Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Just thinking

So for some reason today I was thinking back to when Callum was born and how we felt. We had no indication parentally that anything was wrong, I had an ultrasound in each trimester and the triple screen test came out clear - I remember being so relieved when I got the results as I really didn't think I could cope with a special needs child. My pregnancy was textbook up until the point that I sprung a leak at 35 weeks and Callum made his entrance.

Within an hour of his birth (my memory is a little fuzzy) the OBGYN came and told us that there was a good possibility that Callum had Down syndrome. She went through the markers (low set bent over ears, short fingers, no bridge to his nose, low tone, etc) and then said that if he didn't have Down syndrome we'd just have to "hope that he'd grow out of those features"! She gave us no real information about T21 and just left. We were in complete shock, we tried to explain away the markers and we cried. When my mum arrived a few hours later (she flew in from England) the first words out of my mouth were "they think he has Down syndrome". I cried )a lot) but I was also completely in love.

I've read a lot of stories about families with a postnatal diagnosis and the range of emotions that people go through are huge. A lot of people question how God could do this to them, I don't believe in God so that was never an issue to me. I understood it as a fluke of nature, making babies is an exceedingly complicated business, of course things don't always go to plan. I never mourned the baby he should have been - gave him some fleeting thoughts maybe but I'd never planned his life anyway. Maybe we were accepting because he had no real health issues - he was just a baby - he ate, slept, cried (although not very often) and filled his nappy(diaper) at regular intervals. Adoption never crossed our minds, he as OURS and nothing was going to change that.

I'm not saying that I just blindly accepted everything with a smile of my face. I cried every day in the shower for the first couple of months of his life. I worried so much about what the future would hold for him. I read way too many factual books and internet sites that listed things such as leukemia and Alzheimer's. I just wanted to protect him from all the bad things in the world.

I took Callum back to England to visit family when he was 2 months old. That trip made all the difference to me, everyone accepted and loved Callum and Callum loved all the attention. It finally sank in that all I could do was live one day at a time, I couldn't worry about what might happen in 5 years let alone 30 years.

Callum makes me smile every day, when he throws his arms around me before bed, says mamma and snuggles me tight I wouldn't have it any other way.


BStrong said...

We all accept the news in different ways but after we go through all of the typical emotions we come to realize how special our children are. The following is something I posted on my blog this past July.

As I was cleaning up my hard drive on my computer this morning I came across something I wrote; my feelings put into words when I came home from the hospital after Little Peanut was delivered. Little Peanut is 15 months now.

When ever I saw a child with a serious disability I always thanked god for blessing my family with healthy children. When Little Peanut was born and we found out that she had down syndrome I went through the typical emotions;anger, denial, and guilt. How could something like this happen to my family. I went to sleep that night afraid of what tomorrow would bring.

I woke up early the next morning and found that I had a dilemma on my hands, so I thought. If I always thanked god for giving us healthy children, what should I do now. I thought about it for a moment, then stood up in bed, looked towards the heavens and said... Thank you.

See, although it has been not even a full day since Little Peanut was born, I can already feel the joy that she will bring to our lives. Yes, we will have our ups and downs, but over all we will look forward to our lives with Little Peanut. I can already feel the strength she has given us. Because of her, I will be a better husband, father, son, brother and friend. I know that I am the one that is supposed to teach her how to live, but she has taught me so much already. My only regret that I have is how I initially felt when she was born. I hope she forgives me.

What I have found incredible about what I said above is that I can remember word for word what I wrote that night. In fact, when I emailed Barbara I'm pretty sure that I mentioned some of these feeling as written above.

BStrong said...

Also, I'm sure my wife will want to comment here on how she felt the day Little Peanut was born. Her blog is Beloved Life.

Belovedlife said...

I have not thought about my pregnancy and delivery in a while (granted Peanut is only 16 months old). YOu've inspired me to locate what I wrote when PEanut was a few months old. I'll try to find it and put it on my blog so you can read it. As it is too long to post in a comment.

We've all gone thru the ups and downs, yet we also all come to realize just how lucky we are to have our little angel babies - as they have changed each of us in different ways . We have all become better individuals because of them.

Julana said...

Thank you for sharing your story. Sounds like you're a great mom. And CONGRATULATIONS on the walking!

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