Maddie just turned 6 months old. I can't believe how quickly the first half of her first year has gone. 6 months ago as I prepared for Madelyn's birth, it never crossed my mind all the things that I would have to prepare myself for after her birth. I knew that she would be different from Aiden, after all, she was going to be her own little person. But, I was not prepared for the surprise I got. I'm not even sure I would have been prepared had I known then what I know now. It's been a roller coster of a journey with high and low points. It's amazing to me how different things are now, and how well we have melded together as a family. I never would have thought 6 months ago that I would have reached a point of peace with Maddie's Down syndrome diagnosis. But, really, it's not that big of a deal anymore. So I have a few extra appointments a week with her. So she doesn't do things at the same pace as other kids. So I have to go to the Children's Hospital a little more frequently. It's not as devastating as I thought it would be. And, just sayin', the new Children's Hospital is really nice. I'm lucky they moved right before Maddie was born, the old one was nothing to write home, or rather blog, about.
It turns out that as a parent you are always going to worry about your children, whether they have Down syndrome or not. And there are absolutely no guarantees that your children will always be ok. You hope for the best and try not to think about the worst. And, when you hear one of the worst sentences you think could ever be uttered, you change your view point. Down syndrome is not the worst thing to ever happen to our family. It's one of the best. It has brought us closer as a family, Grant and I closer as a couple, made us more sensitive to the needs of others, and opened our eyes to a whole new community of people. People with hearts as big as an ocean. People that I feel a sense of camaraderie, admiration, and belonging to before I even meet them. It's an amazing feeling.
It's not always easy, for instance when I think about the night she was born, I still have the intense feeling of all the air being sucked out of the room. And, even though I know it's going to happen, I can't help but be a little jealous when a friend's baby hits a milestone before Maddie, or hold my breath before a doctor's appointment waiting for the other shoe to drop, because chances are it will. But it only takes looking into Maddie's beautiful, big, blue, eyes to know that things will be ok, just as I did on the night she was born. She is still the baby I fell in love with while I was pregnant, and still my little baby girl. She fills me so completely with a love that I never knew I would be able to feel. It's like I've been waiting for her and her brother my whole life and now I feel complete.
So, with turning 6 months old, comes the 6 month well-baby check-up. We timed her appointment with Aiden's 3 year old appointment so that we didn't have to go back twice. Maddie weighed in at 12 pounds even, 24 inches tall and in the less than 3rd percentile on the height and weight chart. Other than being teeny tiny, everything checked out! She did have to get some vaccines, and they caused her to have a small fever the next day, but it wasn't a big deal. Aiden did just as well as Maddie and is in the 10th percentile for his height and weight. What can I say, we just have small children!
In other news, Maddie had her Developmental Therapist session this week and has hit all of her developmental milestones that we set out as goals for her. Which means, it's time to re-eveluate her and set some new goals. I remember when we started all of the therapy with Maddie thinking that it was going to take forever for her be able to perform some of the tasks, but here we are, and she's just moving right along!
I can't wait to see what amazing things happen in the next 6 months! It has been such an amazing ride so far, I know it will only get better from here! Happy half birthday sweet baby girl, I love you!