And October has arrived.
The month of October now means more to me than any other month. "Is this because it is the official Down syndrome awareness month?" you might ask. And my answer would be that that's part of the reason. Of course. Naturally. I want to educate and advocate and make this world a better place for everyone, especially those with trisomy 21. For Babe.
Duh. Goes without saying. (although apparently also goes without blogging - something I'm working on changing...promise. Swear?)
This is the month that last year was looking unprecedentedly bleak and scary. I was in and out of the hospital and seemed to be spending way too much of my time chatting to ultrasound technicians when I clearly should have been googling the offered colors of a specific stroller to stop the Viking from acquiring a baby-blue one that the sales people in the store convinced him was 'grey' for our bundle.
But we didn't know if she was going to make it, so while I spent a lot of time on the internet as I was lying on our living-room couch, I wasn't looking at strollers, or figuring out how to make my own diapers, overdosing on pink cuteness, or looking into how to make the milk come once she was here, or filling out a registry for my Baby Shower.
I was reading up on rapid placental maturation, the point system they use to decipher level II fetal ultrasounds, the functions (and sudden failures) of fetal shunts, emergency c-section procedures vs. planned c-section procedures, and NICU stays. I was also desperately looking for others who had gone through what we were going through and come out in the other end with a little screaming infant in their arms, one adamant to stay on this earth.
Silently willing any good karma we ever had coming to becoming two of those people.
So that would make October Babe's birthday month. The month of 'the best thing that ever happened to I and the Viking'.
On Thursday babe is ONE. And we're still two of those people.
Yes, there have been health issues, there have been developmental delays, there have been illnesses and even big scares, but Babe's rising above all of that and making her unique personality, accompanied by a set of lungs that make you doubt she could have any issues with breathing, known to the world, especially that part unfortunate enough to reside directly next door or above our current lodgings.
The Babe hollers, smiles, laughs like Nelson from Simpsons when bounced just the right way, loves music and soap bubbles and dancing, babbles in a mixture of languages infused with one created by herself, throws stuff, blows raspberries, gnaws holes in things with her four teeth, expertly backs up her crawling track but refuses to move forward, and makes whoever comes into contact with her fall in love. Even with snot running down her top lip.
Simply by her loud and wide presence in the world she herself makes people aware that Down syndrome is nothing to feel sorry about. It's not a defect. It's not a hindrance. It's not less than perfect. It just is.
EL GRITO by the Babe.
Happy Down syndrome awareness month and Happy Birthday-month Babe. I don't know what we'd do without you in our lives. It would be a lot more quiet for sure.