There are so, SO many reasons I’m glad that Daniel is our third child. That means you get some bullet points today!
- Since we already have a girl and a boy, it should be obvious that we had Daniel because we wanted a third child, not because we were trying for one or the other. I always think the assumption that someone with 2 boys would have a third to try for a girl (or vice versa) is annoying, but in our case I think people might feel sorry for us if they thought the reason we had a third was to try for a specific sex. (Side note: I don’t mean that *people* who have a third for that reason annoy me. Just the *assuming* by others.)
- Breastfeeding. I struggled a lot to breastfeed Kalena (and quit after just a few months.) But I learned a lot, so nursing Will was much easier. Since babies with Down syndrome often struggle to breastfeed, I’m certain that my knowing what I’m doing is the only reason we’ve managed at all. (He’s still getting supplemented after pretty much every feeding, just for the record.) If he were my first child I’m pretty sure it would not have happened at all.
- Milestones. Having two children already means I am familiar with the reality that every child hits milestones at his own pace. (Even the differences between two typically developing kids can be huge!) This has made it very easy to accept the fact that Daniel will hit milestones at his own pace. Whether his pace is close to typical or not is something we’ll find out as we go.
- Right now Daniel is very much like any other baby. However, he sleeps. He never went through that whole “days and nights mixed up” phase. In fact, for the past several nights he’s slept through the night (by which I mean no wake-ups between like 11 pm and 5 am. Usually from 7ish to 5 am. I KNOW.) Since he’s my third, I appreciate how much sleep I’m actually getting! And how not normal it is to get so much!
- I’m already comfortable being a mom. I know how to care for an infant. I know what to expect. Going from not being a parent to being a parent was a HUGE adjustment. Adjusting to also being a parent to a baby with Down syndrome is (for me) relatively minor.
- Last but not least, his siblings. Brian and I have often commented that we got lucky with two great kids. (And I know, everyone thinks their own kids are great, but hear me out.) After Daniel was born we both felt like we got these two great kids to be siblings for Daniel. I’m sure that Daniel will benefit from having them as siblings just as much as they will benefit from him.
And there you have it. This sweet guy knew just when to get here.