Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Sad AND Happy

Today Nate is 8 months old. A twinge of sadness accompanied the day, but not much more than a twinge. Just that feeling of, "wow, 8 months ago today my life changed dramatically".

A lot has changed since New Year's Day. I'm now outnumbered 3 boys (including Bob, of course) to 1. I am just now starting to get into a good rhythm. I think this was the biggest thing I was struggling with - I just could not find a rhythm with the two boys. Cody is a very predictable child and sleeps 2-3 hrs during the day and 11-12 hours at night - yes, he's a dream child! But, Nate has been really, really tough. Okay, well, mostly tough. He has slept all the way through the night from day 1 (one of the benefits of DS), but daytime has been crazy with no consistent naps until the last couple of weeks. Nate is FINALLY starting to sleep most days and I have figured out that if he doesn't get a nap around 9 or 10am, he WILL NOT sleep the rest of the day. And when this happens (which had been the case for 7.5 of the last 8 months), I feel like I'm going to go crazy by the time Bob gets home. So, I'm doing whatever it takes to get him that morning nap - mostly wearing him in the Bjorn while I go about my business. Movement seems to be what he needs to help him sleep during the day. So, if I get him that morning nap, he'll likely go down for an afternoon nap too!

Something more abstract that has changed in these past 8 months is my perspective. No, I'm not anywhere near to so many of the moms who say they wouldn't trade their child with DS for the world - I still would. But, wow does my heart just melt when Nate smiles that full-faced grin. It's a start.

As far as the sadness I expressed in my last post...it's still there, but it's not as sharp. It's a dull, underlying pain that I just carry around with me. It's that sense that a dream has been lost. The sense that I know in my heart of hearts that all is going to be fine someday, but just wondering when that day will come. But, I learned from a friend in pain a couple of years ago that it is definitely possible to feel deep sadness AND great happiness AT THE SAME TIME. I can feel sad that Nate has DS (and all that comes with that), but happy to have 2 otherwise healthy boys, my own health, a great husband, wonderful family and friends, a warm and loving home....and so much more.

Sad AND Happy at the same time. Not one covered up by the other, but in a careful balance, coexisting. You should try it sometime - it feels deeply real and human.



  1. Dear Danielle,
    You really are honestly expressing your feelings and I applaud you!
    While reading our previous comments I tho't "why not leave the aid out of the difficult ear"? I know grownups who get by well with just one aid.
    I hope the morning nap=afternoon nap is working..that quiet time for you is important.
    Heed the advice of your peers; don't ignore the saddness/sorrow. Help is available and that doesn't mean someone will try to adjust/correct your thinking about Nate or your situation. There are better ways. Keep praying and so will I. Love, Connie

  2. Beautifully written. I just wanted to mention that I would talk to the doc about ppd. I've had that with two of my six (surprisingly not with Eon, 7mos., who has Ds) and some of your posts really take me back to those times. I struggled with seeking treatment the second time for months before my sweet husband finally told me that if I didn't call the doctor, he would! LOL! Best call I ever made. I was on medication for about six months and it was enough to get me through. I felt like a completely different person. The fog was gone and I had hope and joy.
    Just a thought.
    Hugs to you!

  3. I just wanted to tell you that you continue to be in my thoughts and prayers. thanks for your honesty and for sharing this journey....you are loved and supported. Madge :)