Something I have been thinking a lot about lately has been the instant community I have felt stepping into the world of different abilities. This community has been more than welcoming, allowing all the questions to be asked and frustrations voiced. It truly has been something I didn’t expect two years ago when I received my little girl’s Down syndrome diagnosis.
I was scared and felt alone at first when I looked into ahead, unknowing what our future held. I began using instagram as a wonderful tool to connect into the community of people I now found myself wanting to be a part of.
It can feel incredibly overwhelming at first when the future looks uncertain. It’s hard to know where to start and who to reach out to. We all started somewhere. I reminded myself a few times throughout the pregnancy I wasn’t the first mom to find themselves with a new diagnosis and adjusting to what feels like a major curveball. Other mothers have found themselves in similar situations. On the verge of all of the emotions, a new diagnosis, and wondering what’s next.
I started out slow. I watched on the outskirts as I searched out other mamas on instagram living the life I was stepping into. I watched the good and the hard. I saw photos of their precious babes and adoring families.
I sent out a couple of emails next. There is something about reaching out through email that felt safe to me. I just wanted someone who was walking the very path I was on a few steps ahead of me to hear me out. To empathize with me mostly. I was met back with so many uplifting words. It helped to slightly ease the feelings of worry I was experiencing.
I searched out other blogs and bought a book I had found. It was painful at first to open the pages and commit to reading it. I wasn’t sure what I would find written on the pages. I hesitated wondering if it would be positive or if it would play into my very own fears I was having. Instead, I found as I read the emotions that she felt were the same emotions I was having. But it brought an incredibly amount of comfort to me. It helped soothe my aching heart.
Through the hours spent reading other accounts, I started to see a common thread. There was so much joy in the hard and the community that I was now apart of were so caring for each other.
I think we can all relate to that feeling of how great it is when someone you know just gets it. As a mom of three girls, I love it when I come across someone who has three little girls. She get’s it. She knows the ups and downs and all the emotions of what it’s like raising daughters. I am sure the same goes for moms of boys or moms who have both genders. There is a mutual understanding. Being a mom in general and knowing other mamas. It brings comfort.
I love that feeling in the community of Down syndrome and different abilities. There is an immediate sense of understanding and of relief knowing you are not alone. It’s something that I have come to love about being a mom with a daughter with Down syndrome.
So mama, if you are new to this community, first, welcome! And please don’t hesitate to reach to out to other mamas who have gone before you.