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A Mom's Perspective - DSAWM W.I.W. Series - Part #2

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Down Syndrome Association of West Michigan - WHY I WALK Series - Part #2

A Mom’s Perspective – By Lindsay Anes

Precious.  Smiling.  Sweet, little peanut.  Cuddly.  Energetic.  Amazing!   It is difficult for me to write this story about Rylee because there are so many things that make her amazing; I don’t even know where to begin.  From the moment she was born, I knew she was an angel.  I remember looking at her sweet little face and immediately falling in love.  All of my worries faded away as soon as I held her.

Rylee Miracle Anes was born on May 30, 2008 at 5:30AM.  After months of worrying and not knowing what to expect, she was finally there.  She was perfect.  She cried like a baby, ate like a baby and slept like a baby.  Actually, to be honest, she barely cried.  She really was, and still is, perfect.  Why had I spent the last few months worrying about Down syndrome?  

Now that Rylee is a year old, my initial nervousness and anxiety seems almost silly.  I guess it was the fear of the unknown that worried me, and maybe even a little bit of the doom and gloom my OB conveyed when he decisively said, “There is nothing good about Down syndrome.”  Boy, was he wrong!  

The one thing that eased the fear of the unknown for me, aside from the support of my husband, family and friends, was the support of the DSAWM.  From the first moment of learning that Rylee might have Down syndrome, they were there.  My husband and I received a New & Expectant Parent Packet, had a genetic counseling session, signed up for the monthly newsletter and tried to soak up as much information as we could online.  We even received the phone numbers of people who wanted to talk to us about their children with Down syndrome.  What a great organization we have, and what great support we have from the DSAWM!  

So why do I walk? I haven’t walked yet, but am looking forward to walking this year for two reasons.  The first is my daughter, Rylee.  I walk to raise public awareness about Down syndrome and to continue to positively influence public perception.  There is no doubt that she will grow up in a very loving home with an awesome support system extending well beyond our immediate family.  But what about everyone else?  I want her to be loved for who she is, not pushed aside because of what she has.  So far, I am happy to report that all of our experiences have been positive, and people have been very accepting of our family’s differences – as they should be.  

The second reason I walk is for all of the unborn children with Down syndrome, and for those mothers-to-be who feel like their worlds have ended.  There is no doubt that they will go through a period of grief, and feel like they are on an emotional roller coaster during their last three or four months of pregnancy.  Nonetheless, I want them to be able to receive positive and, most importantly, up-to-date information about children with Down syndrome.  Oh yeah, and the phone number of someone who wants to brag about their child with Down syndrome.  Mine.

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