So much is going on in this photo. I look exhausted. Not from giving birth, but from trying to process the wave of emotions we were going through. Nathan had been born six weeks early and we weren’t prepared. Our lives had changed forever and we weren’t sure what to expect.
My immediate feelings were: GUILT because Nathan was born on my oldest son’s birthday and I wasn’t there for him. GRIEF that I had a child with special needs. Why ME? FEAR about what Down Syndrome meant for Nathan’s future and how I would explain it to my kids, family & friends. SADNESS that our lives would never be the same from that moment on. WORRY that I wasn’t strong enough and had no control. RELIEF that Nathan didn’t have a heart condition which is common with DS. ANTICIPATION knowing we would have to wait two weeks for an official diagnosis.
Twelve years later, all the emotions I felt in the beginning are gone. They have been replaced with joy, love, laughter, excitement, adventure, strength and confidence. We have grown, learned and accepted the gift God gave us. Our family says that having Nathan has made us all better people. He is a blessing and a reminder that God’s plan is so much better than our own!