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    Posted January 14, 2014 by
    Lansing, Michigan
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    First Person: Your essays

    Along Came Lilly

    This time of year seems to bring me back to the beginning of 2012. It has been two years since my husband had a vasectomy, followed by our positive pregnancy test four days later. I will never forget January 16th, 2012. I honestly think that was more of a shock than finding out nine months later that our daughter has Down Syndrome. Both days were life changing, but I think the events that happened in January helped prepare us for when Lilly was born. We had already been given a big lesson in "life doesn't always go as planned". I think the story behind Lilly coming into this world gave us the perspective that she was meant to be, and definitely helped me get through those first few weeks after she was born.

    When we got home from the hospital after she was born, I remember thinking, how did this happen? Nine months ago we were in a completely different place. How did we end up here? It was hard to focus on anything other than the fact that Lilly had Down Syndrome. She was a healthy and happy baby, BUT she had this diagnosis that I knew very little about. After that first week, things got better, and we were able to see what a gift this little girl was. We were all ok and completely in love with her. Once we got to that point, I remember feeling bad that her whole birth experience was so different than what I had with my other two kids. Everything seemed to revolve around the fact that she had Down Syndrome. I felt like we missed out on the excitement and happiness of meeting our child for the first time, and it was replaced with a nightmare of an experience. But as the saying goes, things get better with time. The other day, I realized that when I think back to when she was born, that is not the first thing that comes to mind anymore. The horrible memories of everything that goes along with receiving an unexpected diagnosis have slowly been replaced by all of the good things that happened in that time. The love and support we received from our friends and family was amazing, and we were so lucky she was healthy and able to come home with us. I'm so glad that is what I remember now. I haven't forgotten all of the details from those first few days, but now I just know that so much of it was insignificant. It was the beginning of this amazing journey that we had no idea we were going to be on. It was the beginning of the smiles, laughs, love, and happiness that Lilly brings into our lives everyday. It really was a happy day, we just didn't know it yet.
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