I'm in love
A parcel came for me in the mail today - from Amazon - the pick of which was easily Count us In by Jason Kingsley and Mitchell Levitz and Roadmap to Holland by Jennifer Graf Groneberg.
I have only read 3 chapters of Roadmap to Holland but I am so in love! I first found Jennifer via Pinwheels. She writes so beautifully. I was very excited about the prospect of her book on the first 2 years of parenting Avery a twin with DS.
In chapter 1 I am at a loss as to which parts I would like to draw attention to ... there is so much here that I can relate to - it is in the small bits so beautifully written and in the themes explored. In particular the experience of a lactating woman, three child seats in her car driving to and from the hospital with no babies in tow - that is something that is very real to me (and any new Mum whose babies have spent time in NICU) - yet I never quite saw it that way when I was doing the desperate pumping trip at 5.30 am till 9 at night - in order to win over the nurses confidence that yes I was the mother of these babies and ready to assume my responsibilities. Or baby Owen - no longer there. I still recall another twin mum I met - a lovely woman who had two sick babies. When she was pregnant there had been speculation about one of the babies having DS but in the end both babies were clear - she and I had some lovely chats while in the communal 'pumping room' just of the NICU ward. A couple of weeks into our stay that woman went home with only one baby. I know with all my heart that she, like me would prefer to be dealing with a diagnosis of a little extra. The love of the nurses. The breaking of the news - I cannot recall telling people that Hannah had DS. I know we mentioned it earlier as a possibility (after the 20 week scan - because we wanted our family and friends forewarned and because we needed thier support) but I can't recall any specific reactions. Jennifer does, in wonderful detail and so although her story is not mine there are many resonances in it for me.
The woman writes with a magic pen and she is telling a story I can relate to - with grace and poetry and raw detailed emotion. It is beautiful to read. Listening to the experiences of others gives us a new or different perspective on things - sometimes things that are totally alien and at other times things that are quite familiar to us. Jennifer's story is not my own but it is similar on many levels and I learn so much from reading about her experiences. Reading Roadmap helps me process my own journey as I read about Jennifer's. Her writing is so evocative and inviting that I want to savour each page - I can't wait to journey with her as Avery's mum - yet even though I don't want to put it down I find that I do - so that I can reflect upon what I have read and make the book and my enjoyment last just that little bit longer. Thanks Jennifer for the generosity with which you open yourself to others. Your book is a must read - and one that hopefully will be enjoyed by parents from outside the T21 community also - there is so much of your story that every and any parent could relate to. And yes Avery is gorgeous - and yes I have picked him out as a suitable beau for my Hannah - so hands off him!!