Saturday, October 29, 2011

Pity No More

When Jade & I first learned Ollie had a major heart defect and most likely had DS we wrote this blog to share the facts with everyone.  That way it came from our mouths and all the facts were true and laid out.

We needed the prayers of strength and support of our family and friends to help us grieve what we thought we lost and to forge forward for the daughter we had.

We received countless prayers & that was amazing & strengthening.  God heard our cries.  I felt at peace most of the time.

We also received pity.

Pity is probably one of the worst things.  I hated it.  I knew it was out of the goodness of peoples hearts, and that they didn't know what to say other than "I'm so sorry" or "God picked you because you are special and it takes a special mother to raise a child like her".  But the words hurt. 

Now this is fully how I felt, my opinion and other moms may disagree, but I hated it more than anything.  I hated that people didn't know how to act around me so they avoided me.  I hated the eyes coming sideways wondering what to say, how to approach me.  I hated that people acted like my world had ended and that my baby was dead.

So what did I do?

This may sound crazy to some, but I raised my level of expectations.

I quickly adjusted to the idea of a daughter with DS and poured myself into blogs that had families with someone that had DS.  It was my medicine.  It was my gold.  I built amazing friendships with women I have never met, but trust me one day I will meet them all!

From that point forward I knew I could do it.  I dreaded open heart surgery, but I knew I could handle DS.  I was still scared, but I knew I loved this baby girl unconditionally.  I started telling people how I expected them to feel about my daughter.  I said don't feel sorry for me, we celebrate this child.  We are still in love with this baby.

I blogged about how wonderful she was going to be.  I laid it out there for everyone.  I never blatantly said don't pity me, but I placed the idea in their head that we viewed her as a blessing, as a gift (and honestly she is a huge gift) and eventually people learned that she was the same.  They have learned that she is much more than a diagnosis on paper.

I no longer receive the I'm sorry statements.  Instead I get the she's so beautiful, she's so strong, she's so tough, she is such a blessing, you are so lucky to have her.  That's right, people rose to my expectations & have learned that the diagnosis of Down Syndrome isn't the end of the world.  How's that for positive thinking?!?  So I urge you, raise the bar - if you have a loved one with news like I recieved - give them a hug, tell them you love them, pray for them, shoot give them my email address...but don't pity them, don't tell them you are sorry because soon they will be where I am today and they will be thankful for their bundle of chub.

Ollie has educated many with her cheesy grin and chubby rolls.  Now that I'm in this "club", I wish others were in it too.  You see,very rarely does someone else get blessed with a baby that has Down Syndrome.  God selects the lucky few!  Jade & I can not create another baby with Down Syndrome - it'd be extremely impossible.  1 in over 1000.  That's why she's so stinking special.  She's one of a kind. 

God didn't give us her because we were the perfect accepting family.  That we were the perfect parents, because trust me this is the farthest from the truth - special needs used to terrify  me!  He in fact gave us her because WE NEEDED her.  We needed to learn some life lessons. 

God broke us down to build our faith up.  He has showed us compassion, patience, trust, acceptance, forgiveness (yes we were a bit angry with God), and the undeniable amount of love you hold for your child no matter a chromosome count.  My word - God has changed US, by giving us the most beautiful gift, a gorgeous child that society thinks is imperfect, but that is truly perfectly made by him. 

Thank you God for pouring out your blessings onto my sweet family & anyone else lucky enough to kiss the cheeks of "imperfection".  I now know that nothing in this world is a mistake, it's all a part of God's big plan.

I love my life with my handsome husband & 3 beautifully created kids!


  1. Justin and I recently had a conversation about our expectations and V's strengths. We will never treat her with pity. We will never say that she can't do something b/c she had Ds and we believe that because we believe in her abilities and not in the "dis" she will be the best that she was meant to be! Also, I agree that pity is not a wanted emotion from others. I hope that I have never show pity towards you but have only celebrated Ollies greatness with you. ;)

  2. I typed had, but meant has... Auto correct got me again.

  3. Amen. You are an amazing woman, Annie Reid, and I can't wait to meet you and your beautiful Ollie some day! :)

  4. Annie, what you wrote couldn't have been said in any better way. I don't even remember how I found your blog, but I remember it was before you became pregnant with Ollie and what drew me to read your posts was your honesty and humor about your everyday life with kids and your funky design style. Although the tones have gotten serious at times, you always kept that honesty no matter what and your terrific sense of humor has always shone through. Thanks for sharing with us and educating us along the way. Ann

  5. Excellent point! We have actually only heard "I'm sorry" twice, and once was from a close friend who was listening to me cry on the other end of the phone after getting the diagnosis. Couldn't blame her, and she actually apologized for it later. People absolutely gauge their responses on our own attitudes, and the more comfortable we are with it, the more comfortable they are with complimenting and enjoying our children. :-)

  6. I have many tears rights now as this is exactly how I feel! We are still waiting for Harpers OHS and it's the only thing I focus on. The only time I focus on Ds is when I'm blogging. Thank you for again making me realize that we were chosen to raise her!

  7. Such a wonderful post and awesome testimony of true faith and love...I think so much of what you said was given by inspiration right from the throne room of sure touched my heart...all your babies are just beautiful and so blessed to call you mama. Who is to say what or who is perfect or not perfect...God made such a variety of every kind of peoples and in all creation itself there is great varieties are so right in saying that all things are a part of God's big plan...some get it along the way and others do not. We don't always understand but,he does and has his reasons that is for sure and for certain....I would say you are very blessed to have been chosen to be sweet little Ollie's mother...but,I believe you know that already :)
    God bless.

  8. God is so smart and so good. Why do we forget it at times? This baby girl couldn't be any more perfect for us. She is one of our greatest blessings. Praise Jesus for this most wonderful gift.

  9. This was beautiful...And you are so right, we are the lucky few blessed to have a child with Down syndrome.


Thank you so much for your kind words & support! I love hearing from you & read each and every comment you leave for me! ~Annie


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