Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother's Day

"Welcome to the club." My mother said to me the night I became a "woman."
Even though there was nothing exciting about this "happening," I remember thinking that it meant that maybe someday I would become a mother. Even then, at only twelve years old, I was amazed by the thought that someday, there could be life inside of me. I knew then I wanted to be a mother.

Almost four years ago, Ellie changed my existence by turning me into a mother. I was so excited. She was perfect in every way. Beautiful, funny, creative, smart. She was the little girl I always wanted. To this day, we have so much fun together, she is my dream come true.

I loved being a mother so much, that Andy and I decided to have another baby. Then Nichole was born.

Tonight, I couldn't stop thinking about the first day Nichole came home. It was the first day that I allowed myself to cry over her diagnosis. Thankfully my mom was staying for a few days. I don't know what I would have done without her.

I laid on the couch, saying I was tired. Somehow, my mom knew better and she sat by my side. She gently put her hand on my head and asked, "Are you okay?" I could not hold it any longer, I started to cry, to sob. My mom cried with me too. I crawled into her lap, wanting her to hold me, wanting to be a child again. I did not want to be a mother. I cried and I cried while my mom held me and tenderly kissed my forehead and stroked my back. I wished that she could take it away from me. But she couldn't. She could only love me.

All sorts of questions flooded my mind. "Why did we want more children?" "Ellie is perfect, we did not need more kids," "Our family was complete when we were three." I was helping Ellie wash her hands that night and I started to cry thinking that Nichole would never be able to do that on her own, even the smallest things felt like they were taken away from me.

My heart has changed so much from those days. Dealing with a diagnosis is so hard,, but once we see our children for who they are, not what they have, we embark in a beautiful road. I love Nichole the way she is. I would not have her any other way. She is perfect, absolutely perfect, just like her sister.

I write this tonight, because as we were getting the girls ready for bed, Nichole washed her hands...all by herself. Sure, she needed help to make sure the soap was all gone, but she can do it. I think back to that night with Ellie and realize how lost I was in my despair. So lost, that it blinded me to the truth. The truth is that Nichole is more typical than not. She can do almost the same things that Ellie did at her age.

Our family is more complete because we have Nichole. I am so glad that I get to be her mother. The child I said I didn't want, but the child I desperately needed. And today, I can say with all my heart, with full confidence, she is the child I always wanted...I just didn't know it.

Being a mother...I have two beautiful girls. I love them like I never knew was possible to love. They have changed my life, and I am so thankful.

And to my mother. I love you. You are the strongest woman I know. I want to be like you when I grow up.

To my mami. Te quiero con todo mi corazon. Feliz dia de las madres. No sabes como te extrano.

To my Pata. Fuiste y siempre lo seras, mi "mama pata." te quiero mucho.

To my mother in-law. Ronda, I love you, and I am so thankful for you. You are a real example of what hard work covered with love looks like. I am lucky to have such a wonderful mother in law.

And here are some pictures of my beautiful girls.



7 comments:

  1. What a beautiful post! Happy Mother's Day!

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  2. So beautiful, Ellen...both your words and your girls!! Happy Mother's Day!

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  3. Thanks for sharing, Ellen. That was beautiful.

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  4. Beautiful post. Reading your words brought back the memory of almost 18 months ago when I first heard the words Down syndrome. I, too, sobbed. Thank God the tears have dried and only love and hope remain.

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  5. Anonymous1:45 AM

    Thanks for sharing Ellen. You are a real blessing in my life. I wish we lived closer so we could see each other more often. Keep up the great work of being such a fabulous mom. Michelle Stumbo

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  6. Thanks for sharing. I am a mom of beautiful 4 months baby boy with DS.
    This Mothers Day was really difficult for me. I also a have an older girl and I was thinking that my life was complete before we have the baby boy. I am still struggling that my handsome baby was born with DS but it is getting easier day by day.
    Your both girls are so beautiful and
    you should be proud to have them.
    Good blogging.
    Wish luck to the whole family.

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