Another year has just flown by. I look back on what happened this year, surprised by it all. This year has truly brought a lot into my life individually and our life as a family. When the year began, Bryan and I were dating and discussing how the future looked for us. He was cultivating a relationship with Alex. We thought we knew where our lives were headed, but as they saying goes “When humans make plans, the gods laugh.” Little did we know what a rollercoaster ride 2017 would turn out to be.
In March, we discovered I was pregnant. It was very much a surprise for us and we immediately started discussing and changing our plans. I worried about how Alex would take the news. Would he be upset with having to share me with another baby? Luckily it was an unnecessary worry as he was very excited to become an older brother and told everyone the news.
In May, we discovered that our little surprise would be a girl! To make the experience special, we had Alex with us when we found out. A nice moment and memory for just the 3 of us. Alex started crying when the nurse announced it; he wanted a baby brother. We found out the reason was that he didn’t want to have to play with “girl” toys, which caught us off guard with his reaction because his best friend is a girl!. We explained that girls play with boy toys too and suddenly all was good in his world. He even asked to call his dad and tell him the news.
July was the month that held another surprise for us, another steep hill on this rollercoaster year. It started with a routine anatomy scan that could not locate a nasal bone and within 2 weeks we had a confirmed diagnosis of Down syndrome. It turned our world upside down in ways we had yet to comprehend. Over the next several months we did a lot of processing of emotions and reaching out to resources, sometimes at the same time. We knew this journey would not be easy and we wanted to be prepared.
July is also when Bryan proposed! We decided to wait until after Mary’s birth to start planning anything, though many ideas, hopes, dislikes were discussed in the meantime. We are now excitedly planning our special day! We ended the month with him moving in with us and bringing our family under one roof. It has been an adjustment for us with its up and its downs but very few things worthwhile come without issue.
August was a big month for Alex. He turned 6 years old and he started kindergarten. Every year I look at him and wonder where the years have gone. My little boy is not so little anymore. This was also his last birthday as my only child; a little bittersweet. He enjoyed his annual dinner with his parents and a trip to one of the children museums. I hope he is able to keep these memories and look on them fondly down the road.
In October, it all changed again as we welcomed Mary into the world. Luckily, her birth was without complication and we brought her home in time for Halloween. She did not dress up for it, but we did get to take Alex around the neighborhood trick-or-treating. I think every neighbor knew she had been born by the end of the night.
The rest of the year has been a whirlwind of doctor appointments, holidays, family dinners, my grandpa passing away, and adjusting to our new family dynamic. I’m hoping 2018 is not as much of a rollercoaster ride. I’d be happier with a train ride, like you see at amusement parks. Whatever 2018 does hold for us, may it be wonderful.
Happy New Year!