Friday, October 6, 2017

Why I'm Not A Down Syndrome Blogger

Why I'm Not A Down syndrome Blogger #Downsyndrome

Four years ago, we were eagerly awaiting the arrival of our fourth and final child. Visions of a perfect, happy life with our four beautiful children filled my head. And when our fourth child finally entered the world, our lives were turned upside down as we struggled to digest the news that he might have Down syndrome.


Down syndrome test results usually come in within 48 hours, but for us, we were in limbo for several weeks. Each day I called the lab, and each day I was told that they were having difficulty getting accurate results. We finally made the decision to share what was going on, and that post was the most difficult thing I have ever had to write.

As you all know, Liam did, indeed, have Down syndrome. We probably would have waited even longer if it hadn't been for his pediatrician who called the lab and demanded a yes or no answer within the hour. Liam's test results were a bit unusual, and we will probably never know for sure exactly what percentage of his cells are affected. But it truly doesn't matter. Down syndrome is Down syndrome no matter what form it comes in.

Liam changed us, but not in the ways we expected. We quickly adjusted to our new normal, and started to learn what life with Down syndrome is really like. And that life is truly a beautiful thing. With that, a new topic became a focus on my blog!

Down syndrome

Many of you have been around since the very beginning of this blog or shortly thereafter. You were there when we announced our 3rd and 4th pregnancies, and you were there when our babies were born. You cried with us, prayed with us and supported us as we adjusted to the initially devastating news that our baby wasn't the perfect baby we were expecting. That love and support has never been forgotten, and this community is what I love most about blogging!


I'm often asked why this isn't more of a Down syndrome blog since we have a child who has Down syndrome, or why I don't start another blog just about Down syndrome. The answer is simple. There was no reason for my blog to change. Liam's story just became a piece of our puzzle!

I began blogging way back in August 2008. At the time, we only had Dylan and Lexie, who were 3 1/2 and 1 1/2. For those of you who have been blogging (or reading blogs) as long as I have, you know that blogging was a LOT different back then. It was more of a sense of community and a way to just share your life with others. It wasn't about sharing ideas or DIY projects, and sponsored content wasn't even a thing just yet.

Over the past 9 years, I built this blog from a hobby that only had 3 followers on the first day to something I enjoy that earns a small income. And although my time to connect with the blogging community is much more limited these days, it's still my favorite thing about blogging! I've had the pleasure of making close friends whom I never would have met if it wasn't for blogging, and watching some of my favorite online families grow. Plus, I learn from all of you!

Focusing just on Liam wouldn't be fair to my other children. They are all equally important and they need to know that. I wasn't going to give up on something I worked so hard to build, and I definitely didn't have the time to maintain two blogs, so my decision was to show how all of our stories seamlessly intertwine into one.

The Lucky Few

I AM a Down syndrome mom. But I'm also a soccer mom, a dance mom, a basketball mom, a band mom, a wife, a friend, a mom taxi driver, a reader, a volunteer, an animal lover, a runner, a DIY-er, a mom-tog, AND a blogger. Showing how Down syndrome fits into all of that can be every bit as inspiring and educational as a blog that solely focuses on Down syndrome. I receive emails each week from readers who are new on this journey to thank me for showing them just how normal life with Down syndrome can be, and that's such a rewarding feeling. That's exactly what I hope to accomplish, because once upon a time, I didn't think it was possible!


During the first two years after our post-birth diagnosis, there was so much to talk about. But there are only so many posts I can write about how awesome my child who has Down syndrome is before they all starting sounding the same. (Just for the record, he IS awesome!) At first it was a new journey and I had a point to prove. I had to be Liam's advocate. But as the years passed, life with Down syndrome became very normal and ordinary for us, and I no longer had a point to prove. Liam took over showing the world what he COULD do.

As his mom and a blogger, I prefer to showcase how normal life with Down syndrome can really be through my parenting and lifestyle posts. That's the best way to show how he really is more alike than different, because my posts feature all the ways he is living life just like any other human being! It's my belief that it's the best way to educate others about what Down syndrome REALLY is!

I suppose I am, in a sense, a Down syndrome blogger. But I'm also a mom blogger, a food blogger, a lifestyle blogger and a fashion blogger. Since this blog isn't Down syndrome-specific, I identify more with the parenting/lifestyle niche than the Down syndrome niche. As for now, I like the way I share this journey!

The misconceptions are still going strong about Down syndrome, and there are some ugly people in the world. Although I don't discuss Down syndrome in depth as often on my blog anymore, it is Down syndrome Awareness Month, and with that, I'm spending the month educating others on social media.

I will always share our story and advocate for Liam, in the hopes that this world will become a better, more accepting place for him.  No parent should ever have to defend their child's right to exist, but that's a battle that many parents must fight. Sharing Liam, and showing what our life with Down syndrome is really like, is my way to fight that battle and educate others on the real facts.

Down syndrome

Down syndrome is a big part of our lives, but it's only a small piece of our story. Liam is more than Down syndrome, so his story should expand beyond that topic. He fits into this little space every bit as much as the rest of us, and I will continue to share our lives and our  story for as long as I possibly can! Thank you for joining us on this journey!


Down syndrome 

Follow along with our daily Down syndrome posts on Instagram and Facebook!

Why I'm Not A Down syndrome Blogger #downsyndrome

8 comments:

  1. Love it. I love that you have just made it part of who you are, not who you are. I think you do am amazing job with that friend. Also, I had NO CLUE you had been blogging that long, WOW!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much, Beth! XOXO All I want is for people to see that having Down syndrome is not as scary as it's made out to be. And, yes, I feel like I've been blogging forever!

      Delete
  2. I love reading all of your life updates, and find your journey with Liam so inspiring.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much, Emily! That is so sweet of you to say!

      Delete
  3. Gah, this made me tear up!
    Favorite quote: Down syndrome is a big part of our lives, but it's only a small piece of our story.
    Thank you so much for sharing your story. It's beautiful, it's inspirational, and it's so up-lifting. Your kiddos are so lucky to have such an amazing mom!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I think your story is your life as it is with all of your kids, Liam included, and your blog is great!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I love your choice and why you don't focus exclusively on Down's Syndrome. Your entire family is beautiful and special and important.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Gosh, Stefanie. I've been reading your blog since Dylan and Lexie were young/toddlers...Lily and Liam weren't even born yet. I agree with you that your blog is about your family. You do have some DIY posts, product reviews, and posts about Down Syndrome, but it's all part of you and your life as a mom. I'll always love reading your blog. Don't change a thing!

    ReplyDelete

I love to connect with my readers! Leave me a comment and I will get back to you ASAP! XOXO Thanks for reading!