This week has been a busy one already...Monday saw us (Caleb, you and I) driving to Indy for your appointment with the Down's Clinic. While it was wonderful to spend the extra time with you and Caleb (and to visit Miss Emily) the actual appointment just about did me in. We saw the nurse practitioner there and although I am sure that she's a very nice person, your Mommy was not a fan.
I consider myself extremely educated nowadays about Down's Syndrome. And I can tell you that without any question, I am an expert on you. I may not know everything there is to know, but you are my baby and I know YOU. I know what your strengths and weaknesses are, I know perfectly well what you are capable of. I know the ins and outs of your heart condition and I have seen how far you have already come.
I do not appreciate someone who has never laid eyes on you at all to come in the room and not even give you the chance to prove to her how amazing you are. I don't appreciate not being listened to. And I especially do not appreciate you being pigeon holed into some textbook definition of what DS is supposedly like. Just because you have a couple of letters behind your name doesn't mean that you know everything.
Maybe I take offense because I remember all the things we were told to "expect". And I have watched you do the opposite of every single one from the day you were born. Or maybe it has to do with the fact that even I understand that there are no set of exact "symptoms" that every single child who happens to have that little extra chromosome exhibits. While one child may have extremely low muscle tone, another may not. While one may have trouble gaining weight, another may not. You all are as individual as everyone else is, and I would expect someone who works around such special, amazing kids every day to realize that, acknowledge it, and act accordingly.
You have been eating from a bottle for almost 4 months now and you don't aspirate. You eat baby food from a spoon like a pro and you love it! You have been rolling from your back to your tummy for 2 months now, and are quite an expert at it. You have gained an impressive almost 6 lbs from the day we brought you home from the hospital. You hold your head up like a pro, and are happiest when you are sitting up so that you can watch the world go by. You are determined to crawl and practice every time you get on your belly. By every indication, you are exactly where you should be developmentally, exactly the same as any other baby your age, just a tad bit smaller. And it angers me to have someone not give you the credit that you deserve for all that you have accomplished, against the odds, with nothing more to guide you than our love, a little therapy, and sheer determination.
You are yourself. With all the grit of every single strong woman who has come before you. While all of the women in our family carry that spine of steel heritage within us, you have more determination, strength, and courage than all of us. Maybe more than all of us combined. You have examined the odds and decided that they just don't suit you. And I admire that in you more than I could ever say. Because of your superhuman accomplishments, you have made ME stronger than I ever was. You are a fighter, and although I always considered myself one too, you have made me more of one. And I will fight to the death to prove how absolutely awesome you are to anyone who ever doubts you.
Needless to say, I'm pretty sure that that NP won't be seeing you in the future. After all, there's only so much tongue biting Mommy can do. lol
I love you so much, Bug.