Friday, October 7, 2011

31 for 21: Sisters Who Love Their Sister

I have said it and wrote it on many occasions-- I am not the greatest of writers, nor am I a reporter. I talked with my husband yesterday about his memories and feelings of when we first received Vada's diagnosis. I asked him questions on his feeling's about that time in our lives. I think that together we did a pretty good job on the video. We where both nervous however, which sounds funny because it was only him and I doing the recording (oh, and little V) but we really wanted it to be truthful as well as helpful to whoever watched it.

The fact is, we grieved and hiding that truth isn't beneficial for anyone.

We received Vada's Down syndrome diagnosis prenatally. I agreed to the amniocentesis, finally, after declining on several different occasions only because at this particular moment that it was being offered to us again, I had just been told about our baby having serious heart and stomach conditions. The words defects, surgery, mental retardation, and death were thrown at me along with subtle suggestion to abort and in a moment of fear and confusion, I agreed to the test. If I were to go back I wouldn't have done the amniocentesis, the results didn't matter prior to knowing and they don't matter now.

I say that the positive Down syndrome results didn't matter but I still grieved. My husband, he grieved as well. Truthfully, when admitting that I grieved, I actually cringe a little inside. Admitting that I was mad and confused and scared about my daughters diagnosis makes me feel ashamed in myself. I know that these feeling are "acceptable" and also I know that many parents who were or are in similar situations have felt a lot of the same emotions that my family and I did. However, I still feel badly that I felt that way, because when I look at Vada, when I am holding her in my arms, when I hear her voice, when I watch her play, interact, talk, sign, eat, sleep, breath... I see perfection. Everything about her, to me, is wonderful and I know that my husband feels the same way that I do. If I could do anything differently about the video that Justin and I did yesterday I would have added all of this into it.

We all have to come to terms with the fact that we are not in control of our lives, not fully anyway. What we want, or think we want isn't always what we are going to get. I never would have asked for a child who has Down syndrome (because I knew nothing about Ds prior to Vada's birth) but now I wouldn't change a thing and as far as V goes, well, I love her beyond any form of measurement, her father loves her more than I think he ever thought he could love another being and our older girls, Jasmine and Kiliegh... they love her too.

Again, I know that I am not a reporter but my girls have humored me in answering some questions about their baby sister Vada, who happens to have Down syndrome... I will say now that Kiliegh said something that I didn't correct her on (and I am sure you'll catch it). I didn't need to correct her, I could tell that she caught it herself and later she fixed her mistake-- we are all learning.  (Don't forget to scroll to the bottom and pause the music before watching the video.)

1 comment:

Kathee Terwilleger said...

Great interviews, Tara. So good to hear the girls' perspectives on Vada and see their personalities a bit, too. Keep up the Downs Syndrome awareness!