Avery could not wait to come into this world. I think that is why she was born in the car. She was ready. I also believe this is why her stay in the NICU only lasted 6 days. Avery was fighting with all of her strength to be on this Earth. She learned to regulate her oxygen, her temperature and learned how to eat in six days which is no small feat when you are born with Down syndrome. She is strong.
Within a half an hour after birth, we were told that we had a baby girl and she was showing physical markers of Down syndrome. I was told when I was completely alone and therefore I barely allowed the nurse’s words to pierce my brain or my heart. It was simply too frightening.
But now that time has passed and the shock has worn off, Avery has ultimately healed that frightening wound. Just by being herself and being a part of our family. She is almost 6 months old now and she has proven herself stronger than I ever could have imagined. From the very moment I met her she has imparted that to me – strength. And she has given me peace. She emanates it. You cannot help but feel at peace being in her presence. Try it – you will see.
One of her greatest gifts is bringing out the very best in those around her. Or even those who have never met her. Strangers. There is a love from her that I believe others can feel and they want to return it to her. It is a hard-fought gift that I am infinitely grateful for.
Avery also has a joy that know no bounds. Her smile appears the minute I pick her up, even if she is hungry or tired or in pain. She smiles through it all and is patient with me who makes her wait to eat at times, or her brothers who smother her with kisses, or her sister who carries her everywhere, or her Dad who makes her snuggle even after her bed time.
Down syndrome seemed so scary to me at her birth. And while I understand there is much more to this than I know and more to worry about in relation to Down syndrome, it is just a portion of who Avery is. She is my daughter. She is joyful, loving, patient, and strong. She is many things. And she is a person with Down syndrome. Not the other way round.
Kristi W. (Avery’s Mom)