Some people accept the diagnosis of Down syndrome immediately, and for some it takes weeks, months, and sometimes even years. A lot of you know that I did not accept the news after Camden was born very graciously. In fact, it was pretty ugly for me. The first few months were dark, scary, depressing and sad. I didn't laugh or smile. I just cried. There was no joy. My friends and family (not even Richard) knew what I was feeling. I had to be strong, because I knew everybody would follow my lead. Richard had accepted everything within a few short weeks, and at that point, I definitely didn't want to share my feelings with him because I did not want to take away his joy. I just felt alone. A lot of people will say "if I knew then what I know now, it would have saved me a lot of tears". I don't feel that is true for me. I think I had to go through all of those emotions to come out on the other side. Once I started this blog I was able to share my feelings with friends, family, and even strangers. It was easier for me to write (or type) things out. I realized the more I opened up the better I felt. Then I started searching for others who understood what I was going through, because I no longer want to feel alone. I started to become part of an amazing community that I never knew existed. I began talking to, and sharing my feelings with these new friends. They saved me from spiraling even deeper into that dark place. Soon, I started to realize that my life was not over. I stopped hiding and being selfish and started to be present. I then saw that I had this tiny human being that I created lying next to me that needed me. So, I started to hold my head up, and started taking care of my family. With each passing day things got better. I fell more in love with my son and created an indescribable bond. I would still get sad, but it was not near to the magnitude of feelings I had in the beginning. Even though things were so much better, I realized that I still did not fully accept the fact that Camden has Down syndrome. A part of me still grieved that fact a bit, and I think a part of me was in denial. I just couldn't possibly believe that I had a son with special needs. I started to wonder if I would ever accept it. It would break my heart, because I knew if I couldn't accept that he had Ds, I wasn't fully accepting him. If I'm not fully accepting him, how could I continue to fight for society to accept him. I was a hypocrite.
Then over the last couple of weeks something started to change. I would look at Camden and just start to cry, but they were not tears of sadness, they were tears of joy. I started to see just how lucky and blessed I am and how much I love this little boy with all my heart no matter what. I started to feel lighter, as if a heavy load was taken off my shoulders. The other day he was taking a nap in my room and I came around the corner to check on him. He happened to be awake and when he saw me his face lit up with that cute smile of his and he reached his arms out to me. He had never done this before, so I wasn't quite sure if that's what he was trying to do. So, I went back around the corner, and then when I came back around, he looked at me with a huge smile and reached out to me again. I broke down in tears because that's when it hit me. Everything became so clear. I suppose I can sum up this whole post in one sentence.
"Camden...I see YOU, and I fully accept every single ounce of you!"