Monday, February 14, 2011

Meg is a teenager

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Had my daughter, Meg, been born some years earlier, she would not have had her heart operation at 5 months old. Instead, it would have been left until she was 3 or 4 years old in the hope she would have more strength to survive the operation.

Unfortunately, by then much of the damage to the rest of her systems would have been done by years of a heart not working properly, and her life expectancy would have been greatly reduced.

Had Meg been born some years before that, the heart operation would not have been given to a child with Down’s Syndrome, so she would not have lived beyond the age of 7 or 8 anyway.

Had Meg been born some years before that, she may well have been taken away and put in an institution, and it would have been recommended we, the parents, tell the world she died at birth, so as to avoid questions and embarrassment.

Had Meg been born some years before that, she would not have survived her first weeks. Within a day or so of coming into this world, she wasn’t feeding, and was starting to shut down.

However, Meg was born 13 years ago today, when advances in medicine and social understandings allowed us to raise her in a world where she was taken seriously and given equal opportunity to survive and thrive.

And for those past 13 years, Meg has brought lightness and joy not just to our lives, but to all those who have taken the time to get to know her.

My little baby, who would not have lived had she been born in any other era, becomes a teenager today.


1998


2011

Happy birthday Meg x
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49 comments:

Lynne said...

WOW, Happy Birthday Meg. Not to steal her thunder but I think of that too when I think of my youngest. She doesn't have Downs but she does have her seizures and is a right-side hemi. "special needs" make your heart beat in a different way. Happy happy birthday Meg!

Vương Tử Trực said...

Nothing to be embarrassed because she's adorable. Happy Birthday to Meg!

Kim Ayres said...

Lynne - thank you :) And you're right, you view the world differently

Vương Tử Trực - I have never been embarrassed by or about my daughter. Did you choose the wrong word?

Ponita in Real Life said...

A very Happy Birthday to a gorgeous and vibrant young woman!

DiamondsOnMySoles said...

You always have such a beautiful and moving way of writing about the people you love. How wonderful that she was born at just the right time and can celebrate her 13th birthday with you all! Happy Birthday Meg! :)

nella32000 said...

I at times wonder how far humanity has come. What you've said on this post are things I hope for. Happy birthday Meg!

Naina said...

A very Happy Birthday to Meg... and a wonderful year ahead.

had she been born few years ago... you wouldnt have been able write so beautifully about her and share it with whole wide world.

loved the write up..full of heartfelt emotions


Naina

Jayne said...

Kim- Best Valentine's Day post ever. Ever. Lot's of love going on there. Happy Birthday, Meg!

debra said...

Lovely post, Kim. ♡

Mimi and Tilly said...

Happy Birthday Meg, I hope you have a completely wonderful day. Em x

Carole said...

Happy Birthday Meg.

What a beautiful young woman she is. Hang on. These teen years might be quite the roller coaster ride.

savannah said...

happy birthday, meg! xoxoxox

angryparsnip said...

What a wonderful post.

Happy Happy Birthday Meg !

cheers, parsnip

Angie's Lil' Nothings said...

Happy Birthday Beautiful girl!

Pat said...

Happy Birthday dear Meg. The photograph I have of you is now totally our of date.
You look so grown up.xoxoxox

Mary Witzl said...

Happy Birthday Meg! What great photographs those are, and what a sweet, thoughtful girl she is.

I used to volunteer in a children's hospital where many of the kids with DS had a terrible existence; many were bedridden, needed to be fed, and were so weak they could not walk. Had the surgery been available to them at an early age, perhaps they too would have been happy and healthy like Meg.

Eryl said...

A big round of applause for medical science! Very happy birthday to Meg who is looking typically teenage in that shot.

TalesNTypos said...

Shweeet :)

hope said...

Happy Birthday Meg!

There is something so wise and all knowing in her eyes...and that smile always has a hint of mischief in it. :) Thank you for sharing her with us...I smile every time I see her face.

Theanne... said...

Happy Birthday Meg...what a lovely Valentine's Day/Birthday post your Dad has given us! Thanks Kim!

Vicky said...

Happy Birthday Meg :)

V said...

Great pictures Kim. Great post too. I work in a village built to look after those rejected or abandoned by our victorain forefathers. At the time, it gave those kids a chance at a life and a future when noone else would. Today, I'm delighted that village only houses our offices, respite care and supported living for folk who deserve to live independently -respected people within a community. Thank goodness time and society have changed. Your post sums up brilliantly why those shifts are so very important, as do your before and after photos....Here's to her years of refusing to tidy her room and hidng behind headphones.....

mapstew said...

Happy Birthday Meg!

Beautiful post, and beautiful pics Kim. I get the feeling Meg is practising her' Moody, sulky teenager' in that photo, though she looks too happy right now to pull it off properly! Hope you all had a wonderful day. :¬)

Brahm (alfred lives here) said...

Happy birthday to Meg. You have a great stare, girl - fantastic pic!

Katie Roberts said...

Once again Kim, you sum up things originally and skillfully, injecting the personal with the political and vice versa... It is so great to know Meg is thriving and thirteen! Happy Birthday mischief maker! Well done to the whole family for surviving the last 13 yrs, enjoy the ride of two kids in teenage land! It can be fun. ;)

Charlie said...

Happy birthday, Meg!

Is it me, or does that brand-new teenager look like she has attitude?

Kim Ayres said...

Ponita - thank you :)

DOMS - it's something we're thankful for :)

Allen - the worst of humanity can be so awful, and yet the best of humanity can be so amazing

Naina - it's true - blogging hasn't been around for that long either. In fact the world wide web was only invented 20 years ago!

Jayne - thank you :)

Debra - thank you :)

Emma - she did enjoy her day, thank you :)

Carole - it's just as well that when our children are born, and we are flooded with overwhelming love for this little bundle in our arms, that we completely forget they will ever become teenagers :)

Savannah - thank you :)

Parsnip - thank you :)

Angie - thank you :)

Pat - aye, she's a young woman now :)

Mary - the way so many children with DS were treated, and still are in less enlightened countries and cultures, is truly shocking and profoundly sad

Eryl - it was only taken a few weeks ago - the same time as the ones of Rogan and his wee nephew, Cormac

Hope - thank you :)

Theanne - thank you :)

Vicky - thank you :)

V - oddly enough, she's probably the tidiest of everyone in this house :)

Mapstew - we did, thank you :)

Brahm - thank you :)

Katie - with three older stepchildren, now all in their 20s, we're not completely ignorant about having more than one teenager in the house. In fact, at one point we had nappies, teenage agnst and university drop-out in the house at the same time :)

Charlie - she's always had that ability to stare right through you, disappovingly :)

Katie Roberts said...

So two teenagers will be a breeeze!

Perhaps you could write a homourist survival manual for the rest of us!

Smiles :) Kd

Kim Ayres said...

When we only have to worry about the two younger ones, it really does seem simple. 2 kids are a breeze compared with 5. However, the older ones might have left home, officially, but they didn't stop having problems when they grew up, and we didn't stop being parents when they left home. So it's actually a rare moment when we only have to worry about the younger two.

Katie Roberts said...

...and rarer still when you two parents get time for just each other I imagine. Still life is richest when sharing it with children isn't it?

Sending love to you and Maggie both.

El-Branden Brazil said...

That was lovely, Kim! HAPPY BIRTHDAY DEAR MEG!

Roschelle said...

I'm so terribly late but so blessed for having an opportunity to read this. Kim, it really touched my heart and gave me massive "goosebumps". Both pics are beautiful. But the one of you holding that sweet child is priceless.

Happy Belated Birthday Meg!!!!

Enjoy life :)

Falak said...

Happy Birthday Meg! She reminds me of my cousin in her latest photo. I guess its the typical teen expression that most 13 year olds have:)

Guyana-Gyal said...

Hi Meg, happy birthday you Valentine baby you. Look at you, all cheeky and teenager-ish now!

I have a nephew your age, he lives in America. He talks like this now, 'Ruff, ruff, gruff, gruff' because he's a teen. One day, he'll talk good again :-D

Kim Ayres said...

Katie - thank you :)

Branden - thank you :)

Rochelle - I'd forgotten about the pic of me holding her when she was so tiny. It was lovely to discover it again :)

Falak - I think she's always been able to pull that expression, but its in the teens it gets seen much more frequently :)

Guyana-Gyal - it's funny how male teenagers lose the ability to speak in anything much beyond grunts. I also wonder what they did in the years before fridges, as they are always to be found standing in front of them, staring in...

Elizabeth said...

That is just about the best birthday post I've ever read! Happy Birthday to your adorable teenage girl!

Kim Ayres said...

Thank you Elizabeth :)

Sayre said...

And a gorgeous girl at that. I don't know her, but I feel my world lighten a bit when I come here and find her featured in pictures or story. She's a special one.

Kim Ayres said...

Thank you Sayre :)

Amanda said...

She is beautiful. Happy Birthday Meg! And on a side note, I used to follow you years ago, when I had my first blog, and I somehow got out of the loop. Today I followed a link here via "I am a broken man/you can't break me" via "Love That Max". I am SO happy to have found you again! I remember reading about when Meg was young and your blog on losing weight. It is great to see a familiar face after all these years!

Amanda said...

Apologies for the late birthday wishes...I am over a week later...;)

Amanda said...

Um...or...over TWO weeks late...:-/

Kim Ayres said...

Are you the Amanda who's blog just suddenly disappeared overnight? Welcome back anyway :)

Amanda said...

YES, Kim, that was ME!!! I can't believe you remembered me!! And I have NO idea what in the world happened to my blog....it is the weirdest thing because I NEVER deleted it myself. I never did figure it out or get any answers..so frustrating! I have a new one now...
http://www.wakefulbaby.blogspot.com/
but I sure would like to know where the other went.

Kim Ayres said...

I remember there was a glitch with Blogger and a few people lost their sites - well, the sites were there, but they were suddenly empty. It happened to mine, but I figured out a way to restore it by using the "cache" - stored files - in Google to find the code I needed.

When yours vanished I wanted to let you know how to fix it, but didn't have any way to contact you.

If I you go back to early posts on this blog where you commented, you can still click on your name to find your old profile. And the empty "Stranger than Fiction" blog is still there :)

Amanda said...

Nice! Thanks Kim! I will look for my old comments...I had no idea there was a way to restore it and for some reason I couldn't access my profile!

Amanda said...

I found my profile! How funny to find it after all these years! Now, if you would be so kind, good sir, what in the world do I do?? ;)

Kim Ayres said...

My workaround involved using the Google Cache system, which was only available for a few days after the blog content went missing - before they revisited and re-indexed the page. Unfortunately, 5 years later, the cache no longer remains.

However, all might not be lost. If you can still log in using your old username and password, there might be the options to update your template - they changed the system a few years ago. If you do that, you might find the original content will reappear, although you will lose any customised links you had on the sidebar.

If you can log in, but can't figure out what to do next, email me directly - address on my profile. :)

~:C:~ said...

Happy belated birthday to Meg. :)

That little green hoodie she is wearing is so cute... a very fashionable baby. lol