Sunday, October 3, 2010

31 for T21: Did You Know Reid Had Down Syndrome Before He Was Born?...(Part II)

So, picking up from my first post about whether or not we knew Reid had Down syndrome before he was born... I continued in my pregnancy not knowing what was ahead and for me that was the way I needed it. I am a worrier and I would have worried far more than would have been necessary for this little guy I was trying to grow inside. However, my very smart and wonderful doctor who in many ways became a big brother to me did the worrying for me, well maybe not necessarily worry but he in his years of experience had this gut feeling he did not want to share at the moment and he wanted to make sure he was there when I delivered.

My due date was December 31st and he was going to be out of town so we scheduled an induction for December 28th ...I'm kind of into "days" when it comes to birthdays and though truly no date around the holidays is a good date for a little guy to celebrate a birthday the 28th seemed like a good day to meet my new love! Oh all right...I'll go ahead and confess, I also thought it was a "cute date" ...did the same thing for Luke's birthdate only that time around Toby says I "willed" myself to go into labor that particular day because I liked that date better than my actual due was cuter, what can I say? ;)

So December 28th we woke up and we were so excited to meet our new baby... I had Luke by my side who could not wait to be a big brother and helped me push the IV while I walked laps around the labor and delivery wing to get things moving along, I had Toby who promised never to confess he heard expletives freely flowing out of my mouth when the contractions got too strong, and we had a staff of nurses who were lively and entertaining and we giggled over my newly painted toes two of which had snowmen on them to represent my two boys, and we laughed when we learned our doctor was running double speed and jumping hurdles through the parking lot to get back up into my delivery room when I suddenly went from being dilated from a 4 to a 10 in less than 5 minutes time. But...he made it and in not much more than 2 more minutes time Reid was here.... however, my doctor knew right then that he needed to call in supports.

Reid wasn't making a sound so he wasn't given to me right away but was handed over to the nurse and before I knew it a flurry of specialists were in our room and it was now when I began to worry...."maybe I am the one".

The room was tense and I swear as I think back on that moment I picture the room suddenly getting smaller, and darker, and it swirled, and the words "Your son is showing signs of Down syndrome" kept echoing over and over again and my body began to heave tears and sounds I never knew I had in me.

....I wish it wasn't that way. I wish I did not have memories of those first moments like that...I wish I could of known then that it was all going to be okay...I wish those first tears were tears of absolute joy because that's what they would be today. Knowing what I know now about this precious, adorable, funnier than all get out little guy of mine I would not of shed a tear but rather pulled out the kazoos and party hats and done nothing but celebrate because he is so embedded in my heart this little guy of mine. But on that day I was scared, I was sad, I was mad, I was grieving for myself and what this meant for my new baby and I cried...I cried straight for a month.

I remember when we were finally in our post delivery room and it was just Toby, Luke and I holding this sweet pink baby and wishing upon all wishes that I could fast forward and be in a better emotional place. I knew the emotions I was feeling were probably normal but I didn't want to feel them, I wanted that giddy lighthearted feeling I had entered the hospital with.

Of course that feeling did return eventually but it took some time of processing. About a year ago, maybe less, I wrote a post as if I were having a conversation with myself back then in those first raw moments with the "me then" who was laying there in that hospital bed all mascara stained and puffy eyed with the "me now"....with the knowledge of 3 years under my belt. It is probably my favorite and most powerful post so far and one I hope offers encouragement to those just starting this journey with a newly diagnosed baby and perhaps shares a bit of what this journey is about for those not traveling in these same shoes ...but, that's for tomorrow. I promise I won't always put these trailers out there but if there is nothing more you read on this blog come back for that one! ;)

But...first, pictures. Each post must have pictures in my book so I leave you with a few from the first moments Luke and Reid met each other. Are these guys not just the cutest???? When we handed Reid all swaddled in a blanket to Luke his first words were, "Whoa, he looks like a burrito with too much baby squishing out the side"! ...he cracks me up!

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Nan P. said...

In tears here! Beautiful post, beautiful photos....

Mary said...

Beautiful post and your boys are super cute! I love it... a burrito with too much baby.

Having boys is so much fun! Glad you stopped by to say hi. I'll be back for sure!

jenhiatt said...

I am so glad to have met you... all because of our special boys. I look forward to following your blog all month, as I do all the time anyway.

We will be down in LA soon for Chris' surgery. Wish it were for Disneyland and seeing you guys!

Zoey's mom said...

The first pictures are so precious and the burrito comment ... made me laugh out load.

Is it not amazing how much growth and learning and loving we have done in the last 3 plus years?I often repeat,what was said to me when Zoey was first diagnosed with seizures:"If I knew then,what I knew now,I wouldn't have shed a tear."

Beautiful post my friend.Gotta really plan a playdate.We just have to make the time soon,okay?

cortina said...

thanks for checking our blog out! i read a lot of posts! luke's essay about his brother, the super cape, etc. good stuff! your little guy is so adorable now at 3 and was a gorgeous baby too!

viv said...

You made me cry !
I experienced that "out of body" sense, hearing the sound of grief coming from your body. Thanks for sharing again.

Michelle said...

thank you so much for sharing your story! I enjoy reading birth stories and how other mother's find out. Beautifully written and love the sibling photos!