Today was an up and down day.
A good friend of mine called and told me that her friend, who is 13 weeks pregnant, was told today by her doctor that her neuchal is positive. There was no other information given to her and her husband. No ratios. No information on what to do next. No care and no concern. They were told that they could go for an amnio, then proceed with an abortion if they were to find out that baby has Down syndrome. I'm sorry, the doctor said what to you? Tell me again that the doctor, an educated professional who follows a code of conduct, she didn't tell you that you could then go for an abortion?? Right???
What a douche! Yes, I used the word, douche. I've actually used it twice today and think that it will make a comeback and used on people who are incredibly insensitive and cold and unprofessional.
As my friend was telling me about the appointment, every feeling rushed back. Every feeling that I had that day, the day that we got the phone call. Told over the phone. Told in a way that I should have expected it, after all, I was 36 years old. I was no longer young. All the feelings that I felt that day, the feeling of having a perfect child, all down the drain. The feeling that my child would be adorable, all down the drain. The feeling that my child would go to university, all down the drain. The feeling that I had done something wrong. The feeling that we should have started trying right away after we got married. The feeling that I would have to take care of this little being for the rest of my life. The feeling that Brinley and her sister wouldn't like each other, there would be no bond, they would have nothing in common. The feeling that my child would have an aide, would start crawling later, start walking later, start talking later, be potty trained later. I felt that all of my dreams for a healthy, perfect child, just went down the drain.
It was a day that I will never forget and as my friend told me how her friend was told, it made me ill. She needed some facts, she needed some reassurance, she needed support. She is now left with a broken heart. She is left with not knowing what to do, what to say, how to react. Nothing. Just a cold doctor who told her that she could have an abortion.
On the day that we found out that we had a 1:2 chance that our baby would have Down syndrome, it was my doctor that made us smile. It was my doctor that gave us the facts. It was my doctor who set us up with the best genetics' counsellor. It was my doctor who hugged us and told us that we will be ok. It was my doctor who cried with us and let us cry with her and let us tell her that we couldn't possibly do any of this, because this wasn't the path that we were ready for....it wasn't the path that we had planned. It wasn't the path that we expected. We were on a path now with so many hurdles and bumps in the road and the unknown. It was a path that we never asked for. We didn't ask for this. Why would we be punished? Yes, that thought went through my mind. I never shared that with anybody, not even James. I wondered why we would be the ones to be punished? What did I do to deserve a baby that wasn't perfect? You have so many thoughts and emotions running through your head, you don't know which way is up. You slump into a bit of a depression and you cry so much that you can't cry anymore, then you figure out which path as a family, you will take. Will you take the path that 90% of women choose. Do you terminate? Do you keep going and love every minute of the path and learn from the bumps and hurdles?
It's tough. I remember hearing from so many women that if they ever found our during pregnancy that they were expecting a little one with Down syndrome, they would continue with the pregnancy, there is no way that they would terminate. Do I believe all of those comments? Not for a second. You will never know how it feels to be told that your trip to Italy, will turn into a trip to Holland. You don't know unless who have been placed in that position. I know that in your heart, you would love your child no matter what and that you could handle it, but when you are experiencing it first hand, it is very different. It is so difficult. You feel selfish. You think about yourself. You think about how difficult it could be on you. Then you think about your unborn baby. What if our baby has a heart defect? What if our baby can't suck and swallow properly? What if baby has GI concerns? What if our baby doesn't have a mild form of Down syndrome, but instead is on the moderate end of the spectrum? Is this fair?
That phone call today took me back. I could actually feel in the pit of my stomach, the feelings that they are experiencing today. The feeling of despair. The feeling of hopelessness especially when your doctor isn't supportive. Right now, she is sitting at home and her mind is racing. Her heart is pounding and she has so many questions. So many questions that her doctor should have answered today. They are so frustrated.
Where James and I are today is world's away from the day we found out. We are in a place of contentment. We are in a place of beauty. What I realized is that the trip to Italy would have been boring. Italy has a bunch of dirty streets and garbage on the roads and the scenery isn't always perfect and serene. We realized that the trip to Holland is beautiful. It is filled with joy and pretty scenery and beautiful people. It is going to be so much more interesting, filled with love and hand holding and laughs!
If you want to read the whole poem, it is just beautiful. I posted it a while ago. It is written by Emily Perl Kingsley.
The path that we chose is the path that was meant for us. It was the best decision. It's difficult when you are pregnant, the unknown. It's hard. When you hold your baby, your perfect baby, all you feel is love. You see perfection. You see this loving beautiful soul. You see this amazing being that you created. You don't see the journey ahead. You see a miracle. You don't see Down syndrome. You see your child. You don't see two sisters who will never connect. You see two sisters who from the moment they saw each other, there was true love.
Life is a journey whether you have a child with special needs or not...life is full of ups and downs. Life is going to throw us curveballs with both girls. Adele's life has been amazing and will only continue to get better. She will walk and talk and learn to go on the potty. She will go to school and play with friends and laugh and cry and fall in love. She IS adorable and has already melted many hearts. She has brought so many people into our lives, people who are the most amazing and loving human beings. James and I have been blessed. We feel honoured that we were chosen to be Adele's parents. I wouldn't change anything. Life is going to be beautiful.
A little contest....I want to get to 100 000 views by April. I am at 75 000 right now. I am up a thousand from yesterday. If you share my blog, tag me in the post and you will be entered in a draw for a great prize!! A really great prize. If you are sharing again today, you will have another chance to win! I will mail it to anywhere in the world. My goal...get the word out. Bring reassurance to families. Bring comfort and joy to those who are struggling. Lots of shares so far! If we are not friends on Facebook, send me an email after you have shared, at email@example.com or comment below. <3