Hey there, mommas who are new on this journey with Down syndrome. This birthday post, I’m thinking of you. My friend asked me today at lunch what that was like — getting the news of his diagnosis. I thought back to those devastating words, those tear filled nights and uncertain days. Jack Jack’s birthday, four years later remains bitter-sweet because of the trauma of those first days.
I stayed up way too late last night making the montage video and as I was going through the pictures something struck me, that I want to share with you, new momma. There aren’t many pictures in the first half of the video of my husband or I smiling. The first couple are plastered on smiles of pale, terrified zombie-parents. Violet gets in there a lot cause she was unabashedly joyful about her baby brother. Dash was mostly confused. We didn’t feel like there was much to smile about in those first bleak months, and we didn’t.
But then, as I combed through my file folders I saw how our smile and our joy came back. It was in Jack Jack’s smile that we found ours again. And really, it wasn’t very long (although I know how long it feels in the midst of the fog of grief) before we found joy again. Not the same happiness as before Down syndrome, but something even better. Not making the best out of a bad situation, but overwhelming happiness at what we had as a family and the new path we are on. Jack Jack makes us smile every single day and it’s because of him that we have more laughter in our house than ever before.
I know when I was a new momma with a baby with Down syndrome I was desperate for glimpses into the lives of families further down the road from me. I hope this makes you smile too.
Click on the link below to see Jack Jack’s fourth birthday video montage.