Last night was blissfully free of dreams. Unlike the past few nights, where I was assaulted by inescapable and terrible stories of children cruelly ostracized and family members who so obviously didn't love them as much as "normal" children.
The dreams are my own fault, in a way. I've been drowning myself in memoirs written by parents of children with Down Syndrome and their fears and nightmares appear to have turned into my own. But for whatever reason, it has been important to me to peek into the human side of Trisomy 21.
Eventually, I found a memoir that didn't put an immediate halo around that extra chromosome. So many do, to the point where I could easily imagine more than one reader thinking "I wish Down Syndrome were something I could experience!"
And maybe I'm just not being charitable. Maybe those writers' experiences were just as sweet as laid out in text. Outlook is everything, after all.
Which is why I went digging for something written by parents who seemed to have an outlook a little more like my own. Who weren't afraid to write in great detail about the negative emotions they felt and how hard that new life was and even how their thoughts were colored by anger for so very long. Parents who thought about termination and adoption and just simply running like heck without ever looking back.
Look, I know that I'm essentially acting the voyeur - gazing into the homes where Trisomy 21 has knocked, entered, and settled in for the long haul - and that what I'm doing is probably a little unhealthy considering there are four more days to go until my amnio and nothing is written in stone. But as I carry Schroedinger's Fetus around in my belly, it's a way to pass the time productively. Consider it information gathering, and I mean the kind of information parents knocking up against a possible Down Syndrome diagnosis should actually have.
Not nonsense about sandal gap or low set ears, but real facts about how families regroup and rethink and find their way on a path that seems to be somewhat different than "average" but not nearly as different as they might have expected.