As you walk through the tunnel, the round wall spins around you.
The floor you are standing on doesn't move. But the illusion throws you balance off.
You stumble and trip.
You know that you are on solid ground, but your brain just can't comprehend that.
When you get to the other end, you look back and the illusion is lost. Your brain can once again make sense of what it is seeing.
Being told your baby has Down Syndrome is a bit like one of these tunnels. You know that you are still walking through the same life you were just moments (or hours, or days) before. You know this is the same baby you have fallen in love with (whether you find out before or after birth). You know that this child is still just that.
But you stumble.
You trip over your emotions.
You wonder who made the world start suddenly spinning erratically and totally out of control. You struggle to continue along the path that you just don't recognise any more.
But then, one day, you realise you are not tripping over any more.
You have exited the tunnel.
And you can turn around, and look back at that tunnel, and realise that all your stumbling was over an illusion.
Your child still has an extra chromosome. But the illusion has been broken.
You know that things are as they are meant to be.
-Carolyn Lamb-Miller Spencer, Mummy to Samara, October 2013.
Thanks to Carolyn for guest blogging during Down syndrome awareness month.