I posted this back in 2012 during 31 for 21. It was Part II of a Q&A. Happy Saturday, everyone!
I'm a little bit sad because I don't actually have anything to do planned for this weekend. And, like I said in yesterday's Q&A, I feel guilty for those lazy weekend days when we don't do anything. Especially if the weather's as beautiful as it's supposed to be tomorrow. Ah well, there's always a pumpkin patch/petting zoo/library/mall/playground just waiting for us. Maybe it's time to pull some playdates out of a hat...
So, back to answering questions, here's one of the triple-barrel variety:
Q. When did you feel like everything was okay? And when did you stop wondering what others thought? And where is your favorite place to shop for Sammi's amazing clothes?
A. Good questions! Feeling like everything was "okay" is pretty relative. While still in the hospital, with the support of my husband saying everything would be okay and the information given to us by the social worker showing me a glimpse into a possible future for Samantha, I kind of felt like things would be okay. Like we could do this after all. But was I truly okay with it? Not at all. It wasn't an overnight transformation, although I was able to put on a brave face and show people, honestly, how in love with my baby I was, how happy I was to have her. But I did mourn the child I didn't get, the future she certainly wouldn't have, and the struggles she would have to face. How can I protect my child??? That was what really broke my heart.
As Samantha grew and thrived, both before and after her open heart surgery at 4 months, her personality began to really shine through. The brightness in her eyes and her smile, the magical way she captivated us and anyone who came into contact with her, her strength and determination, that's what really made me begin to realize that things would be really okay. Already, the vision of that blank, slack-jawed, woman-child shuffling along behind me was gone! Just like that. Already, I began to see snippets of our future lives together, the things we would do, the things we would see, the things she could accomplish. And then I knew it would be okay. Certainly, it wouldn't be without bumps and struggles, but those were nothing compared to what I'd originally envisioned.
It took a bit longer to stop wondering what others thought. I never actually worried what they thought of Samantha - she usually had everyone eating out of the palm of her hand on first glance, and I never had reason to think people had negative thoughts about her or about Down syndrome. No negative comments, no sideways glances, no signs of disdain. But I had this weird, irrational thing in the first year where I worried that, because I seemed (was!) so happy with my daughter, because I didn't wear a my daughter has Down syndrome badge on my arm or across my forehead, that people would think, "oh, poor thing, she *doesn't know.*" Irrational, like I said. And so, during that first year I felt compelled to bring it up in conversation all the time, usually with complete strangers. I'm sure part of that was born out of my need to talk about it myself. I'm not exactly sure what spurred the turning point after that time, but just after she turned 1, I began blogging. I'm sure it's no coincidence that that's when I stopped caring what others thought.
Okay, fun stuff - Sammi's clothes!! Stay tuned for my new blog I'm going to put up, likely not until the new year when I can get everything together. It'll have photos and information about Sammi's clothes, and where to buy cute kids' fashions without spending much money. In the meantime, I'll tell you I get them from any number of sources. I buy bits and pieces that can be easily layered or combined with others, almost always on sale. We have a great children's thrift store selection nearby where I've been lucky to obtain some amazing finds! But as far as retail stores go, I usually get things from Target, Naartje (check out their website - amazing prices and sales, gorgeous stuff!), and Children's Place, along with anyone else who happens to be having either an end-of-season or going-out-of-business sale.
Stay tuned for the next set of questions! Thanks for indulging me... :-)