Before I had my own child, I could not have imagined the competition that exists among parents. Sure, I heard peripheral conversations such as how boys develop slower than girls and how every parent seems to think their child is the most gifted and talented and deserves special accommodations and praise, but I didn’t understand how certain comparisons, direct and indirect alike, would affect me, until it was my turn to enter the race.

Competition began for me during pregnancy. It seemed to be everyone’s business to point out how much weight I had or hadn’t gained, the way I was carrying, and the quality of my skin, hair, and nails. I was pitted against my fellow pregnant coworkers and general acquaintances without my consent.

And the competition only grew from there. Were we being mindful of potential VOCs in the furniture we were buying? Were we doing everything in our power to avoid medicating during labor? Had we purchased the finest stroller? And why on God’s green planet did I not want a baby shower??

We found out I was pregnant in April 2015, that our baby was a girl and likely to have Down syndrome in June, that she had a severe heart defect in July, and it wasn’t until September, just three months before our baby girl was due, that we were finally convinced we would meet her. A combination of wonderful doctors, loving family and friends, and a brand new support system of moms and dads who were already raising their sons and daughters with Down syndrome got us to delivery day on Christmas Eve. What would come after is the adventure we are excited to share with you.

Welcome to At Her Own Pace, where every child has the right to be exactly who she (or he!) is. Please send me a private message if you have any questions or if you would like the opportunity to have someone in your life profiled on this site.