Tuesday, October 7, 2008

As I sit here in the peace and quiet of my living room, I am reminded of a time before children. Before endless diapers, before wall-to-wall toys, and before cracker crumbs all over the floor. What a simpler time and what a carefree time, and yet, NOT a time I would go back to for any amount of money in the world.We faced fertility issues for 4 years before conceiving our first baby, who we would later name Josie. I went month after month hoping and praying that I was pregnant. We went through endless testing and endured 2 miscarriages during this time. I was beginning to think that it wasn't in the cards for us to have children. At the time, we were not financially in a place that invitro was an option so we had one chance at Inter uterine Insemination and if that didn't work, that would mark the end of our intervention into parenthood.

Well against odds, it worked the first time and I found myself in a place that I never thought I would be -- Pregnant.I did everything I was supposed to do. I quit drinking, quit smoking and ate the most healthy foods. My pregnancy progressed normally. I wasn't sure what to expect, but my Dr visits were normal as was everything in my first few months. We were elated to be pregnant, and to have gotten past the first trimester with only morning sickness and endless tiredness.At 18 weeks, I had the AFP test done. It came back with a high risk for having a baby with Down syndrome. I knew that those tests were quite often inaccurate so I never paid attention to it. I talked with my Dr about it and since I was going to be 34 years old at delivery, she suggested going to Iowa City for a level 2 ultrasound to make sure the baby was growing as he/she should be. We would then be asked after the ultrasounds if we wanted an Amnio and could make the decision at that time.We went for the ultrasound.... Two soft markers for DS, but nothing conclusive. Josie had the nuchal fold as well as a short nasal bone. We opted for the Amnio. I just had to know. Didn't change anything other than the possibility of being prepared.One week later, we were getting ready to leave the house to go to Target to do our baby registry. The phone rang. I answered it. It was the genetics counselor in Iowa City. The words she said next are forever etched in my memory "Mrs V, I wanted to call and talk with you. First let me tell you that indeed you are having a girl. The results of the amnio show that your daughter will be born with Down syndrome!" WHAT??? I couldn't have heard her correctly. Though there were soft markers, I assured myself that everything was fine. I broke down, collapsed to the floor and sobbed to my husband the news I had just been told. I spoke with broken voice and floods of tears with the counselor for another minute or two and hung up. My husband and I consoled each other. We sat and discussed what we had just heard.

It was that point when my husband said something to me that would change my life forever and what I thought about our daughter. I told my husband that I didn't think we should go do our registry that day. His response to me was this "Won't she need clothes, diapers and wipes?" I replied, "yes". "Won't she need toys, bottles, and pacifiers?" I again replied, "yes" . "Won't she need a car seat, a stroller, a bouncy seat, a highchair, and everything else that a newborn would need?" I replied once again "yes". "Then why are we waiting to do the registry? She will be our daughter and she will need the same care, love and comfort that she would need if she didn't have Down syndrome. We will love her anyway, she just has something extra and that isn't so bad". I realized that he was so right. She has been nothing but the light of our lives. She loves her little sister and brother to pieces and I can't imagine our lives without our little angel. I have had the opportunity to meet so many friends that I might have never met. I have realized that the littlest milestones are important and to take nothing for granted. There are moments when I get down, wondering what her future will be like, but I can worry myself sick wondering that about any of my three children. Nothing is guaranteed and when you receive a blessing, what you do with it is what really matters! Too many people speed through life and take things for granted, but we don't any more. EVERYTHING MATTERS!!!

1 comment:

Sheree said...

OMG. Brigitte I read this post with tears streaming down my face. I am sure that you have told this story before, but for some reason it really hit home today. I think that you and Joe and absolutely amazing, and Josies life will be amazing and she will reach great heights because of your love and support. God Bless You and your family.