I'm sure many of you know by now that the Rockin' Moms has been my main support group since Camden was just a couple of months old. I thought I would explain further how this wonderful group came about, and what they have done for me these past two years!
Once I found out that Camden had Ds, I was lost. You all know that. I've been very honest about my feelings from the beginning. I had no information or any resources. I was left to learn everything on my own. I used Camden's time in the NICU to learn everything I could, but I couldn't bring myself to seek out any local or online support groups. I wasn't sure how to deal with my emotions, so I felt I wasn't ready to talk to anyone else. Once we got home from the hospital two months later, I decided I was ready to seek out support. The first website I went to was Babycenter.com. This website pretty much has it all. It covers conception through adulthood. There are a gazillion support groups for everything you could think of. I joined the Down syndrome group and started lurking. I read post after post, and then one day I decided to stop hiding and to contribute to the conversations. I quickly met friends, and some were even local which was awesome. Then one day, a mama posted a question asking if anyone would be interested in starting a private Facebook group for kids born in 2012-2013. I said sign me up. Day after day more moms were added to the group, including the friends I met through Babycenter. Soon we had about 150 moms and that's where it was cut off. We wanted to keep the group small so it would be more personable. The '12/'13 moms with kids rockin' the extra chromosome was up and ready to go!
Who was this mama that started it all? That would happen to be my dear friend Jen Jacob. She created the very first Rockin' Mom group. I don't know how this woman does it. She is truly a rock star! Jen then went on to create more Rockin' Mom groups because more moms wanted to be a part of this amazing thing. I don't know how many groups there are now, but there are several, and there will continue to be more as more babies are born.
It didn't take long for me to feel comfortable with these mamas. I quickly learned that this was my safe place to go. We could let our emotions out without judgement, and the best thing was that we all understood each other. It was hard for me, and still is, to let others know how I'm truly feeling. I don't want the pity look and I don't want to make others feel uncomfortable. I don't even talk to my hubby about it. Only my closest friends truly know what I go through, and I even hide a lot of things from them. With my Rockin' Moms it's different. I can spill it all, and they are there for me. It's hard for anyone to know what you're going through unless they are going through it too. These moms "get it". I laugh and cry with these moms. I celebrate their children with them. I get angry with them when others have wronged them. I'm an only child so I don't know what it's like to have siblings, but I imagine it's close to this. I feel like I have gained 150 sisters, nieces and nephews. I truly love these mamas and their children. They are fierce, smart, funny and resourceful. I don't how I got so lucky to end up in this group. These women have done amazing things and are the best advocates I know. A group of these Rockin' Moms created the Down Syndrome Diagnosis Network. This non-profit organization provides support to new and expecting mothers who have received a diagnosis of Ds. They provide real and up to date information, along with real life accounts from other families. This organization has become a huge and amazing resource for others. Kuddos to you ladies!
This year DSDN is putting on the first Rockin' Moms retreat in Minnesota this September. This will be for all Rockin' Moms in all the groups. It's only for moms and I couldn't be more excited because I'm going!!! I will get to see moms I've met before, and meet many other moms in person for the first time. I've been lucky to meet many of these lovely ladies, and several live in here in Texas. I know these are bonds that will continue for life. My friend Janessa said the other day, "Rockin' Moms pretty much stick together like the Goonies."
If you are just starting out on this journey and haven't found yourself in a support group, I encourage you to contact DSDN so they can get you in a Rockin' Moms group!
To all of my Rockin' Moms:
Thank you for always being there no matter what. You are so important to me and I feel very blessed to know you all. I love you, and I love your children. XO