Monday, March 26, 2012

What about having another baby after one with Down Syndrome?

The most repeated question on the DS message board I frequent is "What about having another baby after a Down Syndrome Diagnosis?"  And I totally get it.  A lot of the mother are way younger than me and their children with Down Syndrome are young as well so as much as they've accepted DS, they still have fears of the future.  Its so scary but so tempting to have another baby.  But for us, we just knew it was the right thing.  We knew Cate deserved a sibling and that any sibling would be lucky to have her for a big sister.  That didn't stop the worries from hitting me every once in a while - What if the younger surpassed Cate in school?, What if something happens to us and she has to take care of Cate?, Will I have time to give another baby the attention she deserves and still deal with Cate's doctor appointments and therapies?, Can I really handle a second child?, What if the new baby has DS too?.   I don't think anyone in this situation can help but have these concerns at some point no matter how sure they are they want the second baby.   It was also easy to bring myself back to reality and just answer my own questions - just like everything else regarding the future with Cate the answer is always:  Stop worrying about it until it happens - I have a great husband and we have an awesome support system made up of incredible family and great doctors, we'll figure it out.   Of course still worried, I was just able to talk myself out getting to stressed.  The one thing I know in my heart - Cate will never be a burden to her sister.  You can't spend anytime with Cate and even question that.  We will make sure to provide for her financially but if something every happened to us the person who takes over Cate's care will feel lucky not burdened.  Now if you don't know us than you might think - of course she has to feel that way its her daughter.  But its really not that, I'm a realist most of the time, Cate is just that great to be around.  I think everyone in her life would back me up on that, down to the teachers who have to deal with her stubbornness daily.

When we get posts asking questions about having more children after one with DS it is hard to answer them since it is such a person situation.  My favorite way is story to show how great Cate & Lucy's relationship is now.   Of course there are times when Lucy might get dragged to therapy or have to wait while I do extra work with Cate.  But what family doesn't have that challenge when one child does soccer and one plays softball and both practice on the same day?  Parents just have to figure stuff like that out.  As far as attention goes - Lucy ended up with food allergies and in some ways those take much more time to deal with then any of Cate's medical concerns.  I have to bake special cupcakes for birthday snack and plan what to take to eat for her if we go out to someone's house.   Having two little ones is not easy by any means but I don't feel like it is that much harder than just having Cate.  At least they can entertain each other and I'm forced to give them a little more freedom or responsibility.

At the delicate ages of 6 & 3 the girls are each others best friends about 75% of the time.  I would guess this is a pretty high stat for that age but never having a sister I can't be sure.  My girls compliment each other so well.  Lucy is an adventurer - climbs on everything, Cate is caution and always wants to hold the rail so between the two of them they make it to the top of every slide in town no matter how high the ladder.  Lucy picks things up really quickly, Cate has to figure them out but Lucy will watch Cate trying to do something without rushing her, in the meantime she learns it herself.  Cate loves to meet new animals & people, Lucy is caution around new people and afraid of new animals but she'll pet a dog once Cate makes friends as long as Cate stays with her.  They play together, make up games & stories together, fight, wrestle, and argue.  Lucy still looks up to her sister and they so love each other - that is evident and that I can prove.
Cate's birthday party - Lucy was nervous by all the new people and so Cate gave her a little sister time.

Lucy was terrified of Santa this year - she would only agree to a picture if Cate held her hand.

The two of them discussing how Santa might get to the cookies.

Pretending to be princesses together

Lucy learning to dance from Cate.

Making up stories at the zoo about being zookeepers and feeding the lions - wish these pictures had audio it was so cute.

Sharing the chair so they could steal some time watching the ipad together.

Bath time is one of their favorite play times!

They will even share their daddy - sometimes.

Playing together at Disney.

Cate decided on the pink ears so Lucy changed her mind immediately and wanted them too.

Lucy stopping Cate to show her their shadows.

running playing together

Cate was way ready to touch the sea creatures - Lucy got brave with her big sister leading the way.

This time I'm pretty sure Lucy distracted me while Cate took the ipad

Gotta love sisters!!!!

1 comment:

  1. you have two beautiful girls. so nice to see these photos.