Oakley Peterson found out her second child Welles had Down Syndrome shortly after he was born. In a split second, life shifted in unalterable ways. The gorgeous and brave mother of two (almost three!) started Nothing Down About It to share her journey with little Welles and what she calls "Up Syndrome". Her peaceful words and beautiful images offer support and perspective to others parenting a child with a disability. With a third baby now almost here, Oakley was ready for a few treats for mom and baby from our Born for This Limited Collection box.
Read Oakley's thoughts on her family below and check out the Born for This box here. It's the perfect gift for that mama you admire who deserves something special and super useful.
Tell us more about your blog:
When Welles was born it was a huge shock, there was absolutely a mourning process for me. I like to be very honest about that because I want other new mom’s in that situation to know that it’s okay to grieve for a time. Grieve for the loss of the child you thought you were having. Then, when you’re ready, you’ll realize that you’ve been given a beautiful gift. You are in the club of The Lucky Few. And let me tell ya, it’s the best club to be in!
Now back to your initial question. I started this blog because once I realized how special our situation was, I was sick every time I could tell how “sorry” someone felt for us. While most embraced our boy and situation, there were some painful comments that made my skin crawl. Welles is exactly who he is supposed to be and I wanted to show the world that there was absolutely nothing down about him and that having a child with Down syndrome is not going to hold your family back. Rather spring your family forward with unity, special adventures and a happiness that is quite unique and very special.
Your motherhood experience with Welles has been different than many other mothers and all the more inspiring because of your optimism. What do you hope other mothers can gain from your experience and your blog?
It has been a bit different from our first child, our daughter. Because of that I feel like I’ve learned a lot about motherhood. One thing Welles has taught us is to slow down. He relishes in the beauty of the smallest and most simple things. I think that is something all mothers could do a little more of. He doesn’t let the hustle of life distract him and he’s really helping me cope better in the chaos around. The littlest things bring him such joy. I talk about this often in my blog. Slowing down, enjoying the small and simple things our kids do. It keeps me from getting wrapped up in the things that just don’t matter. As far as my optimism… It’s nearly impossible to not be happy when you have a child that literally radiates joy. So I try and share his happiness with all of my readers.
You are about to welcome baby #3! What both scares and excites you about this transition.
I’ll be honest, when I saw that plus sign on the pregnancy test, I was terrified. We knew we wanted more kids, but the timing seemed so crazy. Welles was nowhere close to walking or even crawling (now he bum-scoots everywhere and is starting with a walker very soon). I already had a baby, how could I possibly be having another AND keep up on Welles development?! Well, now that we are 30 weeks down the road I see that the timing is actually quite perfect. For one thing, Welles’ development will only be pushed by having a brother just under him. Not to mention, a best buddy that doesn’t dress him up or force Barbie’s on him.;) Although, I think he loves it when big sister does that. Also, Scarlett thrives in big sister mode. She is giddy with excitement about adding another little brother to the mix. Scott and I both feel very peaceful and excited about our soon-to-be family of five! Bring it on.
What’s the best piece of motherhood advice you’ve received?
Get on the floor and play with your kids. The dishes will always be waiting for you.
You’ve had the chance to dive into our Born for This Box. How will you be incorporating some of the products into your family’s life?
Well I’m pretty sure the Solly Wrap will be a lifesaver with two other toddlers running wild! That was a super exciting surprise. Also, the “Mom’s One Line a Day” book has already been put to use. Scarlett is at an age where she says the funniest little things. I’ve been using the book to better document her one-liners! The honest products are going to be wonderful with baby brother. I only use gentle products with my kids so I’m excited to bust those out. Welles already stole the wooden rattle, so I’ll have to steal it back when the baby comes. And the beautiful leather braided paci holder is so stylish! Love it all, really. Not one thing will go unused.
What do you want most for your children?
Happiness and goodness. If I could raise my kids to serve others, spread goodness and love, I know they will be happy people. To me, that’s the most important thing for my children.