A letter in this mornings email box:
"Just wanted you to know that I have reason to thank you and the readers of you blog, Chewing the Fat. I found your blog when I was looking for a blog that gave positive messages about weight - I have a friend who is pretty self conscious about her size and I thought that it might help her to read about others who face weight struggles. You blog popped up when I did a search and I read a few postings and discovered that the blog really wasn't what I thought it would be. But I admit to be captivated by what I read.
I continued to look for a blog for my friend but I found myself coming by every other day to read your posts. I admit I shook my head in anger sometimes at your viewpoints. Other times I agreed with you wholeheartedly. What captured me almost as much as what you wrote were some of the people who commented on your blogs. Many were parents of kids with disabilities and they wrote such with such incredible love for their children.
Last week I was informed by my doctor that the baby I am carrying will most probably be a child with Down Syndrome. I had the test because I suspected that I was at risk for a child 'with complications'. I surprised myself by thanking the doctor for the information and then informed her that I had changed my mind and had decided to keep my baby. The doctor didn't take the news well and became almost angry at my decision. She told me not to make the decision in haste, which I wasn't. She said that I was recovering from shock, again, I wasn't. She told me to think of the consequences, I had.
It's just that as I read your blog about disability and read what these parents had to say, the whole thing seemed different in my mind. I'm thinking differently about the baby, about who the baby could be. I've looked up the names of some of the people with Down Syndrome you've mentioned. I was startled to find the lives of contribution they have made. I don't care if any of my children grow up to be janitors or a presidents, I just care that they are loved and happy. I think I'm as much up to that with this child as I would be with my other children.
I count the day that I found 'Chewing the Fat' as a big day in my life. I thank you for your time in writing it. I thank those people who parent their kids with such obvious love and hope for commenting, for becoming real to me through their words and their own blogs.
There must be times you wonder if writing a post every morning matters. In this great whole world, who knows, but in my small world - it has.
Thankyou for your blog.
Thankyou for being, kind of, this child's Godfather.
You may, if you wish, pass my letter along. Please omit my name, just until I have time to tell the rest of my family the news about the baby and my decision."
Part of my letter back:
"You couldn't have made my day any brighter. It's a freezing cold day here in Baxter, our furnace doesn't come on for another 10 minutes, but my heart is warm. Congratulations are first in order, but I wonder if you could let me know where you live. I travel a lot giving trainings and lectures, I would so like to meet you, and I'd love to meet the baby. I love the 'fresh baby' smell (not all of those smells but you know the one I mean) and I'd love to be a small part of your child's life. Let me know if this is overstepping the wonderful boundary of anonymity that we share as blog writer, blog reader. I'll respect your wishes.
I know that your letter will brighten the lives of all 'Fat' commentors, but remember that as you tell others, you can expect a similar reaction to the one you got from the Doctor. Don't let those set you back. If you've been reading the blog, we've all talked about the fact that the greatest challenge is the attitude of others. It's your attitude of love and acceptance that matters, don't give in to the negativity of others. Nows the time where you might want to reach out at beyond "Fat" to parent organizations and support groups. You are going to find the most awesome group of women and men that you can imagine. When I spoke in Vancouver at the Down Syndrome Congress, I was overwhelmed by the parents there and the bond they shared with each other and the love they showed to their children.
But I've fallen into advice giving and I don't want that, I just wanted to say thanks for the letter but also thanks for thinking deeply about what it is to be a mom, to want a child and to raise a child. Welcome to the journey. I hope to meet you, and hope to be part of that journey, but it's your call."
To Fat Readers ... consider the comment section our 'congratulations' card and sign on, this child has many many Godparents ...