When I first learned that my son, Ryan, had Down syndrome Lisa suggested I follow @uplifeofemmyjoy on instagram. I checked her out and I’m so glad I did! Each day Amy posts videos and pictures of her adorable Emmy, who has Down syndrome. She made me understand how lucky I was to have Ryan and I loved watching Emmy, and now her son Reese live their day to day life!
When we reached out to Amy we were so excited that she agreed to share her experience with us since was such an integral part of my transition to being a mom of a baby with Down syndrome. She shares her struggle getting pregnant, why being a stay at home mom is NOT boring, and how Down syndrome is a gift. Please read her amazing words and help us welcome her into the Hall of Fame, where she obviously belongs!
Meet my family.
We are Chris, Amy, Emerson aka Emmy, Reese and our dog Ozzie.
Chris and I have been married for 8 years. We always knew we wanted kids and after saving a little money the first two years of marriage we decided to start our family.
We never anticipated the struggle.
It took 3 years and a lot of medical interventions for me to finally get pregnant with our first baby, Emmy. She has been such a gift to our family. She is such a bright light. 2.5 years later her little brother Reese miraculously joined our family with absolutely no medical help whatsoever. We live in Southern California along with our entire extended family. I stay home with the kids and Chris works for a home builder.
What is the best piece of advice you were given about motherhood? Did you take it? Would you give that piece of advice to someone else?
I don’t remember what advice I was given besides, it goes so fast so enjoy every moment. I really do try my best to soak it all in and yes, I think everyone should follow that advice.
How is motherhood different than you imagined it would be?
It’s much busier than I imagined. I was told I’d feel lonely and bored as a stay at home mom but when your first born goes to therapy neither of those are true. I have a huge support group of friends and I’m never ever bored. We are a very busy little family.
What are your three strengths when it comes to motherhood?
I have come to realize that my biggest strength is patience. I knew I was patient in my teacher days and I’m even more so when it comes to my kids.
2. I have thick skin which is a major asset when raising a child who is differently abled.
3. I have great confidence in my abilities to love my children and to stand up for when they deserve and need.
Describe a time where you were completely overwhelmed as a mother.
I felt overwhelmed the first few weeks after my new baby was born. I had a very rough c section delivery, we were struggling with nursing and I wasn’t healed enough to fully care for my kids on my own. I was use to doing it all myself and needing others to help A LOT was overwhelming.
Is there anything you feel that you have lost about yourself since becoming a mother? What have you gained?
Every stay at home mom looses their freedom to a certain extent. I can never go anywhere or do anything without making plans for someone to watch the kids or taking them with me. I’ve gained my purpose. I love being their mom and I love being an advocate for the special needs community. I wouldn’t trade what I’ve gained for the world.
What do you want your child(ren) to learn from you?
I want them to learn everything but mostly I want my children to learn to be kind, independent and loving individuals that make a positive impact on the world.
Since it is Down Syndrome Awareness Month, what is the most important thing you want people to know about Down syndrome or about being a mom to a child with Down syndrome?
Down syndrome is a gift.
It’s not scary and if you get to be a part of someone’s life with Down syndrome you are lucky. Parts of this journey are hard but it’s mostly so beautiful. I wouldn’t change one hair on my daughter’s head.
I want for her what every parent wants for their child and in a world that doesn’t fully understand disabilities we will work harder and shout louder for her to be seen as the valuable human she is.
In order to help spread the truth and joy that Down syndrome is we need all of you to join us in shouting the worth of these beautiful humans.