Wow....I didn't think I would remember those thoughts and feelings so vividly, but I do. One day, I want to apologize to Hailey for the way I felt and reacted the day she was born. I'm ashamed that I felt my life was over because in the eyes of medicine and society, she wasn't born "perfect". I cried and cried and then cried some more. I cried so much those first few months of her life. First, I cried about her being taken to the NICU. Then came the diagnosis. That led to more crying about the unknown, the "why me", and the "why Hailey". Those were followed with the crying of what do we do, how do we go on, and what does the future hold for her. Somehow the crying then changed to crying because I wanted my baby home. I remember one day at home, before Hailey came home from the NICU. I was standing at the kitchen sink washing dishes. I looked out the window at the cul-de-sac. It was a beautiful spring day. The neighbors were out in full force. It was like looking at a snow-globe. I wanted to open my door and scream at the top of my lungs at them. Why was their life going on when mine had stopped? How could they be living their lives when my baby girl was not home? I truly do NOT think the world revolves around me and my family but at that moment, I wanted someone to know how I was feeling and to understand it.
I grew a lot those 19 days that Hailey spent in the special care nursery. She had fabulous nurses that just listened. They listened as I worked through all those fears. They shared their life experiences. With each passing day, Down syndrome played less a role in our lives than getting her home to her brothers. They watched me fall more in love with my daughter every day.
I know that it is human nature to have the feelings I did and to work through them but I wish I would have been more educated on Down syndrome. I wasn't then but, boy, am I now! I have a new appreciation for mother's/family's of children with special needs. I never knew the obstacles and hurdles that existed. Thank goodness a dear friend of mine who has a child with cerebral palsy helped me through all of that.
I hope over the next 31 days that my blogging friends along with myself, can help shed some light onto others that Down syndrome is just a small part of our children. There is so much more to them. I hope that as Hailey grows up, people look beyond her diagnosis and get to know the person inside. One thing I'm positive of....there is going to be a whole LOT of personality inside that little girl!
Following is a "brief" (sorry, there are quite a few) timeline of pics that shows how we got to where we are now.
|A few minutes before being whisked to the NICU.|
|Meeting big brother for the first time.|
|Meeting my other big brother, Ian.|
|We're going home!|
|Yes, that is Nick Lachey.|
|Wow...what a mohawk!|
|Mommy and me|
|Day after open heart surgery....I'm all fixed!|
|I told you everything is going to be ok!|