Before I introduce my guest blogger, I wanted to remind you about our Baby Sent From the Stars Giveaway....if you haven't checked it out, we have an iPad2, a Nook, and many other really sweet prizes that we're giving away. We will draw winners next Sunday night, so please don't miss a chance to enter!
I've blogged about this before, but one of the wonderful things that has happened this past year as a result of Lily coming into our lives, is the network of friends we've acquired along the way. As a new mommy of a child with special needs, I immediately sought out other families who had gone through, or were going through the things we were, in an attempt to form my own on-line "support group". I really don't even remember how I stumbled across "Everything and Nothing From Essex", but I do know that from the first post, I was hooked.
Deanna and I are about as opposite as you can get in many respects...She's in her twenties, I'm 43. Addison is her first baby, Lily was my tenth. She started out her parenting experience with Down syndrome, I ended (I think ;)) ours with Ds. I live on the west coast, she lives in Vermont. She has a college degree and works outside the home, I married a year after high school and am a stay at home mommy.
And yet, that magical little chromosome bonded us in so many ways this past year- I found a kindred spirit in Deanna, and I'm sure that if we lived close to each other we would click in real life as much as we do online! We both have a passion for music- she plays violin, I play piano. We both love to write, and after she publishes her first novel this year, I just know she's going to help me publish mine (right, Deanna??) We both love cooking, reading, blogging, and being a mommy...and we both have a wickedly snarky sense of humor:) When we each dressed our girls in the same adorable Strawberry Halloween costume, I knew we were indeed twins, separated at birth!
So it is with great pleasure that I introduce the lovely and gracious Deanna Smith, and I hope you leave her a million comments telling her what an amazing mama she is!
Deanna is a new mom to a beautiful fourteen month little girl, to be joined in September by a little brother. Married for almost five years to the love of her life, Aaron, she is wife, homemaker, mom and part time music teacher. Recent loves include blogging and writing all the while trying to keep up her daughter and of course the laundry and dishes. For some reason the cleaning fairies keep missing her house...it's a mystery, for sure.
From those first few kicks and flips that I felt while my baby was still in utero, to warily watching my stomach expand and stretch to house a seven pound, fourteen ounce baby, to the pains of labor, to finally finishing with that last push, completely overwhelmed by a sense of awe that the little chubby miss was mine-every step towards entering motherhood was an adventure.
My baby had to fight valiantly to live. She fought for conviences that you or I might take for granted- such conviences as breathing, eating, lung pressure, liver function, maintaining a proper blood count, and the list goes on.
I don't write this because I'm seeking your sympathy. I don't bare my soul daily on my blog so that people will feel bad for me. I don't need pity or looks laced with not very carefully hidden "I'm sorrys".
No, I write this because I want to shout from the rooftops that my daughter lived. She fought the odds-and won. She was in NICU for 5 weeks, on oxygen for 9 months, had a g-tube for 4 months and had two heart surgeries. My daughter is a survivor. And I write this because I think that deserves celebrating. I want the world to view my daughter's life as the miracle it is instead of using sterotypes and labels to dismiss her existence as worthless and unimportant to society.
Yes, my darling daughter has cognitive delays and physical struggles, but when she wraps her little arms around my neck and leans in for a cuddle, her body molding perfectly against mine- it absolutely doesn't matter. When she looks me straight in the eye, smiles and laughs the cutest belly laugh I have ever heard-I don't think of her as a syndrome or a label. She clings to me in utter dependance, and I treasure my role as her protector. This miracle child is my daughter. My biggest accomplishment. A complete gift from God. The pride of my life.
I am privileged to be this little girl's mother. Life doesn't get much better than that-in a good, can't stop kissing those cheeks, my smile won't fade, over the top blissfully happy kind of way.