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Tuesday, October 10, 2017

To My Younger Self

I originally shared this "Letter to Myself" a few years ago, but wanted to repost it for 31 for 21 (Down Syndrome Awareness Month).

Dear Twenty-Something Michelle,

Hello! This is a letter from your future self. It looks like you are settling in nicely to your life. Things seem to be going well, you have a great husband, a job, a new house. Ok ... a not-so-new house considering we are talking about military housing!

You are now at a point in your life when you and Joe want to start a family. Great! Now settle in for the long haul. I don't mean to burst your bubble, but this isn't going to happen as easily, or quickly, as you think it might. Prepare to be on the 'trying to conceive' journey for over a year.

I will say that thankfully you won't need to start fertility treatments, although you will have that initial appointment or two to get the ball rolling.

Since you don't want to find out the gender as you'd like to keep that a surprise, I won't spoil that for you by revealing it in this letter.

I do, however, want to give you a heads up about your newborn baby. Your first born child will be born with a medical condition. Your child will have a slightly different genetic make-up than you or Joe have - something to do with the chromosomes.

I'm not telling you the specific diagnosis because I think it's important for things to happen the way they were supposed to happen. I just want you to know that you will receive some news upon the birth of your child. News you weren't expecting to hear, and news you don't really imagine for your child.

But I also want you to know, and to remember, that even though your child will have this life-long diagnosis (there is no cure), this child is still your child. This child is still the child you and Joe created together. This child is still the child you get to take home and raise. This child is still the child you wished and hoped for. This child is still the very much wanted, and loved, child you will carry for 9 months.

There will be some challenges, but there always is in parenting. It is ok to feel whatever you will feel in the moment. It is ok to be afraid of the future because the unknown can be scary.

As I'm writing this to you now, this child-to-be will be 11 years old in 6 days. This child has already seen much and accomplished much in 11 years.

This child just went to 2 sleep-away camps this summer and had a blast - I'm sure that's something you won't imagine happening when you receive the diagnosis.

Enjoy your newborn. Cherish your newborn. Raising your child, getting to be a parent - that is what matters and what counts. The diagnosis you can deal with one day at a time. The diagnosis will become secondary.

I'm not going to promise that everything will be easy, because it won't.

But I can promise that everything will be all right, because it is.

1 comment:

Mom24 said...

So, so good. <3