Friday, October 9, 2009

Bailey Part 1

Please remember the way I think has changed, so take no offense.

In September of 2006 we discovered we were having another baby. In the past, we had been excited to find out we were expecting, but this time was different. This pregnancy happened just a few months after we had a miscarriage. We were cautious and a bit scared. We made the decision to keep quiet about the pregnancy until we were in the second trimester.

I went to all my prenatal appointments. I had the triple screen done, because "if my child has something wrong with her I want to know". The results were normal. I also had a few ultrasounds, and everything seemed normal. After each appointment I became more excited, and the worry eventually disappeared. When we told family and friends, they were all excited about the upcoming birth of our baby girl. Aubrey was excited too...

I saw my doctor for my final appointment during the first week in May. He had my cesarean scheduled for May 7th. We spend the few days leading up to Bailey's birth preparing her room. My dad painted the walls a beautiful bluish purple color to match her bedding. Keith assembled her dresser and crib, and I put the final touches on the decor.

Aubrey spent the night before Bailey's birth with my parents. So on May 7th Keith and I arrived at the hospital, excited about the birth of our second little girl. I was prepped for surgery, as our families began arriving to the hospital. Everyone visited me for a few minutes prior to surgery, then Keith and I entered the OR. My OB was the same as the one who delivered Aubrey. He remembered the nightmare of Aubrey's delivery, and teased me about the large tumor he had to deliver with Aubrey... we called it her twin.

He made his incision, and within a few minutes we heard the most beautiful cry. I thought, "she's okay", and I took a deep breath. Finally, Aubrey has a little sister, and we have another beautiful little girl. We were able to see Bailey before she was taken away to get cleaned up. I went to recovery.

Recovery is horrible. You lay in a bed with a nurse who stares at you until you are stable enough to be taken to the mommy baby room. Finally I was stable, and they took me to my empty room. Keith, our parents, and Aubrey were downstairs eating breakfast. I was enjoying a few minutes of quiet when a doctor and nurse entered my room. I assumed they were coming to check on me, but I was wrong.

The doctor said something I will never forget, he said "some of the nurses seem to think your daughter may have Down syndrome, and after looking at her I believe they may be correct". He described the gap between her toes, and the slant in her eyes, and all I could think about was the tests that said everything was fine. At that moment I felt my life as I knew it was over. I remained very calm until they left, then I broke down. I wish I had asked him why he felt the need to tell me this while I was alone. Why couldn't he have just waited for Keith to come back? This was the most difficult thing I have ever been told, and I had no support. I was devastated.

Soon after, Keith returned. I can't imagine what he was thinking when he came in and saw me crying. This was supposed to be the happiest day of our lives, and here I am crying. I didn't know what to say. How do I tell him that Bailey isn't perfect? How do I explain that those hopes and dreams we had for her aren't going to happen?

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