrome. Yet there are people out there who abuse their kids, torture their babies, do meth while they are pregnant, smoke a pack a day, and generally treat their babies lives like shit, and their baby is fine. Am I not seeing the karma here? Did I miss the boat? Should I have been a really messed-up person and maybe my child would have been fine?

Too many questions with no answers...so I'll stop now.


Blogger Beth said...

Hi, I linked to your blog from "Always Chaos."
My youngest son (by one minute--he is a twin) has DS. They are 15 months old. We also have a 9 year old and 13 year old.
I also lost a young son in an accident nearly 6 years ago. As a matter of fact, this loss was a large reason for going on to have more children--the twins.
I too, have wondered why certain people seem to effortlessly become pregant with "perfect" healthy children while others struggle so. I have wondered why some people's lives seem so trouble-free while others' get more than their fair share of heartache.

You're right about there being no answers, I think. Not in this life, anyway.

I do believe our son's death enabled our family to quickly get hold of the fact that having a child born with DS is far from tragic. Our children are here, they have been given the precious gift of life.

Still, it's impossible not to struggle with the "if only"s of life from time-to-time.

Hang in there!

9:20 PM  
Blogger The Imperfect Christian said...

Even though things aren't what you expected them to be, Owen IS fine. He may not be stereotypically PERFECT, but he is FINE.

I really don't have any words of wisdom because we CHOSE this for our path. We not only KNEW our children would have DS, but we adopted them FOR that very reason. We weren't expecting anything less (or more.)

At times I mourn the trials and tribulations my girls face BECAUSE of their DS. I think you're just going through one of the typical mourning periods that we tend to face as parents of these special kids. Although most parents mourn when they find out their child is going to be born with a "special diagnosis" (and again when the child arrives) that's not the end of it.

I'm sure I will mourn over and over again as my girls grow and develop. As they hit one road block after another, it will hit me over and over again.

But I always remember they are FINE the way they are...no matter what.

My thoughts are with you! Hang in there!

12:08 PM  
Blogger zannetastic said...

Thank you both for your words of encouragement...I know that I am still mourning parts of my son's lilfe that I can't fix. But, he is who he is, and most hours of the day I feel really blessed to have my two children.


2:22 PM  
Blogger RNP said...

*ditto* on the other two comments.

11:52 PM  

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